Solar energy is now, not the future, but a present and plentiful source of power. As long as solar panels are functioning and there is plenty of sunlight, a constant flow of clean energy is available to anyone with the foresight to harness it.
The problem is with the excess. Yes, having continuous juice for your essential items is key, but after they have their electrical input, what happens to the additional energy? Is it pragmatic to have such a sustainable power source but allow the extra energy generated to simply die off? Why would you waste the extra when it can be harnessed for times when there is no sunlight?
This is where solar batteries come into play. The batteries act as a storage area for the excess energy produced by your panels for easy use during nights, inclement weather, and shorter days during the winter months. Not to mention the excess can be sold back to the power company if you are hooked to their grid.
Solar Energy Storage Potential
The only truly viable way to store solar energy is in batteries used largely as capacitors. If you don’t know what a capacitor is, it is simply the part of a circuit that stores energy. Some capacitors are small, releasing the energy from time to time, while solar energy storage batteries are designed for the purpose of storage only, only releasing power when you tell it to.
The best batteries for solar vary in size and style, but all have the same principles in common. They are large, they are similar to deep cycle batteries often found in boats and RVs, and they release voltage the same way.
Before choosing one of the best batteries for solar, it is important to know what makes a battery worth having, why the kWh or kilowatt-hours are important, and why having a long warranty is crucial to your financial well-being.
The Critical Details
The average home in America uses roughly 30 kWh of power on a given day. This fluctuates during warmer months when air conditioning is used to a greater capacity, but on average, 30 kWh is pretty close.
What you want in a solar battery is the capacity to ensure power for one-third of that consumption time. The most favorable baseline is a battery with as near to 10 kWh of available storage as possible. Past the capacity needs mentioned in solar battery reviews, solar storage batteries can be broken down into 4 immediate needs: capacity, depth of charge, round trip efficiency, and power.
- Power: As we have mentioned, the optimal storage battery should hold close to 10 kWh. Power for solar batteries will always be rated in kilowatts.
- Capacity: As we have mentioned, the optimal storage battery should hold close to 10 kWh.
- Round trip efficiency: This is the balance between the energy used from the source versus the energy going into the battery. The best efficiency comes from an even input to output ratio.
- Depth of Charge: Having too much energy can actually ruin your battery and shorten its lifespan, while negatively affecting the warranty due to owner negligence. The depth of the charge is the amount of energy it can handle before it becomes compromised.
You need to know all of these when selecting your battery to properly fit your lifestyle needs. Ask yourself how often you will tap this energy well, what you will use it for based on the time of year, and if you have the knowledge and desire to maintain your battery to ensure it is never in disrepair or distress. These batteries need maintenance, so know the basics.
Making Your Best Investment
Deciding to purchase a solar storage battery is deciding to invest in your financial future. Power from an energy company will always come with a bill, but power for the sun is not only free but potentially profitable. Energy companies will buy your excess energy at a premium every month if you decide to purge your surplus.
This is good information to have when shopping for solar storage because solar battery cost is in some ways prohibitive in terms of sticker shock. The price depends on the size, capacity, and output.
But, for example, a Tesla Powerwall pricing can look like…
1TPW – $18.5k
2 TPW – $27.5k
3TPW – $ 36.5k
Know that pricing is incredibly fluid in our current market and with continued supply chain issues, so for the most up to date pricing, be sure and call the SEM Power office!
You have two options or services available for the Tesla Powerwall (TPW) product.
A single Powerwall is capable of running a select subset of circuits in your home during power outages. This subset will be based on amperage. The set of circuits can be decided on with you during your initial site visit with our lead technician. Typically one Powerwall will cover needs such as lighting circuits and outlets, including TVs, lighting, etc. in addition to similar low-draw loads. LED Lighting is strongly recommended if not already in, as it will drastically reduce power usage across the home, and allow for an extended backup duration.
Please note that due to the high startup amperage requirements of today’s air conditioners, a single TPW will not operate your air conditioning off the grid.
The second option is for whole-house backup capability for complete off-grid use during power outages. This will include operating your air conditioning unit and requires two Powerwalls.
Larger loads, such as Dryers, Dishwashers, Air Conditioners, Heaters, Well Water Pumps, and anything similar or run off of a motor will generally require 2 Powerwalls (or in some cases, additional TPW units) in order to function. Given the size of your solar array, it is capable of adequately charging a single Powerwall, but may have difficulties with multiple units.
Many people cannot get past the price to calculate the benefits. When you sort through the best solar batteries 2022 can provide, be sure to factor in all the variables that will, in the end, have the battery pay for itself over time. As is often the case with investments, the end result is what matters.
We have been told since we were children that wasting electricity was a terrible trespass. As adults, now that we pay the bills, we understand why this was such a huge deal for our parents. The difference now is we have the ability to generate our own power using the energy from the sun and save the extra for later.
We can use it creatively, hold on to it for a rainy day, or sell it. Some people dole out their excess during peak hours when electric companies charge extra. Some use it when they need more air conditioning when the temp climbs about 100 degrees. And others pad their personal household revenue storing it just to sell back to the power company.
Whatever your motivation, solar is the best way to collect and use energy in your own home, and for charging your toys. Adding a storage battery is a prudent choice to enhance your investment. If you live in Florida, Arizona, Southern California, or Texas, and you do not have solar panels and storage batteries, you are missing out on a terrific financial choice.
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