Solar Batteries for Home – Keeping Power On During Storm Season
Almost everyone has experienced a storm-induced power outage. Inclement weather can easily cause conditions that knock out power for any given length of time. During these power outages, it’s easy to see why some sort of backup power system is important.
Losing power for an extended period of time is inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst. When the lights go out, it’s essential to be prepared with options for backup power.
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Do You Need a Battery or Backup Power?
While there are different options for backup power, such as gasoline or propane home generators and liquid-cooled generators, backup batteries are often preferable. Generators are noisy and typically only last for a matter of hours, which can be next to nothing if the power stays out for an extended period of time.
It’s also important to note that typical solar arrays will not operate during an outage. A battery and gateway are required for off-grid use/ power outages.
A better option for those who live in areas where storms regularly cause power outages is backup batteries. These battery storage systems – like solar batteries for home use – are long-lasting and can easily help you with electrical issues when you lose power.
Backup power systems such as generators can be helpful in a pinch. However, with a bit of preparation and planning, you can secure a simple and long-lasting supply of batteries for your home to depend on whenever you need them.
The Benefits of Solar Battery Storage System
Batteries are a better choice for long-lasting power than generators. However, some batteries can lose power when it’s very hot or cold, making it a challenge when they’re needed during storms.
The best way to ensure the power you need no matter what is to install a solar battery storage system. These systems create your basic energy storage system, using solar power to charge battery backup systems. The ability to charge these systems helps to ensure that you get a consistent supply of solar energy from your solar batteries.
Solar panels produce excess energy that is stored in solar batteries. When the power goes out, these batteries will be fully charged and are capable of being charged repeatedly without the typical power sources. By combining solar panels and solar batteries for home, you are essentially creating another power source that works great when the regular power goes out.
Solar battery storage systems are the most reliable form of backup power. The batteries last an incredibly long time and have the ability to be recharged for more use.
Beyond backup power, solar battery storage systems also create independence from traditional utilities. They allow you to use more stored and created energy and less purchased energy, which reduces your overall costs.
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How Much Does a Home Battery System Cost?
The cost of solar batteries varies depending on a number of aspects. While do-it-yourself options can cost as little as $200, cheaper batteries are designed to power smaller areas and won’t provide the backup power you need in a home.
Most residential solar battery + solar panel systems start around $52,750. While they can be pricey for most people, they are eligible (if they are recharged by renewable energy like solar) for a 30% federal solar tax credit.
The cost of solar batteries depends on certain features such as the manufacturer, the chemistry of the battery, the number of batteries being installed, the backup load panel, and labor. Your costs will depend on the specifics of your batteries and your installation, but at minimum, you can expect to pay upwards of $34,000 for whole home backup generation.
Do Home Battery Systems Provide Enough Backup Power During an Emergency?
When you have an emergency and the power goes out, it’s important to have a reliable form of backup power. While solar batteries seem to be a worthwhile investment, many people are concerned that they won’t provide the amount of backup power needed in an emergency.
For confirmation that your battery system will have enough power, check out the battery capacity, which is measured by kilowatt hours. The battery capacity should be greater than your system’s generated power, with enough storage to manage at least a 24-hour energy supply.
Keep in mind that during an emergency, your concern won’t be powering trivial things. You’ll be focused on the most important elements of your home. Depending on the ampacity of your battery system may not be able to power high-energy things, such as the air conditioner.
Some of our preferred options are the Tesla PowerWall 2 and Enphase 3T and 10T.
It is important to understand the needs of powering appliances like central air conditioning. A single Tesla Powerwall, a home battery system that turns your home’s solar panels into an all day resource – increasing self-consumption of solar – while also offering backup in the event of an outage – is capable of running a select subset of circuits in your home during power outages. This subset will be based on amperage. It is important to note that due to the high startup amperage requirements of today’s air conditioners, a single Tesla PowerWall will not operate your air conditioning off the grid.
The second option is for whole-house backup capability for complete off-grid during power outages. This will include operating your air conditioning unit and requires two Tesla Powerwalls.
Typically one Tesla Powerwall will cover needs such as lighting circuits and outlets, including TVs, DVD Players, 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.
Larger loads, such as dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, heaters, well water pumps, and anything similar or run off of a motor will generally require additional Powerwalls in order to function.
Depending on the size of your existing solar array, You may need multiple Powerwalls as the max solar array size for a single Powerwall is 7.6kW.
Are Solar Batteries Worth the Extra Cost?
There are a few reasons why investing in solar batteries is a great decision for most people. However, keep in mind that it may not be the right choice for everybody. If you are only trying to save some money, solar batteries most likely aren’t the right option. Unless you have other factors to consider, you probably won’t save any money by making the investment.
On the other hand, if you live in an area that has regular and frequent power outages, or full-net metering isn’t available, or if you have incentives, solar batteries are going to be worth it.
How Do I Choose the Best Solar Battery Bank for my Home?
When you finally make the decision to invest in solar batteries for home, you’re going to be met with loads of options. Having a solar battery system installed is costly, so it’s important to choose one that will meet your specific needs.
Another very important aspect of a battery system is a gateway. Both of these systems (Tesla and Enphase) need a gateway that “anti-islands” your home from the grid. typical Solar panel systems will shut off when the grid is down. The gateway senses this and disconnects the home from the grid, allowing solar and batteries to charge and operate.
Here are some things to consider when searching for the best solar battery bank:
● Battery Capacity
This refers to the amount of energy that can be stored at one time, while usable capacity is the amount of energy that the battery can use. The battery you choose should have a capacity that matches that of your solar production.
- Options for Coupling
The direct current electricity of solar battery systems need to be converted to alternating current electricity in order to power appliances. While AC-coupled batteries are available, DC-coupled ones are best for solar installations, due to their efficiency and ability to charge from solar panels.
- Power Rating
The amount of electricity produced in one timeframe is known as the power rating. The power ratings refer to continuous power and peak power, which can help to determine the capabilities of any particular battery.
● Depth of Discharge
The depth of discharge is the percentage of battery discharge related to the overall capacity. This affects the lifespan of the battery and is therefore an important component to consider. Lithium-ion batteries should have a DOD of 80% to 100%, while lead-acid batteries have 50%.
- Round-Trip Efficiency
The energy that can be used once the battery is fully charged is known as round-trip efficiency. The average RTE is about 50%, while a higher percentage indicates greater efficiency and usable energy.
Ensure your home is NEVER without power by investing in solar batteries for home use today! Not sure what you need or maybe you’d just like some guidance? Reach out to our solar experts today!
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