Adding an energy storage device to your solar system is a worthy decision to consider.
The potential of solar power is limited by the inconsistent exposure to sunlight which may lead to a surplus of energy during daylight and a deficit at night. An energy storage device working in tandem with your solar PV system, will enable your home to optimise the utilisation of renewable energy and circumvent the irregular irradiation.
By connecting your solar panels to a solar battery, you could essentially turn your home into a micro-grid; generating, using, and storing your own electricity.
This will allow you the independence from a coal powered grid and electrify a home lifestyle that is 100% green energy.
Solar Energy Storage for Residential Landed Homes
With the significance of their role in a solar PV system, what are the pros and cons of having solar batteries?
The technology for solar batteries has yet to reach maturity, which means there is a high cost to the system. Adding to that cost, is the limited amount of the natural resources: cobalt and lithium.
An essential compound in the makeup of a lithium-ion batteries, lithium is a highly sought-after metal due to its efficacy, and most recently the subject of inciting a bidding war in Canada between America’s Lithium Americas Corp and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (Source)
PV Lifespan is longer than batteries
Batteries do not last forever, and proper care should be taken to ensure they do not go into thermal runaway which is when a battery catches fire.
A battery’s resilience is rather high, as long as you do not subject it to impactful damage, extreme heat or persistent overcharging, your energy storage device will be able to last its expected lifespan. But it will not outlast the lifespan of a PV system.
Expect to replace the battery at least once throughout the life of your solar PV system.
Complexity of design
As with your solar installation that has to be highly customised, the same applies for your battery. The factors of consideration when installing a battery are:
· the appropriate size for your PV system
· amount of electrical work
· location with an appropriate ventilation
And these factors will affect the timeline of installation and labour costs.
That said, the ultimate question is, do the advantages of a solar battery outweigh the cons?
Substantial long-term savings
Installing a solar battery is a great way to get the most value out of your solar panels because they are an excellent source of reserved power. By storing excess solar energy, you no longer need to pay a premium for electricity in peak periods or be susceptible to the energy market. With a proper sized PV and battery system, you can drastically reduce or eliminate your electric bill and lock-in a fixed rate for your electricity over the next few decades.
Energy independence from carbon emitting resources
Aside from having backup power when there is no sunlight or when the utility grid is down, by using power stored by your solar array, you decrease your reliance on the utility provider’s grid energy and be subject to their energy tariffs. You become 100% energy self-sufficient.
During a power outage, solar arrays without a battery to store power must power down for safety reasons because without a safe place for power to go, the system must use a rapid shut down device. While with a battery-connected PV system, the solar array will be able to continue to produce and store electricity, enhancing the resilience of the system.
Reduction in carbon footprint
With home solar batteries, you can power your home without depleting the source of power. Because renewable energy does not emit harmful toxins which can destroy the environment, a complete solar system consisting of the solar array and an energy storage device will significantly diminish your consumption of fossil fuels and your carbon footprint.
Solar batteries can be a substantial investment. But the opportunity in savings it brings by storing clean energy for later use is a significant upgrade to your PV system.
Still unsure if the pros outweigh the cons? Every property is different. Reach out to our engineers to get a feasibility study to help you make an informed decision.