Solar PV systems generate electricity during the day and when they generate more energy than is needed to sustain your home or business you can sell this surplus energy back to the grid in exchange for a financial reward (known as the Smart Export Guarantee or SEG).
But wouldn’t it be better to store this daytime energy for when you need it and limit your reliance on the grid for topped up electricity at those moments when you sometimes need more? This is where solar battery storage systems come in.
How solar battery storage systems can significantly reduce reliance on the grid
Home solar battery storage systems work to turn your solar panels into an all-day resource, even when the sun goes down. Where normally any excess unused energy would be sent back to the grid, batteries work by storing any excess energy that is not used during the day for use either in the evening, when there is an outage, or at a later date.
This means that the solar energy you produce is always used by you and you will be importing less electricity from the grid to sustain your home.
See a real life example below of a Tesla Powerwall solar battery in use – providing electricity during the night, reducing reliance on the grid to a minimum.
Solar battery storage systems can help you use a very high percentage of the electricity generated by your PV system, saving you money on your electricity bill.
While the option to buy home solar battery storage systems has been a possibility for a few years, it is now starting to gain more popularity as batteries become cheaper and more streamlined. The rapid evolution of lithium-ion batteries is contributing to feeding this growth and providers now include Tesla, LG Chem, Sonnen, SolaX, BYD and Alpha Smile.
The Tesla Powerwall example
One example of the leading battery storage system is the Tesla Powerwall. This system stores the energy generated from solar panels in the day to be used in the evening. The Tesla Powerwall is still connected to the utility grid for when you experience periods of high demand, but in most cases works to produce as much energy as your home consumes to power your home independently from the grid.
Each Tesla Powerwall has a storage capacity of 13.5 kWh which is sufficient to power most homes for an entire day. You can of course implement more than one Tesla Powerwall if you require more energy based on your property requirements.
Exactly how solar battery storage works
- Solar inverters convert DC (Direct Current) electricity from the solar panels into AC (Alternating Current) electricity you use in the home.
- Any excess solar electricity charges the battery (a battery inverter converts AC into DC).
- When the home needs that excess, the battery discharges the stored electricity (converting from DC to AC).
How much energy can you save with a solar battery storage system?
By installing a solar battery storage system you can reduce your reliance on electricity companies. Exactly how much energy you can save depends on your individual circumstances and electricity usage, however you can generally look to reduce your mains grid consumption by about 80% and potentially more.
How much can a battery storage system realistically power?
Typically a fully-charged, medium-sized battery system can store enough energy to power your house in the evening for items such as lights, fridge-freezers, TVs and laptops. At most these items will use a few units of electricity over the evening. Some other heavy energy users such as washing machines and tumble driers will tend to use more units and depending on overall usage may push you over to require some additional units when used in the evening.
Different solar PV systems will be suited to different solar battery storage systems. If you are purchasing a solar PV system and are thinking of buying a solar battery storage system in the future then it is important to understand which systems are ‘battery ready’ and easily upgradable. If you need any help understanding which solution is right for you and how solar battery storage systems can help maximise your solar power, then contact us for further advice.