A solar battery stores surplus electricity generated from your solar panels during the day, enabling you to use it at night or when you actually need it.
If you have solar panels or are thinking about getting them installed on your roof, you may want to invest in solar batteries as well. When you purchase solar panel battery storage, you can store any excess energy your solar panels generate during the day and use it when your panels are not producing electricity at night. By storing surplus energy for use at a later time, you’ll not only reduce your reliance on electricity supplied from the National Grid but you can reduce your energy bills and lower your carbon footprint.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
Many homes with solar panel systems are still connected to the National Grid as they need to use the power supplied from the grid when their panels don’t generate electricity during the evening. By staying connected, homeowners can also sell any excess power back to the grid, provided their system meets certain criteria.
As the battery stores excess electricity, rather than export it to the grid, adding a solar battery to a solar panel system can reduce or even remove dependence on the National Grid. The solar battery charges when the solar panels generate more electricity than is needed and this stored energy can then be used in the home when the solar panels are inactive during the night.
When you install solar panels, it’s highly likely that they’ll generate more energy than you’ll need to use throughout the daytime. With a solar power storage system, you can use the electricity you stored in your battery earlier on in the day and use it when you’re home at night. You can still send energy back to the grid when your solar battery is fully charged, and you can draw electricity from the grid when the battery is depleted.
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Types of Solar Battery Systems
The two chemical materials most commonly found in solar batteries are lead-acid and lithium-ion. Although the cheapest option, lead-acid batteries have a shorter life than lithium-ion batteries and they have a lower discharge rate. As a result, the majority of people opt for lithium-ion batteries, but they do tend to cost more money.
In addition to choosing the chemical material, you need to decide whether you’re going to have a DC (direct current) or AC (alternating current) solar battery system. If you plan to install solar panels with a solar battery, you may want to choose a DC system because the panels and battery can share the same inverter. As you only need one inverter, installation is often cheaper. If you already have solar panels installed on your roof, you should opt for an AC battery system, which is connected via an electricity meter and requires an extra inverter.
Solar Battery Prices
The cost of a solar battery in the UK typically ranges between £1,800 and £7,000. How much you’ll need to pay will depend on the size of battery you need and the amount of excess energy your solar panel system generates.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a solar battery, you must make sure you choose the right usable capacity (kWh) for your needs. The more usable capacity the battery has, the more free energy you can use during the evening and when you need it most.
You can use the table below to compare just some of the solar batteries available and their prices, which exclude the cost of installation.
|Nissan||xStorage||H – 1230 mm|
W – 890 mm
D – 220 mm
|4.2 kWh||5 Years||£3,900|
|LG Chem||RESU 10H||H – 692 mm|
W – 744 mm
D – 207 mm
|8.5 kWh||10 Years||£4,000|
|H – 680 mm|
W – 1000mm
D – 267 mm
|3.6 kWh||5 Years||£4,500|
|Duracell||Energy Bank||H – 610 mm|
W – 680 mm
D – 260 mm
|3.3 kWh||10 Years||£4,500|
|Varta||Pulse 6||H – 690 mm|
W – 600 mm
D – 186 mm
|6.5 kWh||10 Years||£5,300|
|Tesla||Powerwall||H – 1150 mm|
W – 753 mm
D – 147 mm
|13.5 kWh||10 Years||£6,500|
Solar batteries can be wall or floor mounted, depending on which model you choose. Some battery storage systems even allow you to manage and monitor your energy remotely via the use of an app.
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Are Solar Batteries Suitable For Every Home?
While some homes and their owners in the UK will benefit from a solar battery installation, others won’t. If you use all or the majority of electricity generated by your solar panel system, then you might want to think twice about getting a solar battery or just get a small one. However, if you are only using small amounts of electricity generated by your system because you aren’t at home during the day, a solar battery is a great option. With this in mind, we recommend you contact a reputable solar engineer to assess requirements before you buy a solar battery storage system.
Advantages of Solar Batteries
Here, we run through the top benefits of owning a solar battery storage system:
- Make the most of your free electricity
When you have a solar battery, you can store the free electricity your solar panels create when you’re not at home using power. You can then use the stored electricity at night or at a time when you’re at home without needing to use power from the grid. Put simply, a solar battery allows you to make the most of your free electricity.
- Lower electricity bills
Since a solar battery allows you to use more of your free electricity instead of energy from the grid, you can seriously cut the cost of your bills. You may even be able to find a company that is happy to pay you for storing surplus electricity for the grid.
- Less reliant on the grid
By storing unused electricity to power your home in the evening, you’ll use less energy from the grid. Another benefit of using a solar battery and being less dependent on the grid is that you can still power your home when power cuts occur.
- Reduce your carbon footprint
The power generated by your solar panels and stored in your solar battery is a source of clean energy, which is just one of the top reasons why so many homeowners are switching to solar energy systems. By using more solar power, you’ll reduce pollution and lower your carbon footprint.
Disadvantages of Solar Batteries
Now that we’ve covered the benefits, we’re going to discuss the disadvantages of solar battery storage:
- High initial cost
Even though prices are coming down, solar batteries can be expensive and will certainly increase the cost of your solar panel system. That said, most owners will tell you that you can save a significant amount of money, so the long-term benefits of installing solar panels with a solar battery does outweigh the high upfront cost.
- Likely to need replacing in the future
Solar panel systems can last between 25 and 30 years or even longer but solar batteries have an expected lifespan of only 5 to 15 years. This means you’ll probably have to replace your solar battery at some point if you want to keep storing the excess energy generated by your solar panels.