Solar Energy Back-Up & Solar Energy Storage
One question we get a lot is “Will my Solar work when the power goes out?” Most of the Solar installed today is tied to the standard electrical grid. It needs the electric grid to be up and running to work and likewise It shuts down when the power goes out to protect linemen the same way a generator transfer switch works.
That being said; the answer simply is no. Your solar will not work when the power goes out… at least not without some kind of home energy storage solutions, or specifically a solar battery backup system.
Solar Storage Batteries
Storage Batteries are becoming increasingly more popular these days, and there are a lot of misconceptions about them as well. For starters, they are not just batteries. There are other components that allow the batteries to work the way you need them to. They are not “one size fits all,” and they do not offer the same “return on investment” benefits as Solar itself does. We at Green House Solar like to educate our customers on what to expect from their home energy storage solutions. We have also found ourselves in a position of clarifying some of these misconceptions provided by other solar firms, typically the “big box” ones.
There are many different battery chemistries from lead-acid to absorbed glass mat to lithium. There are advantages to each, but the durability of lithium has made it the most popular as of late, especially because of the amount of cycles (charges and discharges) you can get from this product. The cycling you get from lithium makes it easier to control from an app and keeps it simple with little to no maintenance. There are three different ways you can use your Home Energy Storage Solution, and it’s important to understand the differences to understand how it can make sense for you.
1. Battery Backup
You can store power to be used during a power outage. The batteries will take over when the power goes out. They will have a limited capacity ranging from 6-20 kilowatt hours (kwh), for a typical home. This is not enough to power an entire average home for, even a day. This is one misconception we face often. You’ll need to ration your energy consumption accordingly. Depending on how many kwh your solar panels can produce per day will depend on how many kwh your batteries can store per day. You’ll need to ration your energy consumption accordingly.
2. Self-Consumption or Off-Grid
You can store power to be used when your Solar output isn’t enough to cover your electric consumption, and you can ration your consumption to be completely independent of the grid. Self-Consumption Mode does give you the safety net of working in conjunction with the grid at all times, in case solar output isn’t enough. For complete off-grid electricity, there would need to be an extra level of consumption rationing awareness and would likely need to be supplemented by Generator backup.
3. Energy Storage for peak demand shaving
This means you would use your battery to store power to offset utility demand charges. This is not yet an issue for homes in NJ, but many states out west are facing tiered rates and anti-net metering laws. The power you generate during the day costs less than the power you use in peak evening hours (when everyone gets home from work and uses more electricity). Having home energy storage solution would allow you to store your power to offset utility charges at peak times.
Green House Solar are NJ Experts on Solar Battery Backup Systems
Feel free to call us and set up an appointment to discuss Solar and/or battery storage. We sell the best quality equipment on the market. We are Sonnen Certified and we’ve been working with solar battery systems for well over a decade. Let us help you figure out how home energy storage solutions can work for you.