Solar Battery Options

What about Batteries? Do I need batteries? What do batteries cost?

 

What a Battery Bank Will Do For You

Solar System with NO battery

The most economical way to go solar at home is to do a strictly grid-tied system with Net Metering. A grid-tied system uses the electric grid as your battery. Excess power your solar array generates during the day feeds on to the grid and is counted as credits on your power bill for each kWh you send to the grid. At night and during the winter months with less sunlight you can then get those credited kWh’s back at no extra cost. The power company allows you to start saving money by using the grid as your battery by generating your own energy.

When the Power Goes Out

The biggest setback to a grid-tied PV system is that if you loose power from the power company, the solar PV will turn off and you will not be able to use it without a battery back up system.

Due to safety reasons and requirements in National Electric Code, grid tied PV generating systems must remain isolated from the electric grid if the grid is down. You wouldn’t want your solar to put energy on the power lines while the lineman is trying to fix it. The only way to use your solar array in a power outage is to add a battery back-up system.

The Process

  • To make sure we design a battery bank to meet your needs, AEC will need to complete a load study to size an appropriate battery bank.
  • This is a list of what electronic devices you want to power with the battery bank. 
  • We then look at how long you would like to be able to run these electronics when the power goes out. 
  • It is important to calculate this information to make sure the batteries don’t drain before expected.
  • When the sun is out during the day, your solar panels will recharge the battery bank for night time use or for days with little sunshine. 

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