Battery Basics for Energy Storage Systems

There are many benefits of installing an energy storage system along with your solar system. An energy storage system allows you to store excess energy for use when your panels aren’t producing, you don’t want to pay for peak grid usage hours, or as a safeguard in case of a power outage. 

When deciding whether or not to install an energy storage system, it’s not only important to understand the benefits of doing so, but also the basic mechanisms of the battery system itself to help you make the most informed decision about which battery is right for you. 

Generally, there are three types of batteries available for energy storage:

Lead Acid

While these batteries are the cheapest option available, they also are known to have a relatively short lifespan. If purchasing this type of battery, consider that you may need to replace it much more quickly than if you had gone with another option. These batteries also require regular maintenance to ensure they’re working efficiently.

Lithium Ion

Lithium Ion batteries are the so-called “gold standard” for energy storage. They are safe, durable, reliable, and have a high level of storage capacity. These are the batteries most recommended for solar energy system storage.

Lithium Iron Phosphate

These batteries are easily accessible but have a lower capacity and shorter lifespan than lithium ion batteries.

Batteries alone, however, are not responsible for energy storage. By itself, a battery is useless. In order to store energy from your solar panels, your battery needs a battery management system (BMS) and power control system (PCS). The BMS and PCS work in conjunction to understand the battery’s charge and discharge requirements and send signals to the battery to initiate both of those processes, allowing your battery to both store and release energy for you to use. 

When choosing an energy storage system, the most important factor is choosing a system that has components that are specifically designed to work together—battery included. Our experts can help you understand the ins and outs of different energy storage systems and recommend one that best suits your energy and budgetary needs. 

If you’re ready to make the switch, fill out the form below to schedule an in-home solar consultation with one of our consultants!