The Benefits of Installing a Solar Backup Battery?

“Should I install a solar backup battery?” That’s a question we frequently get at A.M. Sun Solar. The answer is yes, especially with the looming changes to Net Energy Metering and ever-rising utility costs.

Installing a backup battery will ensure that your system is working at top efficiency. With a backup battery, you won’t have to rely on PG&E for energy during peak usage hours. You won’t be negatively impacted by solar mandates and other regulations. You’ll also be covered if there’s a power outage or other emergency.

Of course, there are quite a few ways to store your solar energy. In this article, we’ll break down the benefits to storing solar energy and the best ways to do it.

What are the benefits of storing solar energy?

If you don’t have a way to store your solar energy, it has to be used the moment it’s generated. This isn’t a problem during the day when sunlight is readily available. However, nighttime hours are when peak energy consumption takes place. Most people are home from work, watching television, cooking dinner, and heating up or cooling their homes to sleep comfortably. Solar energy can’t be used during these times unless you have a backup battery. Storing your solar energy with a home battery allows an energy reservoir to be charged during the day— when generation is high and demand is low—and then released at night when generation is low and demand is high.

Energy resilience

Power outages can happen during bad weather, accidents, or wildfires. Storing your solar energy eliminates your dependence on the grid, greatly reducing your susceptibility to outages.

Filling in the gaps

Cloudy days, routine maintenance work or other brief disruptions in your solar energy output are to be expected from time to time. Storing your energy can help fill in the gaps that these occurrences produce, preventing you from having to rely on grid energy.

Which battery is right for you?

Now that you understand the many benefits of storing your solar energy, the next step is to choose how you will store that energy. The most popular, cost-effective, and efficient way to store your solar energy is by installing a backup battery. These include:

Lithium ion batteries are the go-to for solar energy storage. They are relatively expensive but are becoming popular for their long lifespan and lack of maintenance requirements. 

Lead acid batteries are currently the cheapest option for solar energy storage. If budget is your main concern, these may be the best option. However, these batteries tend to be short-lived, require regular maintenance, and aren’t as efficient as other options available. 
Lithium iron phosphate batteries are easily accessible but have a lower capacity and shorter lifespan than lithium ion batteries.

How exactly do solar batteries work?

Most solar systems with backup batteries follow three basic steps. 

  1. Produce. Your solar panels collect sunlight and turn it into DC (direct current) energy. Your system’s inverter then converts that energy into AC (alternating current) energy. This is the type of energy your home and electronics use.
  2. Store. After the energy is converted, it powers appliances and devices as it flows throughout your home. Energy that isn’t used will be directed to the battery for storage. If you don’t have a battery or the battery is fully charged, the energy will be sent to the grid.
  3. Power. When you need more energy than your solar system is producing or are experiencing a temporary disruption, your battery will automatically discharge and your home can use stored energy instead of relying on grid energy.

A.M. Sun Solar highly recommends installing a backup battery. Our team is here to help you understand the ins and outs of solar battery technology. We can also assess your energy needs, utility rates, and solar output to figure out how much you’ll save with a backup battery.

More about A.M. Sun Solar

A.M. Sun Solar is the local leader in custom solar solutions and installations on the Central Coast. For over 15 years, A.M. Sun Solar has provided high quality, cost efficient solar energy to residences and small businesses in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties. With a wide variety of financing solutions available, affordable pricing, custom solutions and complete installations from permit to interconnection, A.M. Sun Solar is the go to local solar company on the Central Coast.

Ready to make the switch? Fill out the form below to schedule a free solar consultation!