One of the finest instruments we have to address climate change and take back some control from utility companies is solar power. The one major drawback of solar panels is that they cannot generate electricity when the sun isn’t shining.
Solar energy storage can help with that. By storing the electricity for later use, a solar panel system with energy storage enables the use of solar energy even when the sun is not shining.
Solar storage is not only beneficial for the environment, but it also gives homeowners access to dependable backup power and, in some situations, substantial savings on their electric bills.
How to store your solar energy
Most households prefer to store their solar energy by using a solar battery. Technically, solar energy can be stored via mechanical or thermal energy storage methods like pumped hydro systems or molten salt energy storage technologies, but these choices demand a lot of room, resources, and moving components. Not the most practical method overall for storing energy for a residence.
On the other hand, solar batteries are a fantastic way to store solar energy for homes. Lithium ion batteries are the most popular form of battery used for solar energy storage. Compared to other solar energy storage options available on the market, such as lead-acid batteries, lithium ion batteries last longer, require less maintenance, and occupy less space.
Through a series of chemical processes in which lithium ions are transported through an electrolyte solution inside the battery, lithium ion batteries are able to store solar energy. Therefore, a chemical reaction takes place when electricity from solar panels is sent to the battery storage system, which then stores the energy by moving lithium ions and releasing electrons in an electrolyte solution inside the battery.
Electrons flow backward when electricity from the battery needs to be used, which causes the battery to be depleted. The battery is rechargeable since this procedure can be repeated repeatedly.
How much does solar energy storage cost?
Your home’s solar energy storage upgrade will cost between $9,000 and $12,000.
The cost of storing solar energy has been falling every year as battery technology advances and more people use it. However, this does not negate the fact that solar storage is still quite expensive. Fortunately, certain states, like California’s SGIP Program, offer rebates and incentives expressly for solar energy storage that lessen the impact of up-front expenditures. Additionally, solar batteries qualify for the 30% federal tax credit for solar energy.
The type of battery you select, the manufacturer, and the number of batteries you install will all affect the final cost of your solar energy storage system. The Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem RESU, and Sonnen are a few of the most well-known brands of solar batteries.
Unsure of where to begin when looking for solar energy storage? See our comprehensive guide to solar batteries.
The benefits of solar energy storage
It is understandable why solar energy storage systems are growing in popularity each year; to name a few advantages of implementing solar-plus-storage:
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels cannot supply your home with electricity during a power outage. You must combine your solar system with a solar battery if you want to keep your lights on when the power grid is down. This is why states like California, where severe power outages are frequent, see the highest levels of energy storage use.
Additionally, compared to gas-guzzling generators, solar batteries provide backup power in a much quieter manner. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about charging a battery; all you have to do is sit back and wait for the energy from your solar panels to be available for use.
With solar energy storage, you may depend less on the power grid. We already know that means you’ll be safe when the power on the grid fails, but it also means you’ll have less of a reliance on the utility in general.
One benefit of solar energy storage is that it shields you from the annual rate spikes that are all but certain to occur. You can draw electricity from a battery rather of using the grid and paying high charges for it.
Additionally, you are fully aware of the source of your ability. With the help of a utility, energy can be produced from foreign gas and oil. You may relax knowing that your roof is producing the solar energy that powers your home.
Electric bill savings
Due to a utility pricing structure known as net metering, a solar battery won’t often save you additional money on your power bills. If your home generates more solar energy than it needs, your utility will pay you the full retail rate of power for it. This is known as full retail net metering. The utility essentially serves as your “financial batteries.”
Not all utilities, meanwhile, provide complete retail net metering; instead, they pay less for extra solar electricity. Here is where additional power bill reductions from solar energy storage are possible. You keep your extra electricity for later use and receive the full retail value out of it rather than sending it to the grid and getting paid at a cheap rate.
Solar storage is especially beneficial if your utility imposes higher electric charges during peak demand hours using time-of-use rates. During these times of peak demand, you can use the electricity stored in your battery to avoid paying the high rates established by your utility.
Reducing your carbon footprint
The majority of the power produced by several utility companies in the US is still produced using polluting fossil fuels. This implies that you probably contribute to the burning of fossil fuels for every kilowatt-hour of electricity you use from your utility.
However, you may use all of the electricity your solar energy system generates with solar energy storage devices, enhancing the amount of renewable energy your home runs on. Solar energy usage reduces carbon emissions, improves the quality of life on Earth, and promotes happiness.
Is solar energy storage right for your home?
Solar battery storage will be a wise investment for you if you reside in an area with frequent electric grid outages or if your utility charges by the hour. Otherwise, solar batteries are still rather pricey, so most homeowners won’t benefit financially from them.
Solar batteries provide several advantages, but you must decide if they are worth the expense. In other words, installing solar energy storage is more of a luxury than a necessity.