Solar batteries are typically associated with homes that are completely off the grid. They allow homeowners to continue to use their appliances even on days where the sky was too cloudy to generate much electricity. However, they also have a number of uses even for homes that are connected to the grid—they can help you move further away from grid power and reduce your energy bills.
Why would a homeowner whose home is connected to the local electrical grid want to install a solar battery? Read on for three great reasons to add one to your home.
1. Allows You to Avoid Peak Usage Hours, Saving You Money on Your Energy Bill
Most power companies charge extra when you're drawing power during peak hours, which is typically in the afternoon when most people have returned home from work and before they've gone to bed. When you add a solar battery to your home, you can avoid using any energy from the grid during peak hours, which can significantly reduce your energy bill.
How does it work? During the morning before the sun comes up and your solar panels begin generating electricity, your home will be powered by the grid. When the sun's overhead, your panels will begin rapidly generating electricity, allowing them to charge your solar battery. When peak hours start during the afternoon and the sun goes down, your home switches to using power from your solar battery rather than drawing power from the grid. When you use your solar battery in this way, you'll completely avoid peak hours as long as there was enough sunlight that day to charge your solar battery.
If you're living in an area where the local power company reimburses you for putting energy back into the grid with your solar panels, you can still continue to do this even with a solar battery. Once the battery is fully charged, the energy that your panels produce will continue to feed into the grid as normal. You don't have to worry about your new solar battery causing you to lose out on your energy reimbursement.
2. Newer Solar Batteries Are Much Safer and More Efficient Than Older Designs
Solar panels aren't new technology, even in residential usage. Until recently, however, solar batteries were rare. The reason for this is that older solar battery setups typically used lead-acid batteries to store energy. This is similar to trying to power your home with a rack full of car batteries that are chained together. Lead-acid batteries were fairly dangerous (they can produce gases that are both toxic and flammable) and inefficient. They didn't last very long, and discharging them below 50% of capacity would significantly degrade their usable lifespan.
The reason why solar batteries are now becoming more popular is that manufacturers have been creating lithium-ion batteries for home use. They're the same type of batteries used in smartphones and electric vehicles. These batteries are much safer and much more efficient than lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion home batteries can simply be attached to a wall in your closet or in your garage—you don't have to maintain them or worrying about them exuding toxic fumes. The increased efficiency and safety profile of lithium-ion batteries has been the driving force behind solar battery adoption—they're much superior to older methods of storing energy for home use.
3. Allows You to Ignore Minor Power Outages in the Grid
Finally, a solar battery acts similarly to a generator for minor power outages. If power in the grid goes down, your solar battery will kick in and run the appliances in your home. If you live in an area that's prone to constant power outages, adding a solar battery to your home will allow you to weather them without interruption.
Overall, advancements in battery technology combined with more manufacturers beginning to compete in the area of whole-home batteries have led to solar batteries becoming safer and much less expensive. If you're planning on installing solar panels on your home, make sure you get a solar battery installed alongside them. If your home already has solar panels, contact a solar company in your area and see if you can add a solar battery to your existing setup—some manufacturers make batteries that can be dropped into a current solar energy system without making too many modifications.