Home Battery Storage Explained

Home Battery Storage Explained

Are you curious about what home battery storage is and how it may completely transform the way in which you consume energy in your house? You have arrived at the correct location.

As the trend toward using renewable energy sources gathers steam, batteries that can store solar energy are fast advancing and finding their way into the mainstream.

Batteries were mainly utilized for off-grid solar systems. With the recent advance in lithium battery technology, users want to store additional solar energy, increase self-consumption, and extend their usage.

Due to the regularity of catastrophic weather events causing grid-wide interruptions, families and businesses seek ways to maintain power during lengthy outages.

In this article, we will represent everything you need to know about a home battery system. Those thinking about installing solar battery backup in their homes will also find this context helpful. 

Let’s continue!

What Is Home Battery Storage?

A home battery is a power storage facility installed in a residence to temporarily or permanently store electricity from the grid or renewable sources such as wind and solar.

In addition to single batteries, households may interconnect many batteries together to increase overall energy storage. 

Home batteries, which use lithium-ion technology, charge and discharge like any other rechargeable battery.

Depending on its energy needs and the amount of your house battery, you may use it to power just about everything in your home. Having a home battery offers some incredible advantages. 

Read on to discover how a home battery backup may revolutionize your approach to energy use at home.

Why Home Battery Backup Is a Vital Part of Life?

Energy independence is a goal shared by everybody. Everyone needs the power to do anything productive, from making art to having meaningful conversations to keeping themselves healthy and comfortable.

Maintaining our standard of living depends on constant access to reliable electrical power, which must be available even in times of emergency. 

The public tends to assume it as a given that its utility provider can keep up with their electrical needs, but this is increasingly not the case.

As a result of age, fragility, and unexpected events like storms, floods, or even a squirrel (you read it right), the electrical grid regularly fails. 

In reality, squirrels are a common cause of power outages. Electricity utility providers can no longer rely on grid-connected consumers to supply power on demand.

You may reclaim your independence and put the power back in your own hands with a backup battery system for your house. Household batteries provide a reliable, on-demand power source for homes. 

Having a home battery to store the energy generated by solar panels throughout the day allows many families to utilize that energy when the sun goes down.

In the case of a blackout, some users prefer to leave their house batteries linked to the grid in order to store backup power.

Whether the power system is functioning or not, homeowners using batteries can be certain that they will always have access to the energy they need. Wow, it must be a fantastic sensation.

How does a Battery Storage System Work?

Modern battery energy storage devices are far superior to the AA and AAA batteries you find in your kitchen drawer or buy for your kids’ toys. Power from renewable sources, such as wind and sun, may be used to charge a battery storage system.

It’s not hard to understand how a battery-powered energy storage device works on a fundamental level.

Batteries take in current from an electrical grid, a power plant, or a renewable energy source such as solar panels, store it as current, and then release it when required.

Varieties of Battery Power Sources

Many individuals have trouble deciding which battery is appropriate for whole-house battery backup due to the proliferation of battery types and energy storage systems. The variety of battery types and sizes on the market further adds to the difficulty.

The best action is to consult a solar firm and research available battery types. However, this isn’t always accurate because not all businesses have extensive expertise with batteries and are conversant with the various AC and DC-coupled battery designs.

However, many solar specialists are very knowledgeable and can provide you with the finest system for your needs or advice on optimizing your current solar setup.

3 Main Types of Batteries

Typical lead-acid batteries:

There is no better way to store electrical energy than in lead-acid batteries, which have been widely used in homes and other business settings for decades. Off-grid solar systems, mainly used in rural homes, are their most common.

It’s essential to remember that there are many lead batteries, some of which require maintenance regularly while others do not. 

Regarding cost and upkeep, ‘wet’ lead-acid batteries are on the cheap end of the range, while lead-carbon batteries are among the more expensive but low-upkeep options.

Lithium-ion batteries:

Lithium batteries are the upgraded option compared to lead-type batteries. This ubiquitous availability is a direct result of the popularity of portable gadgets and electric automobiles (EVs).

As a result, many residential battery options are created by or for electric vehicle producers. Although presently pricey, electric vehicles (EVs) have immense promise for the future, and their costs will undoubtedly drop precipitously as their popularity grows.

Flow batteries:

More often employed in industrial-scale energy storage applications and steadily developing.

Deep-cycle lead-acid batteries were typically used in conventional battery systems. While lead-acid batteries were formerly the standard, lithium-ion batteries have recently come to dominate the market due to their many advantages over their heavier predecessors.

What is a Solar Battery?

First, let’s define what a solar battery is:

Solar battery storage is an accessory that may be added to a solar power system to store extra energy.

When your solar panels aren’t producing enough electricity, as at night, on cloudy days, or when the power is off, you may utilize the energy you’ve saved to run your home.

If you don’t have solar power battery storage, you’re not only wasting the energy your solar panels produce but also giving it away to the rest of the grid.

The Science of Solar Batteries

The most often used solar batteries right now are lithium-ion batteries. The technique is identical to that used in batteries for cellphones and other electronic devices.

Lithium-ion batteries store chemical energy and convert it to electrical energy through a chemical process. 

The lithium ions cross back over the electrolyte to the positive electrode whenever current is drawn from the battery. 

Simultaneously, electrons flow from the negative electrode to the positive electrode via the external circuit, providing energy to the plugged-in device.

The performance and security of a home solar battery system are ensured by a combination of numerous ion battery cells and high-tech electronic controls.

Therefore, solar batteries are rechargeable batteries that use the sun’s energy as the spark that ignites the entire process of producing an electrical current.

What Type of Elements do You Require for Solar Power Storage?

You need a battery manager and batteries for a solar battery system to function properly. Two distinct battery managers are offered in the case of PV systems linked to the grid.

The Hybrid Inverter:

It’s a battery management and inverter in one compact package. If your inverter is getting on in years, you may want to consider getting one of these and your new battery system. As a rule, hybrid inverters are sold in sets and are simple to set up.

Power conversion system, either AC or DC:

It connects to the DC or AC side of your present inverter. Retrofitting these devices to an existing system is typically possible, and they have the added benefit of being situated at a greater distance from the solar panels.

The gear needed for an Off-Grid Solution is highly variable and depends on the loads you intend to operate.

A 100-watt photovoltaic (PV) panel, charge controller, and the battery may serve as a basic off-grid installation.

On the other hand, larger loads need more PV panels and might benefit from co-installation with a generator or wind turbine in areas without or with an unreliable grid.

What Role Does a Hybrid Inverter Play in the Operation of Solar Batteries?

Power may be converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and back again using a single hybrid inverter.

Hybrid inverters are becoming increasingly common since they may be used with or without batteries.

Suppose you want to have the option of adding solar energy storage to your system in the future but don’t want to start off with batteries.

In that case, a hybrid inverter is something you can incorporate into your solar power system during the original installation.

Should You Get A Home Battery?

Cost-effectiveness of a battery system is hotly contested. The expensive initial investment and slow return on investment are not excellent financial bets.

However, the statistics begin to stack up in favor of batteries as solar feed-in tariffs (credits you get for feeding extra solar into the grid) decrease.

Check out the savings and expenses of different battery solutions with the help of our free solar and battery calculator.

Money concerns are often secondary to other considerations when buying a battery. Businesses and homes can benefit from battery storage for various reasons, including peace of mind and staying operational during blackouts.

Both energy independence and independence from foreign power sources are essential to us. By storing solar energy in a battery, a community may become more self-sufficient in its energy needs and speed up the switch to a renewable energy grid.

Advantages of Battery Storage

Lithium battery costs have dropped dramatically, making home battery storage systems a viable option for consumers. Saving money on electricity costs and gaining energy autonomy are the two main advantages of using a battery storage system.

Saving Cash:

When combined with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system in a grid-connected house, a battery bank may help homeowners save money in three main ways: solar charging, tariff arbitrage, and selective energy export.

Solar Charging:

When solar energy is utilized to charge a battery bank, the process is called “solar charging.” Daytime solar charging occurs when your system generates more power than your home needs, and the surplus is stored in batteries.

When you store solar energy in a battery bank for use at night, you can reduce your power bill by the difference between your solar feed-in tariff rate and your rate for grid electricity (minus a bit for battery inefficiencies).

If you pay 25c/kWh for grid power and receive a feed-in tariff of 10c/kWh, the solar energy you store in batteries will cost you 13-14c/kWh.

Time of use billing can help you save even more money, as peak rates (when electricity is most costly) coincide with daylight hours.

It’s important to remember that if you reside in an area with a generous solar feed-in tariff, you may not profit financially from installing batteries (unless there is a separate battery incentive).

Selective energy export:

The term “selective energy export” refers to receiving a premium for feeding energy (generated by solar panels or stored in batteries) into the grid at specific times.

In most cases, this means having your energy sold into the grid during peak demand, making you a power plant. While selective export programs are still relatively uncommon, they are becoming increasingly widespread as digital connectivity in the electrical grid increases.

At 5 o’clock on a hot summer afternoon (when many homes would be using air conditioning), a selective export program member may receive a message informing them that they may opt into a particular export event, for which they may be compensated $2 for 1 kWh of energy. 

Rare though they may be, this third cash stream is nonetheless valuable to system owners.

Energy independence:

Another significant advantage of battery storage is energy independence or replacing grid electricity with locally generated (and stored) solar power. 

As the price of batteries continues to drop, it is becoming increasingly feasible for individuals and families to provide all or almost all of their energy demands.

While more energy independence may reduce your monthly energy costs in the short term, it may not be a wise investment in the long run. Before investing in a system, you must do the math and fully understand what you’ll get into.

Cons of Home Battery Systems

Larger initial investment:

Overall, it’s quite an expensive investment.

Complexity:

A hybrid inverter or other monitoring devices required

Space:

Additional space is needed, and it must be positioned in a protected, out-of-the-sun location.

More Solar Or Adding A Battery: Which One is More Efficient?

In many cases, a typical family can generate at least half its annual electricity consumption from solar power alone.

By altering routines and implementing simple timers or “smart” controls to activate high-consumption appliances during the day, you may enhance this without needing a battery to 75% or more.

Heating and cooling systems, pumps, washers, dryers, and even ovens and slow roasters are all appliances that rely on electricity. A battery allows for nearly complete energy independence when combined with maximum self-consumption.

All your daily electricity needs can be met by solar power and a large enough battery, but there will always be cloudy days when you can’t produce or store enough energy to meet your needs entirely.

What Size Battery Should I Get?

Before going into detail, know the essentials. Battery capacity is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and most (lithium) battery systems are modular and expandable.

Old lead-acid batteries were measured in Amp-hours (Ah), whereas newer lithium batteries utilize kWh. Size solar and batteries here.

Next, estimate how much power your home or company uses daily. Your bill should tell you how much kWh you consume every day. A typical family uses 20kWh per day. However, this might be greater or lower depending on the season.

Evaluate how much power you use in the busy evening (4pm to 9pm), when the cost of electricity is frequently the greatest, depending on your service provider.

In our years of building and monitoring household battery systems, we’ve discovered that 6kWh to 10kWh is the most cost-effective size.

Modern all-electric houses and those with home car chargers require larger batteries for maximum self-consumption. Our free solar and battery sizing calculator can help you find the right size for your home.

What is the average price of a home battery system?

Battery capacity, expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and the solar or hybrid inverter are used to determine the final price of a home battery system.

Depending on the size, capacity, backup power needs, and kind of hybrid inverter needed, the price of a home battery can range from $3,000 for a smaller 3 to 4 kWh battery to $15,000 for a larger 12 to 15 kWh battery.

Battery Ready System: What Is It?

A solar system that employs a hybrid inverter instead of a standard solar inverter is marketed as a battery-ready system. If you plan on adding a battery in the future, a hybrid inverter will make the process much simpler.

However, ‘battery ready’ or hybrid inverters can cost up to 30% more than regular solar inverters. It may become difficult to get a suitable battery in a few years as battery technology evolves rapidly.

It is typically advisable to invest in a hybrid inverter and use the inverter monitoring App to assess your consumption and solar performance over 12 months if you are contemplating a battery shortly but are not sure what size would fit your needs.

In this approach, you’ll be able to determine the appropriate battery size based on your actual consumption.

To illustrate, if your system cannot produce enough extra energy to charge the battery throughout the year due to shade, poor weather, or heavy consumption, then there is no use in acquiring a powerful 15kWh battery.

Warranty for Battery Storage

The duration of the warranty is an essential component of the battery storage system.

Battery manufacturers’ warranties might be somewhat different from one another. The hybrid inverter often comes with a 5- or 10-year initial warranty, and the battery comes with its guarantee.

The standard warranty length for a lead acid battery is between 1 and 2 years. This assumes the battery is cared for and maintained per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Most lithium-ion batteries are covered by a 5- to 10-year warranty or a guarantee of at least a certain level of performance for that length of time.

To give you an idea, the LG Chem High Voltage 7.0kWh has a 10-year warranty or one that covers a total energy input of 19.6MWh.

Is Battery Storage Safe?

As long as they are used and stored as the manufacturer specifies, Lithium Ion and Lead Acid batteries are equally risk-free.

Lead acid batteries must be thoroughly ventilated and kept within the temperature ranges to ensure longevity. Most setups provide a way to track battery temperature.

Failure to properly install or utilize high-quality lithium ion batteries increases the risk of fire. Due to their chemical makeup, lithium-ion batteries are more likely to undergo thermal runaway if damaged or overheated.

Because of this, the battery management system, which keeps tabs on everything from the voltage to the temperature of the batteries, is crucial.

A thorough familiarity with the battery you plan to purchase is crucial in reducing the possibility of thermal runaway.

The umbrella term “Lithium Ion” is used to refer to a variety of different lithium technologies. Technology based on Lithium Iron Phosphate is the most secure option (LiFePO4).

Bottom Line

To accelerate the transition from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources, home battery storage technologies are crucial. 

The gap between renewable energy generation and consumption will be overcome by battery storage.

The majority of hybrid battery inverters can provide emergency backup power for basic appliances like lights, refrigerators, and televisions.

However, if you need a robust backup system or instantaneous backup power (similar to a UPS system without delay), an advanced multi-mode inverter, typically used for off-grid systems, is your best bet.

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