How do solar batteries work?
As you conduct research into your solar project, you should also decide whether or not to include a home battery with your solar panel system.
Home batteries are used to store energy from your solar panels so that it can be used at a later period of time. In most cases, this means charging your batteries during the day while the sun is out, storing excess solar production in the battery, and then using that stored energy to power your electricity needs from sunset to sunrise.
The benefits are clear with home batteries, so the next step is to figure out if this solution works for you. If you are ready to install a home battery, then you should also spend some time looking into the details of this product.
It’s good to know that there are also some additional pieces of hardware, tools, and other components that are involved in a home battery installation.
When installing a home battery, ensure that this battery is hooked up to an inverter. Solar inverters are used to convert electricity from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) so that it can be used by your household appliances or devices. There are many things to look for in an inverter, and it is important to spend a good amount of time on this aspect of your solar panel system.
All home batteries store DC electricity, and solar panels also generate DC electricity. The energy that your solar panel produces is directed into the home battery.
The electricity is then converted to AC through the inverter before entering the AC-based grid, which your home typically draws its electricity from. Before the electricity in your battery can be used for most devices and appliances, it must be converted with an inverter. Therefore, when installing your home battery, this is one of the most important things to look into.
Brackets, Racks, Enclosures, and More
Outside of the inverter and home battery itself, there are not many other significant pieces of hardware that your home battery requires. Depending on the exact type of battery you are installing, there will be some components like brackets or racks, enclosures, plastic piping for wires, screws, cables, etc.
Most of these components will be determined based on the battery itself, but in general you will want a way to hold the home battery in place, whether it be on the wall or on the ground and a way to protect vulnerable features like wiring and electronics.
Solar panels are not required for having a home battery, but it is a very smart decision to pair a home battery with them. Without a solar panel system, a home battery pulls its energy from the grid to charge itself. What this means is that during a prolonged outage, this home battery would only be good for one charge.
With a solar panel system, you can continue charging your home battery even while the power is out.
As long as there is sunlight in the environment, your solar panels will still generate electricity from that. If the outage is going on for more than a day, a solar panel system and home battery will let you charge up during the day and consume the electricity that you save for your primary needs.
Having a system with both of these features also allows you to maximize the savings on your electric bill.
Many utility companies use or are in the process of setting up a time-of-use (TOU) payment method. This payment structure charges different prices per watt of electricity used depending on the time of the day.
The cost is higher at peak hours and lower on off hours. With a home battery, you can save your solar energy to be used during peak hours so you are not buying that power from your utility company.
Your Home Battery
Outside of the typical hardware and components like brackets, plastic pipes, wiring, screws, etc., there are not many other pieces of hardware that you will need to install with your home battery. The most important component however, is the inverter, which is fundamental to allowing you to make use of the energy being stored in your battery.
Solar panels are another feature to look into when considering a home battery. A home battery without panels is still beneficial, but it may not be very economical when all is said and done.
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