So you’ve decided that it is time to go solar, congratulations! Now, how are you planning on doing it?
In the 2020s, grid-tied solar has never been more accessible with a boundless amount of organizations and options designed to help customers get the most out of their renewable energy investment.
So when is it best to install a grid-tied solar system with battery backup?
In this article, we will explore the essential details of solar storage to help you understand the best time to add battery storage to a grid-tied system.
The Benefits of Adding a Battery Back-up System
Installing a battery backup on an existing grid-tied solar system has many benefits for the end-user. Although batteries will add significant expenses to a home solar installation, even those who cannot benefit financially from extra storage will typically install battery backups to secure reliable access to electricity and increase their peace of mind.
Resistance to utility power outages: With battery backup systems, grid-tied solar energy arrays become resistant to utility power outages by providing access to ongoing, sustainable energy. Batteries can be sized to accommodate varying electrical loads for a few hours or days with continuous charging from the attached solar panels.
Increased electricity savings: By using more of the actual power that your solar panels produce, battery-backed solar energy systems can be optimized for self-consumption during ordinary use through the evening or in peak utility periods.
Pure peace of mind: Battery backups help secure access to electricity during grid outages related to weather and natural disasters when emergency power is needed most. Having storage available means that you can continuously produce electricity for lights, appliances, cell phones, and all of your other essentials.
Grid-tied System Vs. Grid-tied Solar System with Battery Backup
What many people do not realize about ordinary grid-tied solar systems is that their solar panels will essentially be rendered useless during utility power outages. Without a battery backup for electricity storage, grid-tied solar panels cannot be used as a solely off-grid system during temporary or extended periods without access to grid power.
By installing a battery backup, grid-tied solar system owners can safely transition into a purely off-grid operating mode, either manually or automatically, depending on the equipment. With this, occupants will have reliable access to continuous electricity to power essentials throughout the home.
Grid-tied Solar System with Battery Backup Vs Off-Grid System
Alternatively, with enough batteries to sustain your everyday demand, it is possible to go completely off-grid with a solar energy system. Whether you are in a remote location or always on the go in a converted van or school bus, off-grid solar systems are a completely sustainable and self-reliant way to access electricity.
Off-grid solar systems are centered around solar panels and batteries. In small-scale installations, chaining together multiple 12V storage units (such as a battleborn solar power battery) is one of the most cost-effective ways to develop a completely off-grid system.
How does a grid-tied solar system with battery backup work?
If you’d like to know the science behind a grid-tied battery-backed solar energy system before you plan your installation, then there are a few main things you will need to understand and consider. Typically, the decision to add a storage backup will depend on the battery capacity and technology as well as several local factors such as climate, electricity price, and expected household demand.
Storage Capacity for Grid-tied Solar Batteries
Today, practical solar energy storage systems span the range of small handheld devices (such as the Patriot Power Cell) to large, shipping-container-sized batteries and battery chains. In the average household, a grid-tied battery hybrid system will typically have enough storage capacity to sustain a small amount of electricity through temporary grid blackouts.
Although it is possible to go completely off-grid with enough battery storage, most grid-tie systems owners cannot afford the massive battery banks to sustain year-round solar energy.
Learn more about estimating the appropriate storage capacity for your solar energy system in
our complete solar battery bank guide.
What is the best kind of solar battery?
Today, a lithium solar power battery is the most popular and efficient technology used for small-scale renewable storage. Before lithium, many other deep cycle storage technologies have been developed and are still used today, such as gel and absorbed glass mat (AGM) sealed lead-acid batteries.
Explore the different kinds of solar energy batteries in our full solar battery bank review.
Do solar batteries save you money?
In the right circumstances, yes, solar batteries can save you money on ordinary utility expenses. Solar batteries open the door to self-consumption when solar energy is not available (i.e. at night or during snowstorms), which means less power is purchased from the utility. In areas with high electricity rates and unfavorable net metering policies, solar batteries can absolutely save home and business owners money on utility energy expenses.
Do you need a battery backup for a grid-tie solar system?
In many instances, no, you do not need a battery backup for a grid-tie solar system. If you live in an area with net metering, grid-tied solar energy systems can still be sized appropriately to produce enough electricity for a typical month of use within the home.
Installations without batteries mitigate substantial expenses by using the grid as a reliable source of backup power where any excess produced solar energy is fed. Home and business owners in cities and suburbs that are not in at-risk areas of the country may not find it necessary to install a battery backup.
Conclusion: Should you install a Grid-tied Solar System with Battery Backup?
If you live in an area with available, but unreliable grid-powered electricity, then yes, we would recommend the installation of a grid-tied solar system with a battery backup. As a “best of both worlds,” solar energy systems that are both battery-backed and grid-tied have the luxury of both self-reliance and ongoing utility power.
In order to get started on your battery backup system, we highly suggest talking to a professional and ideally getting into contact with the person who is installing or has installed your solar panels. For more DIY solar help, feel free to contact Shop Solar Kits today about your next project.