Save It For a Rainy Day: How to Store Solar Energy in a Battery
If you want to run your home entirely off of solar power, you'll need to know how to store solar energy. Here we discuss a typical energy storage system.
Lithium is far and away the best option for solar energy storage
The consumption of oil, gas, coal, and other non-renewable sources is increasing exponentially. Even though many countries, including the United States, have started implementing the use of solar energy, we still have a long way to go.
There are 174 Petawatts of incoming solar energy in the earth's upper hemisphere. About 30% of that energy is reflected back into space, but the rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans, and land masses. There is plenty to go around.
Fossil fuels are harmful to the world and it's living creatures and there are many ways in which we can dramatically decrease our use.
Learning how to store solar energy in your home is a great way to make your contribution to the environment, and to save money in the process. Keep reading to find out about the different ways you can store solar energy, and in particular, how to do so using a battery.
What Is Solar Energy?
Before we get into details about storing solar energy, let's quickly go over what it is. Simply put, solar energy is energy from the sun.
It is a renewable source of energy, unlike fossil fuels such as gas and oil. It's one of the cleanest sources of energy as it doesn't produce any pollutants. It's easy to install, requires little to no maintenance, and is much cheaper than energy derived from fossil fuels.
The only downfall of solar energy is that it cannot be used when there is no sun, that is unless you store it. So how can you store yours and be on your way to being completely renewable today?
How Is Solar Energy Stored Without a Battery?
Did you know that some countries use spaceships that are powered by solar energy on space expeditions? If it's that easy, it's something that any of us could do in our own homes.
Solar energy storage can be done with or without a battery. If you aren't using a battery to store energy, then the grid to which you are connected will act as a giant battery.
Think about when you need the most energy. For many households, the time when appliances are most used is in the early morning and at night, before bedtime. These are times when there is little to no sun. That's why it's important to allow your power to draw from the fresh sun during the day when it's at it's strongest.
Then, when you need lots of energy at those other times, you can draw from the grid which acts as a giant battery.
You probably won't use all the power that you store so if you live in a state that offers net energy metering, you can send back that access power for credit on your bill.
The issue with this option, however, is that if the grid is down, your power should be as well. Especially if you live in an area where there are natural disasters, or you're on an unreliable power grid, it's probably in your best interest to get a battery.
How Is Solar Energy Stored with a Battery?
If you have a battery to store excess energy, you won't need much use for a grid at all. And you'll be using 100% clean, renewable energy.
When you pull from the grid, even if you're using it to store the renewable energy that your solar panels have generated, all it does is pull from grid energy as a whole. That means that you could be pulling energy that was derived from fossil fuels.
You need a good place to store the battery in your home. Batteries should be placed in a dry, clean, well-ventilated area of your home where there is no chance of water, dust, or oil getting to them.
An inverter will convert the DC energy that is produced and turn it into AC energy that is ready for use. This energy will then be stored in your batteries. Some batteries contain their own inverter.
Which Type of Battery Should You Buy?
There are many different types of batteries that can be used to store solar energy, including lead-acid, lithium, nicad, and nife.
Lithium batteries have very long life cycles and powerful discharge and recharge rates. They are charged at nearly 100% efficiency, making them arguably one of the best, if not the best option for batteries out there.
They are also extremely low maintenance whereas a flooded lead acid battery requires a lot of support. Cold weather can drain the life out of a solar powered battery, but lithium batteries do very well in colder weather and are less affected by those extreme temperatures.
Overall, there are many more benefits to buying a lithium battery when looking to set up your storage system.
How to Store Solar Energy in Your Home
Making the decision on how to store solar energy in your own home is one that requires a lot of thought and understanding.
Either way, if you're worried about every enduring a few hours or a few days without power due to a grid shutdown or maintenance, it's in your best interest to decide to store your energy using a battery.
Furthermore, if you want your home to be 100% renewable, the only way to do so is by using a lithium battery, which will waste little to no energy and will prevent you from having to draw from a grid that stores non-renewable energy as well.
Do you have more questions about your home storage system? Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are here to help. Give us a call anytime to speak directly with one of our energy experts.