What you need to know about battery banks
Solar energy systems are often meant to reduce your home’s electricity usage by supplementing the energy your home would have pulled from the grid. They aren’t meant to operate separately from the grid. Even if they are equipped with a battery, they work as a temporary backup, rather than a permanent energy storage solution. This means that you are dependent on either source to power your home. Battery banks will give you the added comfort of reliable energy backups, or even the capability of going off the grid.
How does a battery bank work in a solar energy system?
A battery bank is an array of interconnected battery units that function as one whole battery. Smaller battery banks function more as electrical backups, where they kick in after a complete loss of power from the grid and your solar energy system.
Off-grid battery banks are set up specifically to fulfill your home’s electrical needs. The number of batteries in the bank would need to be enough to power your property for days on end. They can be set up for specific voltages and amp-hours, although these are dependent on your home and the type of array.
Why should I add a battery bank to my solar energy system?
Backup source of energy
If the electrical grid is having issues, and your solar energy system isn’t able to produce enough power, you will run into issues. Battery banks work as a reliable backup energy source if a moment like that happens.
Most solar energy systems in the U.S. vary in the amount of energy they produce month to month. While the exact amount will depend on a variety of factors, such as the weather and the efficiency of your system. There will be days when your solar system produces little to no energy. This means that you will default to the electrical grid. If the grid suffers issues, your home will effectively be out of power until the grid is back to normal, or your solar energy system produces enough power.
Smaller backup batteries like the Tesla Powerwall fall into this category of backup batteries.
Complete independence from the grid
Going off-grid with your solar energy system can be very appealing. Completely cutting out utility bills and the worry of power outages both sound like great positives. As you aren’t dependent on them for your electricity generation. Others may require an off-grid solar energy system for their property. Whether they are unable to get a connection to the electrical grid due to a remote location, or they wish to further reduce their carbon footprint.
Going completely off-grid requires a battery bank that is capable of storing days’ worth of energy. With no other source of electricity, off-grid solar energy systems need to be self-sustaining and have redundancies on days with little to no energy generated. These off-grid solar energy systems are planned and made to suit your property and needs.
What should I consider when adding a battery bank?
When getting a battery bank for your home’s solar energy system you will have to consider how much energy you consume in a day, and how long you want your energy storage to last.
The energy your home consumes daily can be figured out through multiple methods. You can use an energy monitor to get an exact figure or examine your utility bill and work out a rough estimate. Although reading your utility bill can be confusing and can lead to mistakes in your calculations. You can check our article on how to properly read your utility bill, or contact us directly to help you with this step.
With an understanding of your daily energy consumption, you will then want to think about how many days of energy you want to store. Keep in mind, your property constantly consumes electricity. Some days your solar energy system might not generate any power. Having a large enough electricity storage can give your system enough buffer time for the weather to clear up, and your system to start producing electricity again. Most off-grid solar battery banks have three to five days of energy storage.
Get started with solar energy
If you are looking to start your transition to solar energy, we are ready to help you through the whole process. Our website also has a free online estimate tool that generates a personalized report for you from a simplified questionnaire. That report will contain the potential savings you can net, and the cost of a solar energy system installed on your property. You can also contact us directly via phone at +1 (602) 363-8919 or via email at Scott@elitesolarenergy.org for more information regarding solar energy for your property.