As long as there’s sunlight, Solar PV panels produce free electricity that has zero carbon-emissions. The unlimited supply of solar energy just readily available also happens to be one of the main drawbacks of solar power as a means to power a property. What happens when there’s no sunlight? Light levels are a major factor in how productive your solar PV system is. During the day time at high peak, you’ll be producing plenty of free electricity. At night or during overcast days, however, your consumption will need to have a backup so you’ll either be using a generator if you’re off-grid or you’ll be using electricity from your energy supplier. Your electricity is only free when your solar panels are working.
This isn’t ideal if you’re away at work during the day time. While you’ll make money off renewable energy through the Smart Export Guarantee, it does mean that you don’t benefit from the free electricity yourself. That’s where solar battery storage comes into play. Your electricity from the solar PV panels is then used to charge up the batteries which store up renewable energy ready for you to use no matter the hour.
Why do I need a solar battery?
Having solar batteries gives you much more control over your energy consumption. If you want to avoid using electricity from your energy supplier, batteries allow you to use your own power source before you switch onto the grid. Batteries are an additional extra to your solar PV system but we highly recommend that you have some storage in place so you aren’t missing out on using free electricity.
What is the difference between a battery and an inverter?
All solar PV panel systems need an inverter fitted. The electricity current that Solar PV produces is a DC current – a direct current – whereas home appliances and boilers use AC (alternating current). Inverters convert DC into AC. Solar batteries charge up from the inverter where lithium-ion batteries then store the electricity ready for use throughout the day.
What are hybrid batteries?
If you’re getting a new Solar PV system fitted, a hybrid battery is a good option as it’s both an inverter and a battery. You can add additional storage batteries to the system to give your supply more of a back-up resource for your nighttime energy consumption.
How to calculate how much storage you’ll need
There are three main things to consider when looking into how much battery storage you are likely going to need. You should already have a good understanding of your general energy consumption as this plays into how many solar PV panels you’ll have set up already. What you also need to consider is how your energy consumption behaviour differs between daylight hours and nighttime hours. If you’re using more energy during the day, then you don’t need to be as dependent on stored electricity. You also should consider how many bedrooms you have and how many rooms are in use. The more bedrooms you have, the more rooms that need to have heating overnight and so would benefit from storage to power an electrical central heating system. On average, a two bedroom house would benefit from a 4kWh storage battery.
Realistic storage goals
Having a large storage capacity is the best option if you plan to make more use of your renewable energy during the night. If you aren’t using as much energy during the daytime then the electricity from your solar panels goes to a better use as stored energy. However, you need to bear in mind if your solar PV panel system produces enough electricity during the day to sufficiently charge the larger battery storage. Otherwise you aren’t going to be fully charging your battery.
Some appliances also only need to be on for an hour at best – such as dishwashers and washing machines so it may work best to adapt your routine around your energy system. Having these smaller load appliances working off the solar panels means that you can then store up enough energy during the day to then power continuous load appliances like fridges, freezers and a/c units.
Every system and household is different which is why our team at Dynamic Solar builds your system around your requirements and consumption. We work together to come up with a storage system that will make sure you are making the most out of your free, renewable energy supply.
Storing energy as heat with heat batteries
Electricity doesn’t have to just be stored in batteries. You can change over your hot water system to a heat battery that stores electricity as heat. This heat is then released as and when you need it, heating up a water supply. Heat batteries are up to 4-10 times more energy efficient than traditional water cylinders and are definitely a consideration if you wish to have your hot water off-grid.
Getting started on using renewable energy 24/7
If you’re looking into getting a solar PV panel system set up at your business or home, storage batteries are absolutely a consideration. Use your renewable energy the smart way and take full control of what you use during all hours of the day. You can further reduce the costs of your electricity bill. For businesses that need to run high load appliances, especially buildings with ample refrigeration, having backup stores is a must.
We can help you get started with a free quote to give you an idea of the costs and timeframes. You can request a free quote here.
At Dynamic Solar, our service covers the full package. We carry out surveys, give you helpful advice and recommendations on what sort of system will work best for you. We also handle the electrical work, the installations themselves and will set you up with storage. Our team is also fully accredited so will rig up your system if you wish to sell power back to the grid. You can make some profits off your energy provider’s Solar Export Tariff this way.
If you’d like to get some more information about our products and services, you can request it here.
Have any questions? Please feel free to chat to a member of our team on 01202 985325 or drop us a message using our online contact form.