Battery storage is becoming an increasingly popular option with solar PV. It provides the opportunity to store the solar electricity generated during the day for use later in the evening. This reduces the need to export excess energy and then purchase it from the grid later at an increased price.
Basics of Battery Storage
Normally a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation only provides energy during the day with generation from the sun. So any excess energy produced is sold to the grid at a low price and then when power is needed at night, it’s bought back at a much higher price.
A solar battery storage system provides the opportunity to use more of the green electricity generated, and benefit by increasing ‘self-use’ from around 50% to 85% or more, helping save money on energy bills.
Some solar battery storage systems can also provide emergency backup power in case of a power cut, helping make the property more independent from the grid.
We can provide battery storage solutions as part of your GB-Sol Solar system. We can supply everything you need from the battery itself to DC cabling and a compatible inverter.
And even if a solar battery storage system doesn’t seem right just yet, we can provide a solar panel system that is easily upgraded to include a battery in the future. Therefore, savings on your energy costs can be started now with the option to maximise this later.
Depending on the size of the PV system, a battery can fully charge with a few hours of direct sunlight. Once charged, any excess renewable energy produced will be exported to the grid. When more electricity is being consumed than produced, energy will be released from the battery.
Only when this is depleted will energy be bought from the grid, reducing the reliance on energy companies and giving better protection from ever increasing electricity costs which could see prices be up to double that of today by 2030.
(Information provided is a rough indication for illustrative purposes)
Different Battery Storage Options
We can supply either Lithium or Lead-acid batteries depending on your requirements. While Lithium batteries are smaller, quicker to charge and have a longer life expectancy, they have a higher initial cost. When comparing the two, it’s important to look at the available kWh and not the listed size as Lithium batteries will have a higher depth of discharge.
We can also offer both AC and DC coupling systems. AC coupling has higher array-to-load efficiency if demand occurs at the same time as solar production with DC coupling giving a better array-to-load efficiency if demand requires the energy to be stored for later use. Therefore, the selection may depend on the habits of the occupants of the property.
Sizing the System
The size of the battery required will depend on the reasons for installing one as well as daily usage and available space. Most power cuts last less than an hour so if the main focus is to protect against these, a small battery may be sufficient. If enough electricity needs to be stored to cover the entire evening, what’s required will differ greatly depending on the average evening energy consumption. If the home needs to be more self-sufficient and store enough energy to last a few days and be more or less off-grid, a much larger storage battery would be required. Again the exact size of the system will vary according to individual demand.
We can help discuss your requirements and come up with the right solar battery storage system. We can also look at the payback periods and expected return.
We work with many manufacturers so we can build the system to meet your individual requirements and are able to build customised controls and interfaces with smart buildings.
We cover installation of battery systems in our one-day training course which is free for installers and those in the solar industry. See here for more information GB-Sol Training Courses.