You might be thinking if batteries are necessary solar equipment considering all the hassles they cause. Is it even possible to power your house with solar power without a battery?
The quick response is yes, you can.
In some circumstances, having a solar battery backup is advantageous, although it is not always necessary.
Here are some situations where solar + batteries can be useful and others where sticking with straightforward rooftop solar panels may be the best course of action.
Grid-Tied: Like a Giant Battery, the Grid
Lower solar production occurs in the early morning, immediately before sunrise, or in the waning light of day, when energy demands are higher than during these times. You’re getting ready for the day when you wake up, or you’re preparing dinner and helping the kids with their schoolwork. When that happens, you’ll need a lot of power, but solar panel output is either starting to pick up steam or starting to decline.
People that use solar power frequently use the grid during these times, especially at night, serving as a massive energy backup system. You utilize your clean, solar-generated energy when the sun is out; when it’s not, you draw power from the grid.
An arrangement like this is known as a grid-tied system. This might be regarded as a means of “storing energy” without the use of a battery system.
When the sun is completely out in the middle of the day, you’ll likely produce even more energy than you require. You can transmit that extra electricity back to the grid and receive credit if you reside in a state that uses net energy metering. In a sense, this “stores” the energy on the grid for eventual use. Your system shifts into reverse when you need electricity at night and draws the required amount. If you are connected to the grid, you can still use power from it even if you don’t produce any extra.
You don’t need the grid very much, if at all, if you have your own batteries installed. Your own energy is stored, and you draw from it. A backup to a backup is the grid.
Hybrid Systems: The Best Uses for Batteries
A battery backup system might come in handy the most for people who:
- live in a location where the electrical grid is unstable
- live in an area that experiences frequent natural disasters
A battery is probably the solution if you simply like the thought of being totally independent from the grid or using only sustainable energy. Even though it would be ideal to just use your own renewable energy, it isn’t always how the grid operates. When you draw power from the grid, it comes from a general pool that may contain sources from fossil fuel plants.
Hybrid systems integrate solar energy with battery banks, a grid link, and other components. The batteries are accessible in case the grid goes down and are configured to make the most of your own solar power (for some savings in Time Of Use pricing zones). In most cases, you will have access to grid power if your own solar and battery generation is insufficient.
Off-Grid: When a Battery is Necessary
You will need a battery storage device to store your solar generation if you reside in a distant, undeveloped location without a centralized utility system. If you want to keep the lights on at night when your system isn’t producing, you must do this.