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All About Solar Batteries

There are always new innovations and changes in the solar industry every single year. One of the most impactful ones in recent years has been the emergence of solar batteries. While solar batteries have been around for a long time, major companies in the solar space are looking at them as the next frontier. Tesla is heavily pushing their Powerwall system and innovations like that will make it so that a solar battery and panel system will become more and more adopted over time. As an industry, we’ve already greatly increased the power and efficiency of solar panels and now it is time to store that energy and use it even when the sun is down to maximize savings and efficiency.

It’s an exciting time to get into the large-scale home solar battery because you can now power 100% of your home with one. Before we talk about the benefits let’s explain a little bit about how it works.

How Solar Batteries Work?

Solar batteries, like batteries in general, store energy in the form of electricity for late use. The important thing to consider with any battery, but especially one that you hope to run your entire home off of, is the battery's capacity. Capacity is essentially how much electricity you can store within it. Think of it as a bucket. Any excess solar power you are generating will spill over into the battery, which can be emptied when you need it. For solar batteries, this is likely to occur at night when your solar panels can’t provide electricity and during peak usage times where your energy usage exceeds your solar panel’s ability to produce it.

To get all of that done, you will need a really big battery, even more so if you need a battery system for your business.

How Does This Impact Net Metering?

One of the benefits of a solar system is the concept of net metering. If you weren’t aware, net metering is the idea that you can sell the excess energy your solar panel produces back to the grid. This is especially useful during peak times when energy is hard to come by on the grid. All of a sudden that excess energy is going into your battery system, right? Well, the good news is that you can still benefit from net metering, but only after your solar battery is completely filled. Besides net metering always comes in the form of a credit against the energy you’re taking from the grid. Your reliance on the grid could go all the way down to zero if you have a big enough battery meaning you would not need net metering at all.

The Benefits

So, we’ve already discussed how homeowners with their own home solar battery can store their excess energy and even still benefit from net metering. How do benefits like this translate into your everyday life? We’ll explain

First off, a solar battery allows you to stretch the amount of energy your solar panel system can provide. You’ve already spent a good amount of money to get solar panels installed. Luckily, you’re receiving free energy as a result. However, like anything else, there is an obvious caveat to that energy, and that is that you need the sun to be up. At night when energy use can skyrocket for some families, you’ll be forced to rely on the grid.

A battery system allows you to improve your original investment and give you even more free energy. Now you can get free energy at night or during peak times.

Secondly, a battery system can give you peace of mind. Who knows what the rest of 2020 and beyond will hold. We’ve seen wildfires, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. In California, we understand how natural disasters can impact the infrastructure we all rely on, and in particular the power and energy infrastructure.

A battery system frees you from the grid. If you get a good-sized battery, you could literally not pay a single dime to the electric company ever again. When problems with our outdated power infrastructure come about, you simply won’t be affected by them. Your battery can act as a generator and easily keep your home running smoothly for a few days, all at zero cost and without burning any fossil fuels. This just isn’t the case with a normal solar energy system because of the way it interacts with the grid.

In addition to that, the solar battery as a generator isn’t loud and noisy because there are no moving parts. A gas-powered generator is loud, annoying, and difficult to find a great place for. No one wants to search around at night after a power outage to search for the gas and fill up the generator. With the solar battery, it is already a part of your normal power expenditures and requires no extra work to function.

So to recap, a solar battery enhances your existing solar panels. This reduces your carbon footprint and your reliance on the grid even more. Because you are lessening your reliance on the grid, you can even power your home using the solar battery ad a generator with no moving parts, no noise and no hassle! If you need one more reason, solar batteries like the Tesla Powerwall are sleek and modern. You’ll always have something to show off and talk about because people love to see where the world of technology is headed.

So Should You Go Solar?

Now that you know the pros, we must weigh them against the cons and figure out whether a solar battery system is the best option for you and your family. Like most solar and solar-related installations, a battery system’s main con is that it costs a lot up-front. Again as we mentioned you are getting more free energy out of that initial cost, so your system will pay for itself eventually. Still, it’s something to keep in mind.

However, there are other incentives to go solar that help with this. There are a variety of rebates and incentives depending on the type of system you go for. Most solar panel owners understand the federal solar ITC, which you’ve likely benefited from if you’ve installed within the past two decades, but there are so many other solar incentives. Some are federal and some are more locally based, but it’s important to do thorough research and talk to your solar company so you can take advantage of the right incentives! In California, on the statewide level, we have the Self-Generation Incentive Program, which you’ll want to know about before you get your battery installed. You can learn more about it here!

Overall, every situation and every family will have different needs. The important thing is to do your own research and if you can afford the up-front cost, see if the benefits will work for you.

Energy Concepts is a licensed installer of the Tesla Powerwall and would love to walk you through the specific options and specs one can provide to you and your family. To learn more about a solar battery installation for your home or business, contact our team at (559) 377-7080 or fill out an online form!