If you’re researching solar energy systems, you’ve probably heard about solar batteries. Some people may have sung the praises of batteries while others don’t mention them at all. So you’re wondering, “will my solar power system have batteries? Do I need batteries?”
That’s up to you. In this article, we’ll sort out the battery confusion and help you answer the question for yourself.
Do I need solar batteries?
Solar batteries are an optional add-on to your solar panel system. As the name implies, solar batteries store some of the excess solar power your system produces. They can provide electricity when there’s not enough sunlight to power your home. Or, more commonly, homeowners like the idea of battery backup to provide energy when there’s an outage on the grid.
Most utilities require you to stay on the utility grid. So, when your solar panels create more energy than you need during peak sunlight hours, you’ll feed the excess into the grid. And then at night, when there’s not enough solar energy to power your home, you will draw from the grid. Your utility statement will show credits and debits to reflect your usage and the extra energy you sent into the grid. This process is called net-metering (read this for the nitty-gritty on net-metering). Since you’re tied into the grid, you’ll lose power along with all the other affected homes or businesses if there’s an outage. But, if you have battery backup, you’ll save some of the extra energy you produce, and if there’s an outage, your home can power right on through!
What are my other options?
If you don’t want to lose electricity if there’s an outage on the grid, what other options are there besides solar batteries? The most common alternative is to have a backup generator that you can power on if the electricity goes off in your neighboorhood. A generator is a simple and cost-effective option.
In the end, the decision to use solar batteries comes down to your preference. If you aren’t sure what’s right for you, we can help with that! Contact one of our experts today and we’ll be happy to help you weigh the options and then we’ll design a solar energy system that’s customized for you.