How do batteries work with solar?
When you need solar energy at night or in an emergency, solar batteries may be your saving grace. Choosing between adding batteries to your existing energy plan or having them installed at the time of solar panel installation depends on a few key factors:
How much energy are you expecting to replace in a time of emergency?
How much energy are you expecting to replace at night?
It doesn’t always make sense to add solar batteries to your setup. Backing up an entire home can be very costly, which is why most solar battery backups are used to power a couple of appliances like your refrigerator and a few lights. To power more than that, you’ll need to decide between two solar panel and battery systems: hybrid or off-grid.
Hybrid systems take the excess energy generated from your solar panels during the day and charge your batteries. Any remaining excess energy is sent back into your local grid, where you can take advantage of net metering credits.
Off-grid systems operate the same way as hybrids except without backup energy from a local grid. It’s important that you choose which relationship is best for you. If you know you won’t be benefiting from a local grid but still need energy for nighttime or in case of an emergency, you’ll need to increase the number of solar panels on your home appropriately. Many areas of the country will not let homeowners fully go “off the grid”, so this is an option limited to the regions that do.
Solar batteries are a great way to increase your energy independence, reduce your energy bills, and decrease your carbon footprint.