Most homeowners do not realize how vulnerable their power access is until something hits the power grid. Southeast Asia experiences extreme weather events that disrupt the power grid for several days. Homes and businesses that depend 100% on the power grid suffer losses of perishable goods, medicines, and lost working hours. This is why solar batteries are increasingly useful in energy storage solutions. They reduce the dependence on main electricity grids and lower bills.
A home without a backup energy source is 100% dependent on the power grid, while a household using solar power is off-grid. Access to mains electricity is high in Southeast Asia is over 90%. But most are vulnerable to disruptions of the power grid. Solar batteries ensure uninterrupted power by enabling switching between AC and DC as needed.
Solar batteries are a viable energy backup plan. These batteries are optimized to store solar energy generated by photovoltaic solar panels. Solar batteries are at the forefront of the race towards switching to clean energy and reduced dependence on the mains power grid.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
Solar batteries are a form of renewable energy storage. They store solar excess solar energy from solar panels for use when solar panels stop producing energy; at night and in cloudy skies. Solar batteries are also an alternative power source to the mains AC electricity.
In the absence of batteries, a solar energy system is entirely self-consuming. That means all the energy is expedited in powering appliances and lighting. The excess energy is wasted if the solar system is not designed to feed into the mains grid.
Solar batteries store this excess energy instead of going to waste or draining into the grid. This energy is available for use on-demand, either when the mains power is disrupted or to optimize power usage for lowered energy bills.
Can Solar Batteries Fit Into an Existing Solar System?
It is easy to fit solar batteries into an existing solar energy system. A competent technician can install solar batteries in a few hours or a day. The solar batteries purchase kit comes with;
- Solar batteries
- Control panel
- Monitoring system
- Onboard sensors
Solar batteries can also be installed in a house with conventional AC mains power. The solar battery kit is plug and play. The inverter is connected to the mains, and the solar battery connects to the DC side of the inverter. Solar panels are also installed to feed energy into the battery. The intelligent control panel can switch to DC power as programmed or when there is a disruption of the AC power.
The inverter converts the solar battery DC power into AC power and feeds it into the house mains electric wiring. Conversion to DC power happens only when needed to achieve maximum efficiency.
What Kind of Batteries Are Solar Batteries?
Many people were wary of solar batteries in the past because they were made of lead, either lead-acid or lead-gel. These batteries were heavy, did not achieve 100% power discharge, and had less than 80% efficiency.
Lithium-ion technology is the preferred technology today for solar energy batteries and accounts for today’s biggest share of renewable energy storage. These batteries have over 90% efficiency and discharge power 100%. They are more compact and lighter than lead batteries.
How To Choose Solar Batteries
There are several factors that you should weigh when deciding on the type of solar battery you want;
1. Storage Capacity
Battery capacity is measured in kWh. Ideally, a solar battery should have the ability to power the house through a whole night. Here is a quick way to assess the battery capacity you need;
- 4 kWh battery will power a vacuum cleaner for one hour plus a TV for 13 hours
- 2 kWh battery will power the TV, vacuum cleaner, plus a washing machine for 4.5 hours
- 12 kWh battery will power all the essential appliances in the house, including vacuum cleaner, TV, washing machine, electric stove, and washing machine
2. Battery Efficiency
The total efficiency is the percentage of energy stored in the battery that can be truly used after conversion losses. Conversion losses happen when energy is lost as heat. Li-ion batteries achieve over 90% efficiency.
3. Depth of Discharge
What percentage of the stored energy can be withdrawn from the battery? Li-ion batteries achieve 100% discharge. They do not require a residual charge. This is crucial for a battery because batteries typically have a residual charge to avoid damage. It means Li-ion batteries can be repeatedly discharged without shortening their lifetime.
Solar batteries can reduce dependence on electricity grids by acting as alternative power sources. Solar energy is free, and harnessing it can reduce energy bills drastically. Solar batteries also ensure that a home accesses uninterrupted power when the electricity grid is down. The home remains comfortable and secure at all times.