Storage Batteries are still quite new, there use and popularity is growing rapidly and growth over the next couple of years is expected to be immense.
It’s expected that over 25% of all solar systems will have a form of energy storage in the next 5 years or so.
There are many benefits to having a storage battery in your home. You may be planning to install a solar system, or you may already have solar and are now looking to pair it up with battery backup. If you’re like most homeowners you may be wondering where to start.
Well, you’ve definitely come to the right place. In this storage battery backup guide, we’ll provide you with information that you will need if you’re thinking about storage batteries.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have good information that you can use to make the best decision for you and your family.
BACK TO WHY PURCHASE A STORAGE BATTERY BACKUP SYSTEM
So, why should you consider installing a storage battery system for your home or your business? Well, there is a big benefit in doing so. For instance, assuming in this case you already have solar panels – when you pair your battery backup system to solar, you can store the extra energy you produce, instead of sending it back to the electricity grid.
Doing this maximizes your solar energy generating system every day. There will be times when you will need more power than your solar panels can produce, this is where your battery backup system comes in – you will use the energy that you’ve stored into the battery while the solar panels were operating at max capacity.
Utility companies continue to increase their rates, so having a battery backup system is a cost-effective investment for homeowners and businesses to help keep the cost of power down.
If your Utility company uses the following rate policies below, then you’ll will see a real cost-savings when you install a battery backup system, you can can still benefit from some cost savings even if you don’t have solar. In this case you charge your battery off peak hours and use the power throughout peak times to help you save money.
- Time of Use Rates (TOU): This means that the cost per kWh, will depend on the time of the day. Generally, electricity costs more when the demand is high – for example late afternoons or evenings. The cost per kWh is usually lower during the off-peak hours.
Off Peak hours are during the daytime when solar panels are the most productive so naturally reliance on the grid is low at this time. If your utility company uses TOU rates, then you will see real energy savings just by using the energy stored in your battery backup during the late afternoon or evening hours.
- Demand charges: If your utility company has demand charges, they will charge you based on your consumption. In most cases this is a fee, the cost will depend on the amount of power that you draw from the grid during late afternoon or evening hours
The fee may be also be determined by how much powered you used that particular month. If your utility company uses this type of billing – there is no doubt that installing a battery backup system will save you some decent amount of money.
Some utility companies in states like Arizona and Illinois and are already planning to add demand charges to residential customers, currently these charges are usually charged by commercial companies. They want to discourage over-reliance on the grid.
- Reduced or no net metering credits: A true net metering system, allows you to receive some power credits on your monthly bill based on the amount of power that your solar panels produce.
For example, if you pay an average of $0.63 per kWh of electricity used, then you will receive a $0.63 credit on your bill per month and this is for every kWh that your solar panels produce and offloaded to the grid.
In states that give these types of credits, installing solar and a battery backup storage system is definitely worth it.
Battery backup systems cost more to purchase and install than a lets say a traditional gas generator, however, they will provide you with clean backup power to be used when you need it most. It’s important to mention that if you have a solar panel system without a storage system, you may not be enjoying all the benefits that come with installing solar power.
For example, imagine that there is a power outage, your home can still run using the energy stored in your solar energy batteries. This is one of the main reasons why energy storage makes a lot of sense.
BATTERY BACKUP SYSTEM TYPES
There are 5 main types of power storage batteries. These are Lead-Acid, Lithium Ion(nickel-based, Lithium-Ion Phosphate and Flow Batteries.
Each battery has strengths and weaknesses – lets get into the details
- Lead-acid batteries: These are arguably one of the most popular storage battery options for most people. These batteries are currently the most affordable but lack the hold power for long periods of time. If you’re a homeowner looking for cheap minimal battery backup system, lead-acid batteries might just do the trick
- Lithium-ion batteries: Lithium-Ion batteries are much newer. They are compact and a bit lighter, compared to the older much more used lead-acid batteries. These batteries come with a higher (DOD) depth of discharge than lead-acid batteries. It just means you get more true power output for longer periods of time.Lithium-ion batteries also require minimal maintenance, however, these batteries are more expensive. Lithium-ion batteries work beautifully paired with solar power installations.
- Lithium “Iron” Phosphate: These batteries have a higher density meaning they can run longer. Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries will have to be slightly bigger to hold the same amount of power as a regular lithium ion battery but it’s worth it. They are also pricier but for good reason.
These batteries are less likely to overheat or catch fire even if they are overcharged. They are also able to run in higher and the chemical makeup of these batteries allows them to last significantly longer. Out of all the batteries Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are the most eco-friendly as they are not considered toxic. These batteries can be used on or off –grid.
Nickel-cadmium batteries: The main benefit of these batteries is their durability. These batteries can comfortably operate at extremely high temperatures as well and don’t require intense regular maintenance. Their main drawback – it’s toxic, “cadmium” is highly toxic so many homeowners or businesses shy away from this type of battery.
- Flow batteries: Instead of using solid electrodes found in lithium-ion batteries, flow batteries use a liquid-based electrolyte to store power. The main strength is the 100% DOD, meaning, you can use all your power stored without damaging it over time. The liquid electrolyte is a fire-retardant, so you can have peace of mind that they won’t catch on fire. They require a substantial amount of space due to their size so they are best suited for large applications, commercial settings, as well as off-grid set-ups where space is not an issue.
So, which battery sounds like a better fit for you? Obviously, the best battery backup system for storing energy will depend on your needs, space, and budget.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BATTERY BACKUP SYSTEMS
When it comes to buying a storage battery backup system, don’t just choose the first battery you come across. Pay attention to the various specifications and use factors, to ensure that you choose the best solar energy storage for your home or business.
Here are some of the factors that you need to consider when buying a storage battery backup system:
- Capacity: Purchase a system that can handle your specific power needs.
- Price: Don’t automatically buy the cheapest storage battery. When it comes to price, it’s advisable to buy the best battery backup system that you can afford.
- Cycle life: Cycle life is important, it refers to the number of times that a battery can charge and discharge before its capacity drops its ability to hold full charge. The more the number of cycles, the higher the price. Some batteries have a 6,000 cycle lifespan some have a 10,000 life span.
COMMERCIAL STORAGE BATTERY SYSTEMS FOR BUSINESSES
Battery backup storage solutions are designed for homeowners as well as business and large commercial applications. Businesses of all sizes can benefit by installing battery backups and then pairing those with their solar systems. Here are some of the benefits
Demand reduction: Installing a storage battery backup system can reduce your reliance on electricity, this can significantly boost your bottom line.
- When you combine a solar power system with a storage battery, you may only need a few solar panels to produce adequate energy for your needs.
- Forget back-up gas generators: When you shift to solar panels with a storage system, you will have a clean energy backing up your system, no longer will you have to spend money on petro.
STORAGE BATTERY BACKUP STORAGE FAQS
- How long does battery backup last?
- Can I extend the lifespan of my backup battery?
Yes, It’s possible with good care and maintenance
- How long can battery backup power my home?
Every home is different as each is unique in power usage – talk to one of our reps to look into some options