In this day and age, people are finding alternative sources of clean energy, and converting the sun’s potential is one of the most promising avenues for this worldwide search.
YOUR GUIDE TO STORING SOLAR ENERGY
In the Australia, Solar Panel systems have become one of the most rapidly growing alternative sources of energy. It will become a billion dollar market by the year 2023, double its usage at present.
The use of commercial solar systems in Melbourne has also hastened the growth of another parallel source of renewable energy: solar batteries for businesses.
Solar batteries store extra solar power for later use other than the solar power stored in solar panels. This is a new movement: solar panels developed in conjunction with solar batteries. A “Solar Plus Storage” system for your home.
One such development is the Tesla Powerwall, which adds solar battery storage to solar panels.
OUR SOURCES OF HOME ENERGY AT PRESENT
To fully appreciate this new innovative Solar Plus Storage system, let us be fully informed first about the four main ways at present on how your home can be set up for electricity supply:
1) Grid-connected (no solar energy) – This is the traditional one wherein all your home’s electricity sources come from the electric utility company’s main grid. The home has zero solar panels or batteries.
2) Grid-connected with Solar Panels (no Solar Batteries) – The home uses power from the solar panels first during the daytime. It then changes into grid power for low sunlight days, nighttime, and high power usage periods.
3) Grid-connected with Solar Panels and Solar Batteries (Hybrid system) – Firstly, this system has a connection to the main electricity grid, has solar panels, has solar batteries and then a hybrid inverter or multiple inverters. The home uses solar power from the panels first, and any excess is charged to the batteries. During days of low sunlight, at night and on high power usage days, energy is sourced from the batteries. The grid is a last-resort source of power.
4) Off-grid – No connection whatsoever to the main electricity grid. All power sources for the home come from solar panels and other alternative sources such as wind. The role of the solar batteries here is at night and on low sunlight days when they become the main power source. The backup power is a diesel-powered generator when all the energy from the panels and the batteries is used.
This system is much more expensive than grid-connected systems. While this is an ideal set up for families who want to be independent of the control of utility companies, at present, it is not yet recommended to apply this system to your home.
SOLAR STORAGE OPTIONS
Suppose you have decided on the Hybrid option wherein your home is connected to the main electricity grid, and you have solar panels and solar batteries. In that case, you will have to study several complicated solar battery specifications :
1) Capacity and Power Ratings
Capacity is the total amount of electricity that a battery can store, measurable in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Power Rating is the amount of electricity that a battery can deliver at one time, which is measured in kilowatts (kW).
2) Depth of Discharge
The amount of a battery’s capacity has been used.
3) Round Trip Efficiency
The amount of energy that can be used is a percentage of the amount of energy needed to store it.
4) Battery Life and Warranty
The solar battery will give you a warranty that guarantees a specific number of cycles and years of useful life.
Both established automotive companies and tech startups are simultaneously developing solar batteries since this is a potentially explosive commercial product with lots of potential. It’s all up to you what solar batteries to purchase according to your household needs and budget.
HYBRID SYSTEM COSTS ARE GETTING TO BE MORE AFFORDABLE
The cost of installation for hybrid systems of solar panels and solar batteries are dropping all across the world. There will come a time when every household will be able to install their own electrical systems, whether connected to the main electricity grid or stand-alone systems. The most important considerations are that we are all diverting towards green sources of energy, which cut down on our monthly household expenses and, at the same time, decrease extensively our dependence on petroleum.