Batteries for solar panels don’t do the same thing as a battery in your car. They’re designed to store energy from the sun and release it at night when natural light is scarce or during cloudy days. Batteries for solar panel systems come in all shapes and sizes, but do you need batteries for solar panels?
The answer is that it depends on what you’re using the solar panels for. Your solar panel system should be able to work just fine in your home without batteries, but if you run into a situation where you require more energy than your panels can accumulate, you’ll run out of power. Let’s dig into solar panel batteries, what they do, and whether or not you need them.
How Much Power Can Solar Panel Batteries Store?
Solar panel batteries don’t store as much energy as a traditional battery, like the one in your car. They’re designed to hold enough power for your home solar system so that it can release the extra energy throughout the night or on cloudy days. Their job is not to replace electric company service entirely; they do their part by storing excess energy and releasing minimal power when needed.
On average, a standard home solar battery setup can give homeowners about three days of energy storage. This is more than enough to support any home, even with larger appliances requiring a lot of power.
Do You Need Batteries for Solar Panels?
Again, this answer depends on what you plan to do with your solar panels. If you want them to provide all the energy for your home, then yes, batteries are necessary. However, if you’re just looking to save money on your monthly electric bill, solar panel batteries may be an unnecessary expense.
When determining how many batteries would be required for your home’s solar system, first determine how much energy you need. Remember that your solar panels don’t provide 100% of the power required to run all appliances at once, so you would require batteries to store extra energy and release it when needed.
Make a list of all the appliances you plan on running off of solar. These could include:
- furnace or A/C
- water heater
- security system
- small appliances, such as fans
- medical equipment
Determine how many kilowatts each appliance uses and multiply that by three. This will give you the approximate number of watt-hours you need your solar battery setup to store.
Once you have this number, add on a few hundred more for good measure. This is the total number of watt-hours your solar batteries should be able to store. If this number is lower than the watt-hours you need your solar system to support, then batteries would be an unnecessary expense for your home’s solar panel system.
Your local weather patterns will also determine whether or not batteries are a good investment. Long, sunny days and a relatively short rainy season might mean you’ll have all the solar energy you need without battery storage. On the other hand, areas with high amounts of rainfall and cloudy days, such as Seattle, would limit the amount of sunshine your solar panels can soak up. Having a battery to store energy would be useful when sunshine isn’t plentiful.
Consult an Expert
So while batteries aren’t required for all solar panel systems, they’re recommended if you have a large power need, live off-grid, etc. When planning out your solar system, a solar installation professional will help walk you through your energy storage options. Contact the experts at Design 1 Solar Group today to get started.