According to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the solar energy market doubled in size in 2016. Solar has become one of the fastest growing power sources in the United States and there is still a lot of room for growth. This influx has been influenced by a slow but steady increase in energy conversion efficiency and a significant decrease in prices. Solar energy's potential has led to the invention and deployment of complementary solar technologies like new inverters, electric meters, and solar batteries. The technology that has caught the attention of many leaders in the solar industry has been solar batteries.
Solar batteries aim to address a huge obstacle that has partially delayed the current solar revolution we are going through. Solar systems can generate more than enough energy for an average residential home during the day, however, at night the home strictly depends on the grid. Over the course of the day, there is a time imbalance between peak demand and renewable energy generation. Homeowners can rely on their solar panels only during the day which reduces the overall effectiveness of solar systems. Fortunately, solar batteries are able to store energy that is generated during the day by the solar panels which can then be used at night when the sun is not shining.
Usage of Solar Batteries
Solar batteries convert AC energy being generated by solar panels, and stores it as DC power for later use. Sometimes batteries have their own inverter to offer integrated energy conversion. This way the DC is converted back into AC when you are trying to use that stored energy in your house. The higher the battery’s capacity, the larger the solar system it can charge.
When a homeowner decides to integrate a solar battery to their solar panel system, instead of selling back their excess energy generated they can charge their batteries and use that energy at night. This way they do not have to depend on the grid when their systems are not generating energy. Additionally, solar batteries offer short-term backup power in the event that there is a power outage.
Lithium-Ion Solar Batteries
The use of solar batteries, or lithium ion batteries, is currently one of the most promising complementary solar technologies. Lithium is the lightest metal with the greatest electrochemical potential. In other words, lithium offers the highest energy density per weight. This improvement in battery efficiency completely eliminated the conventional lead-acid battery as a source of storage for solar energy.
Other advantages of lithium-ion batteries include:
• Environmentally cleaner • Last Longer • Recycleable • Weigh less • Require much less maintenance • Performance is independent of weather
Lithium-ion batteries durability in extreme conditions offer the greatest advantage over lead acid batteries which sometime struggle during extreme hot or cold temperatures. Lithium-ion batteries only lose approximately 10% of their maximum efficiency during cold weather and freezing temperatures. Even when the battery is exposed to very cold temperatures it is still able to provide your home with most of the energy it would on a normal day.
Another great advantage of lithium-ion batteries is their extensive life cycle. Batteries can withstand thousands of charge/discharge cycles before their capacity falls under 80%. Meaning, they remain highly functional even after going through thousands of charging cycles; something that cannot be expected from lead-acid batteries. The fact that lithium-ion batteries can remain functional during extreme weather conditions and they have extensive life cycles makes them very convenient for homeowners. They require very little to no maintenance, and most importantly they are there to support your energy needs during periods where your solar panels are not generating energy.
If you want to learn more about solar energy or adding a solar battery please reach out to us. We would love to have you meet with one of our knowledgeable energy consultants. To schedule an appointment contact here or call us at 1-877-375-1917