As a homeowner, you’re more than likely well aware of some of the challenges you face when it comes to your energy. Electricity rates are surging, grid infrastructure is aging, and greenhouse gasses are threatening the wellbeing of the planet as a whole. Fortunately, solar power has given us the ability to combat many of these issues. Thanks to tumbling costs and better technology, solar energy systems are a viable investment in your home and your future by providing you with clean, renewable energy.
But what happens when the sun goes down and your panels stop producing? Naturally, most people have to go back to the grid to get their energy, which means you’re still not independent from the rapidly-rising cost of public utility electricity. But there is a way you can lessen this dependence and utilize more of the energy that you produce during the day—a battery backup system.
Home batteries are also rapidly advancing while tumbling in price, and they’re becoming a popular addition to homes equipped with solar panels. On this blog, we’ll explain a few of the benefits of adding one of these to your solar energy plan, or retrofitting your existing solar energy system with one.
Save More Energy
If you’re like most homeowners, you actually aren’t home to take advantage of all the energy your panels produce during the peak hours of the day—you’re most likely at work or off taking care of other business. So what happens to all that energy that your panels produce but you don’t use? The answer is it gets funneled back into the public grid, where it’s then consumed by someone else. Arizona’s net metering laws aren’t exactly the most owner-friendly, and that means your energy would be much better served if you could keep it for later when you need it.
With a home battery system, that’s exactly what you can do. These batteries are wired into your energy system and take in all of the extra energy that your panels produce but you don’t consume, instead storing it for when you’ll need it later. They work on pretty much a daily cycle—charging during the day when your panels are running at their peak, and then discharging at night, when your panels stop producing. In a perfect world, your battery will fully-charge each day and then fully-discharge each night, allowing you to actually live off solar power in your home 24 hours a day.
By using more of the energy you produce, this lessens the amount of energy you need to purchase from the public grid to keep your lights on and devices running. As a result, most people who install a home battery storage solution see their utility rates drop even further than when they installed their solar panel systems! In our perfect-world situation that we discussed above, that type of system would actually never need energy from the public grid, which means your electric bill would disappear completely. However, in a real-world situation, some nights require more energy than others, some days are cloudy and your panels produce less, so it’s not realistic to anticipate being able to become completely energy-independent without installing a substantial battery backup system.
Blackouts are an unfortunate part of life when connected to the public grid. When the power goes out, so does everything in your home, leaving you in the dark. However, with a properly-configured battery backup system, you may be able to avoid the blackouts entirely and keep your home running independently. LG Chem battery systems, which we proudly install at SunPower by Arizona Solar Concepts, have this ability and many people are choosing to add them to their home as a result.
Battery backup systems are particularly popular with those who have electric vehicles. Charging an electric car takes a lot of energy, and while it might cost less than continuing to fill your tank with gas, it does add a big chunk to your electric bill each month. But what if we told you that your solar panels could produce the energy you need to charge your car each day? With a battery backup system, you can collect the power you produce and save it for when you arrive home. When you plug your vehicle in, the power stored in your batteries is then filtered into your car, where it is then used to keep you moving the following day.Interested in learning more about integrating a home battery into your solar energy system? Call our Phoenix solar installers at (480) 462-6399 to request more information or receive a quote!