How Do I Choose A Battery For Solar Panels?
What to look for in a home solar battery is straightforward. Always consider the:
With a good understanding of how solar batteries work, you can then look at manufacturers and other factors.
Before we look at the detail of each factor let’s get a quick overview solar batteries, what they are and how to use them.
What Are Solar Panel Batteries?
To get the most out of your solar panel installation and power your home, you need to have electricity at night or when there’s limited sunlight. That means that any surplus energy your solar panels produce will need to be stored for later use.
What Happens If You Don’t Store Some Of The Excess Electricity Produced?
Well, it all goes back to the grid and yes you’ll receive the financial incentives through SRECs or Net Meterage, but you may not have enough to cover your needs.
Are Solar Batteries Worth it?
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
How does your solar panel and battery system work and function together? Your solar panels generate DC electricity from absorbing the sun’s energy. An inverter then converts in to AC electricity for you to use in your household.
Any electricity that isn’t used is then stored in the battery up to its capacity. If the batteries have reached their maximum and can’t be stored then the electricity goes back to the grid.
So, with this in mind, now it’s time to look at the main criteria you need to take into consideration when choosing a solar battery. Let’s dive in.
What Are The 5 Critical Factors You Need To Examine When Choosing A Battery For Solar Panels?
If you are looking at how to pick the best solar battery then it can be daunting. Thing is, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you need to know.
Power Rating Of The Solar Battery
Basically, each battery type will produce a specific amount of electricity at one time (kilowatts (kW) of power) and this is rated on a sliding scale.
The power rating of the battery refers to how many appliances you can have turned on at the same time. So the more you can turn on using the electricity in the battery, the higher the rating.
Solar Battery Storage Capacity
This refers to how many hours of stored electricity the battery has in terms of kilowatt-hours (kWh). It’s worth noting that this is useable electricity, which is electricity that’s available to immediately run an appliance. Most batteries store energy, but not all of it can be used immediately.
Solar Battery Lifetime
Your batteries lifetime will be governed by the quality of the manufacturer and type of solar battery you choose. The easiest way to check this is to look at the lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer.
If you are looking at averages of how long do solar batteries last then it can be anything from 5 to 10 years.
Solar Roundtrip Efficiency
This represents the percentage of electricity that is available to use from your battery. High Roadtrip Efficiency ratings mean you can retrieve more from the stored energy. As we mentioned earlier not all the electricity stored is available to be used.
Types of Solar Batteries
Not all solar batteries are created equally. There are 4 main types of solar battery that vary in terms of their capacity, lifespan, chemistry and overall quality. They are:
Lithium is considered to be the highest quality and best performing of the batteries. The Office Of Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy have written an excellent article on Solar Plus Storage 101.
Even though Lithium is the gold standard in solar batteries, your circumstances may require something a little different.
Summary Of How Do I Choose A Battery For Solar Panels?
Always consider the power rating, storage capacity, roundtrip efficiency, lifetime and type of solar battery to compliment your solar panel installation.
If you would like more information on what’s right for you, or to see how the leading solar panel and solar battery suppliers compare against each other why not click on the link to our FREE solar savings calculator at the bottom of the page.