Choosing the Right Solar Battery
One of the most crucial elements of the renewable energy revolution and the global shift towards electrification currently taking place is battery technology. Low-cost, fast-charging batteries made with abundant materials are key to this energy transition and must be scaled in the coming years as more renewable energy is stored and electric vehicles become commonplace.
For now, there are a myriad of high-performance home battery systems that enable consumers to store solar power to use at night and on days when the solar system is producing less energy than is being used. All of these home battery systems are eligible for the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which uses federal funds to cover 30% of any system installed until 2032.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors for customers to consider when determining which battery to use for their home energy system.
Are Batteries Worth the Cost?
Batteries enable customers to make the most of their solar PV systems, and while they are an additional cost, the benefits of installing a solar battery are substantial. Solar batteries act as backup power during emergencies, can lower a consumer’s energy bills in the long run, and decrease a home’s carbon footprint, all while increasing a customer’s energy independence and net metering performance. For these reasons, batteries are often well worth the investment if the adopter plans on keeping a home long term.
Avoid Standardized Battery Systems
With all of the solar battery options available, choosing the right system for your home can be a daunting task. Because of this, many solar customers flock to battery systems that advertise themselves as being one-size-fits-all. However, these batteries are rarely the best choice because they are almost always either under or oversized. Undersized batteries rarely meet power output demand, while oversized batteries are not always fully charged, especially in the winter. In either case, consumers won’t be harnessing all the benefits of their home solar system with these batteries. We at NATiVE Solar are brand agnostic and solutions based, meaning we evaluate all of the available equipment options to select the best solar and energy storage solution for your specific home and utility solar buyback offerings.
- Battery capacity (Energy) (kWh) is rated in kilowatt hours and helps the consumer properly size their batteries based on their power consumption. If a customer already uses power from the grid, they can estimate their power consumption based on their previous electric bills. When selecting a solar battery, it is critical that the customer understands their own power needs in order to choose a battery with sufficient energy storage capacity.
- Peak output (Power) (kWp): Another way to classify solar batteries is by their peak output, which is the theoretical peak power output of the system in ideal conditions. This rating determines how much load or amp draw the battery can support during a grid outage. Some batteries are geared toward higher peak power, while others more toward energy capacity. Certain brands are more feature rich, while others are more compatible for retrofitting batteries to existing solar solutions. Lastly, every utility company has different rules about batteries connecting to their grid and thus we recommend a consultation with us to help you choose the best solution for your specific home and needs.
- Lifespan is another important consideration for solar battery customers, and a factor that manufacturers constantly compete on. The type of battery technology plays a significant role in determining the lifespan of the battery. As technology continues to improve, the lifespans of solar batteries are consistently being extended.
- Round-trip efficiency is a slightly more complex factor to consider when choosing a battery. We won’t go into the details here, but feel free to reach out to us with questions. In general, customers should always go for batteries with a higher round-trip efficiency because they are more economical.
- Cost can be the most significant factor for many customers considering an energy storage solution for their home. While the optimal brand and battery size varies for specific homes, the Federal ITC 30% tax credit for solar and batteries, along with failing power grids and inflating electric rates make NOW the best time to invest in high-tech batteries in history.
- Battery Type: The biggest difference between batteries is the type, or technology. Choosing the right technology is crucial because each one is best for different specific needs and budgets.
- Lead-acid batteries are tried and tested; they’ve been around since their invention in the 17th century and are still the standard for electrical energy storage today. In comparison, Lithium-ion batteries are relatively new but are becoming increasingly prevalent as the go-to power storage for electric vehicles and homes. Their potential has yet to be fully explored, but this technology is being improved at such a rate that it’s only a matter of time before they become the most popular battery for solar power storage.
- Other emerging battery technologies to mention are Lithium Iron Phosphate and Lithium Cobalt batteries. These technologies are now lasting longer than ever, have high safety features and low toxicity, perform well in extreme temperatures, and come with longer than ever manufacturer warranties, making them an ideal choice for home energy storage.
NATiVE is Here to Help
We hope this article gives you some of the basic information needed to help you choose the right solar battery for your home. Remember, NATiVE is here to help every step of the way, including aiding in your search to find the perfect battery for your specific needs and budget. As a brand agnostic company, we can install almost any battery depending on your preferences. Receive a free quote and schedule a consultation with us. #TakeYourPowerBack with NATiVE Solar
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[…] both simple and complex. For these reasons, a growing number of people are looking to solar and batteries as a solution. While solar provides great benefits to your home in the form of clean, cheap energy, on its own it […]