Should I add a Battery Backup to my Solar Panel System?
Long story short, the answer is maybe! Battery backup systems are designed for you to always be on. So, in a power outage, you will still have power. Since it isn’t a quick yes or no question, let’s look at some common solar battery questions we get so you can make an educated decision when deciding if you should add a battery backup to your solar system installation.
How do solar battery backups work?
Solar battery systems can be AC-coupled or DC-coupled. As we know, AC-coupling take the power coming from the solar panels and converts it with the help of the inverted from DC to AC. From there the battery inverter will take that DC power and convert it back into AC power and power your home or office. The DC- coupled is a bit easier as it doesn’t have to convert the power because solar panels natively produce DC power and the solar battery will store DC power.
How much do solar panel batteries cost?
Solar batteries costs will vary depending on many factors. Batteries that can operate off-grid are going to cost more than batteries that are designed to operate while connected to the grid. Prices are expected to fall, just like solar panel costs have in the past. In addition, you can take advantage of the federal tax savings.
How many solar panel batteries do I need?
The answer to this question will be determined based on your average daily power usage and how long you will want to power your home or office. To determine how much energy you use, you will have to look at the kilowatt hours over a certain time frame.
How do I determine if a solar battery backup is worth it?
First, we have to understand how your energy company is charging you for electricity.
- Do you pay the same per-kWh rate regardless of time?
- Does your utility company offer net metering?
If the answer to these questions are yes, then the only added benefit you will have is if the power goes out. So, if you live in an area where there are many blackouts, then the battery backup may still be worth the investment.
Now if your utility company is charging you time of use rates, demand charges, and no net metering then the battery backup is a truly viable solution to add to your solar energy system.
Hopefully these questions have helped you to decide if a battery backup is worth your investment. Not all battery backups are created equal and SRS recommends that our clients use LG or Sonnen battery backups. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to walk you through all of your options with your solar energy system.