Is it Worth Getting Battery Storage alongside Solar Panels?
With high energy costs and increasing awareness of global efforts to combat rising temperatures and reduce carbon emissions, it’s no wonder that many homeowners are turning to domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Choosing solar panels to generate renewable energy provides a number of benefits for homeowners, including cost savings, greater control and security of supply and increased sustainability. The types of panels used – whether monocrystalline or polycrystalline – are key for a solar PV systems’ energy efficiency rates and lifespan as well as the chosen inverter.
A common concern for many homeowners considering residential solar panels is whether the unused energy – generated by their system during daylight hours – will go to waste. One of two options could happen: either the energy will be fed back into the UK National Grid in return for small payments, or reserved for later use if you have a battery storage system.
This short guide will explain the key features and benefits of investing in a solar battery for your home.
What is Solar Battery Storage?
Solar batteries allow you to store any surplus electricity generated from the sun, via your solar PV system, and use it when your home is demanding more energy than your solar panels are generating. This is particularly helpful at night-time when there’s no sunlight.
Without a solar battery connected to your solar PV system, any excess energy generated would be fed back into the National Grid. Adding a solar battery to your system is an excellent and efficient way to preserve and use renewable energy, helping you maximise the energy you generate for your home.
How Does a Solar Battery Work?
Solar PV battery systems work by storing direct current (DC). When your solar PV system is generating more energy than you are using, surplus energy is used to charge the battery. When you need more energy than your solar panels are producing, you can then access the stored energy in your battery.
Most solar batteries come with built-in inverters which turn DC into alternating current (AC) which is then used to power your home whether that’s heating, lighting, appliances, devices, and so on. Some solar batteries are designed to be integrated with your solar PV system and share the same inverter that converts the DC generated by your solar panels into AC for your home.
When a solar battery is fully charged, any surplus energy being generated by the solar PV system goes into the National Grid. With solar PV and battery storage you will only ever draw electricity from the grid when your system isn’t generating and the energy stored in your battery has been used.
Can Solar Panels Work Without Battery Storage?
Absolutely! A solar PV system can work entirely independently and installing a solar battery alongside is not compulsory. However, a battery storage solution allows you to use more of the green energy that you generate as less is wasted or fed back to the National Grid.
If you are particularly focused on minimising the amount of energy you purchase from the grid, then investing in domestic solar battery storage will help you achieve this.
Is Solar Panel Battery Storage Right for My Home?
If you are one of the estimated 1.2 million UK homeowners that have solar panels already installed, or you’re about to invest in solar PV for your property, your energy bills could be even lower if you opt for battery storage. This is because it will always be cheaper to use the free, green energy that you are producing yourself than to purchase electricity through an energy provider.
Home-energy storage will lower your energy bills because it will reduce the electricity you use from the grid. If your home is off-grid, battery storage will help cut back on the use of backup generators that rely on fossil fuels.
Ultimately, home-energy storage is not something that will suit every homeowner. It’s a case of deciding whether you are prepared to pay the upfront costs of solar battery storage and can feasibly make your money back on your energy bill savings.
If, for instance, you spend a lot of hours away from home during the day and have higher evening and night-time usage, a battery will help you preserve all that generated energy for later on when you return.
Benefits of Investing in Solar Battery Storage
Solar battery systems offer homeowners many tangible and attractive advantages, including those listed below:
- Independence from grid energy
- More control over your energy supply and usage
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Less wastage of renewable energy
- You can benefit from small payments by feeding unused energy back into the UK National Grid
- Cost savings on energy bills as less will be bought from your supplier
- One step closer to becoming an ‘off-grid’ home
- Less disruption from power cuts
- Batteries can be retrofitted to existing solar PV systems
- You are doing your bit to build a net-zero future and rely less on fossil fuels.
What Size Solar Battery Do I Need?
Most households will only need one solar battery, but depending on the amount of energy your system is capable of generating, your energy consumption, location and budget, you may need more. As a guide, the average three-bedroom house should only need an 8kWh solar battery, but your installer will be able to advise you on what’s right for you.
Generally speaking, the physical size of a solar battery is similar to a small kitchen fridge. You will need an appropriate location to house your battery as they do require an amount of space around them, but many units can be fitted outside.
Regardless of size, batteries are designed to be ground- or wall-mounted, and are typically installed in lofts, garages or underneath stairs, where they are less obstructive. For homes that do not have these features, our solar panel installation expert will be able to advise on the most convenient place for your battery.
How Much Does a Solar Panel Battery Cost?
Solar battery installation costs depend on several factors:
- Whether you are retrofitting your solar battery into an existing solar PV system or are installing the battery and system together.
- The capacity, brand, and model of the battery.
Batteries added to existing solar PV systems might incur higher costs. It’s also important to be aware that not all batteries offer a back-up function in the event of a power cut. Many low-cost or economical batteries do not have this function and if this is something which is important to you, you may have to pay a little extra for your installation.
The cost of a solar battery typically ranges between £1,000 and £7,000, depending on the product’s quality, lifespan, warranty and capacity. As with most investments, the larger, higher specification batteries will be more expensive, but will enable you to store more energy and save more money on your bills.
At Geo Green Power, we will be able to advise and recommend the ideal battery storage system for your specific needs. We supply and install a number of different models including the Tesla Powerwall 2, GivEnergy and Sunsync.
Hopefully, taking all of this on board has helped you realise the key features and benefits of a solar battery storage solution. It’s clear that they offer tremendous long-term advantages, however, before you take the plunge, it might be worth checking your home’s suitability and current efficiency first.
Geo Green Power takes effective and efficient sustainable energy solutions seriously. Our professional and friendly team will be able to advise you on the most cost-effective product for your needs. Our team is experienced in all kinds of renewable energy technologies, including heat pumps, Solar PV, EV charging and many more. Therefore, whether you’re after a brand-new setup or need something retrofitted, we are best placed to offer practical and helpful advice. Contact us today for a free quote.