The Importance of Solar Energy Storage
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Because of the way solar panels work, solar arrays don’t generate continuous power on their own. They do, however, produce enough excess electricity to power a home throughout the year, making solar storage necessary.
When solar first became popular, battery backup hadn’t caught up with solar module technology. In response, net metering policies emerged. Through net metering, solar customers can put their excess energy on the grid and receive credits for doing so.
Utility companies keep track of solar customers’ net metering credits through the customer’s electricity bill. When the customer doesn’t have access to solar, the home automatically pulls electricity from the grid, and the customer’s solar credits cover all or most of the energy used.
However, net metering incentives have declined in some areas, meaning solar-powered homeowners need battery backup so they can store their excess solar production.
The Solar Storage Wave: How to Store Solar Energy
As solar has become more popular, energy storage has also seen tremendous improvement. These improvements have opened doors of opportunity for the solar industry.
Through technological advancement in solar storage, homeowners can become independent from the grid. Energy storage advancements also offer homeowners power continuity during power outages.
While the concept of battery backup power isn’t new, different options have become available. Now storage tech can store solar energy in different ways. As professionals continue to explore these options, the possibilities for solar storage will increase.
Solar Power Storage Methods
Today the market has a couple of different energy storage methods. The three main competitors with the most promise include thermal, mechanical, and battery storage.
Thermal energy uses heat retention methods, like molten salt storage, to capture and save electricity for later use. Mechanical storage methods use short spurts of energy often generated from items with potential energy, which stores electricity in the kinetic energy generated by unhindered movement. Battery storage stores electricity in a rechargeable battery.
Why Battery Backup Is the Storage of Choice
While each of these options has merit, the only option currently available to homeowners is battery backup. Batteries have taken residential solar by storm because they work well with residential systems. They don’t take up a significant amount of room, and they’re customizable to the usage needs of the home.
How Home Batteries Store Energy
Home battery backup systems store electricity via chemical reactions, which enable the solar-generated power to flow to the battery. This electricity charges the battery so it can power the home on demand. When ready, the homeowner turns on the battery, and an opposite chemical reaction occurs, producing electricity as the byproduct.
While similar to other rechargeable batteries, a home-solar battery isn’t the same. Using a car battery to power a home wouldn’t work nearly as well as a solar battery designed for home use.
Increasing the Potential of Battery Backup and Solar
While homeowners who can store their excess solar energy will save money, savings will increase when solar array owners also conserve energy. Everyone could use a little more cash, which points towards the importance of strong post-solar installation habits.
Not implementing these habits could cause homeowners to miss out on added savings. Reducing energy usage in the home can happen in multiple ways. Some options include staggering high-energy activities, installing equipment that helps manage energy remotely, and updating appliances.
Timing High-Energy Activities
Solar customers can conserve energy by paying attention and staggering their high-energy activities. Often utilities charge more when power pulls off the grid during high-demand times.
High-demand hours typically occur when most people have returned from work, which happens to coincide with sundown. Completing high-energy activities, like the laundry, during the morning or afternoon will conserve energy because the solar array will produce it instead of the utility.
Smart Thermostats and Energy Conservation
Another way to conserve energy includes installing a smart thermostat. These thermostats tell customers the best energy-conserving temperatures and offer remote access, so customers can change the thermostat even when they aren’t home.
Upgrading Old Appliances
When a fridge or water heater dies, replacing it isn’t a fun task. However, what replaces it could make a big difference in energy consumption. For solar customers, upgrading old appliances to electric energy-efficient ones allows the solar panels to cover more of the home’s energy needs.
Why Go Solar Group Uses Backup
Go Solar Group has focused on solar storage for residential solar from the beginning. We believe that every homeowner deserves to have the security of battery backup.
We decided to focus on battery backup because it gives our customers the most energy independence. With battery backup, customers can choose to power their homes or their essentials with their excess solar or with power drawn from the grid.
This focus on solar storage has set us apart from competitors. Go Solar Group offers its customers a suite of battery backup products.