What is solar panel battery storage?
The energy storage system, also known as a home or solar battery, allows you to capture electrical energy for later use. For example, you can store the electricity generated by solar panels during the day and use it at night.
Some big tech brands sell home-energy storage systems. If you generate your own power at home but can use more power or plan to start doing so, this relatively new technology is worth considering.
Is solar battery storage right for your house?
If you have solar photovoltaic panels or plan to install them, using household batteries to store the electricity you generate will help you maximize your use of renewable energy. In fact, 60% of people who have or consider using household batteries tell us that the reason is that they can use more electricity generated by solar panels.
Home-energy storage will also decrease the electricity you use from the grid and cut your electricity bills. If your home is off-grid, you can help reduce the use of fossil fuel backup generators.
If you are at home during the day and have used most of the electricity you generate or use the excess electricity to heat water, the battery may not be suitable for you. This is because home energy storage will cost you over $2,000, so you need to make sure it’s a worthwhile investment. Before considering storing electricity, ensures your home is as energy-efficient as possible.
Can one save money with a solar battery?
People generally pay around $3,000 (25%) and £7,000 (41%) for battery storage systems, excluding the cost of solar PV systems.
Installing a home energy storage system is a long-term investment that helps reduce energy costs, although this may not be your motivation for installing it.
Whether a battery will save you money will depend on many factors included:
- Cost of installation
- Type of system installed
- How it’s used
- Price of electricity
- Battery’s lifetime
Several systems provide a 10-year warranty. They need little maintenance, so the main cost is initial installation. If you install it using solar photovoltaic energy, which can last for 25 years or more, you must consider the cost of replacing the battery.
Although the cost of the battery is high, it takes a long time for the battery to pay for itself. However, if the price of batteries drops in the future, just like the price of solar panels and the price of electricity rises, the payback period will be improved.
Some energy storage companies provide financial benefits, such as payment for services provided to the grid or reductions in tariffs. You should consider whether you are on a tariff which has different electricity prices depending on the time of day and, if you generate your own electricity, how much of this would you use.
If you have a smart meter, your export payment will be based on actual export data. However, if you also install a home battery installed, your export payment will be estimated at 50% of the batteries you produce. This is because your output meter cannot determine whether the electricity output from your battery was originally generated by your panel or obtained from the grid.
Battery storage products
As a relatively new technology, battery storage product has a limited but growing product range. The capacity of the new lithium-ion battery ranges from 1 kWh to 8kWh; a 4 kWh system can store enough energy to boil your kettle 37 times.
If you want more capacity, some companies offer ‘stackable’ systems that combine multiple batteries.
These range from the size of a small computer to the size of a washing machine. Higher capacity means larger and heavier batteries. Small systems can be installed on the wall, while larger systems can be installed on the floor.
Before you install a home energy storage system
Consider whether it is generating enough electricity and whether it is worth adding energy storage to your existing solar panel system if you are not using it.
Check if your installer has signed the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC), which now covers storage. This means that they signed up to high standards of conduct, including providing good information about their installation.
Read our blog on Smart Solar Panel vs Traditional Solar Panel