Why Solar Plus Storage?
A home battery can provide a backup source of energy in the event of an outage and in some areas can even be used as a smart energy management system providing relief from “time of day” demand charges. When coupled with a solar array, the battery can be recharged and continue to provide power to a home, even during extended outages. A conventional grid-tied solar array will be shut down during an outage, rendering the solar panels dormant. A home battery also provides independence from fossil fuels as an environmental and financial advantage.
How Does Solar Plus Storage Work?
Solar plus storage works by using the clean energy produced by a solar array to charge a battery system. In the case of grid outage, the battery system works in the same way a conventional generator would. The homeowner may select critical loads for the battery to cover during an outage. An advantage of a battery system over a gas-powered generator is that the solar array can continue to recharge batteries, allowing the system to operate indefinitely without fuel costs.
There are currently two types of battery systems, AC coupled systems, and DC coupled systems. An AC coupled system is best to be used in a retrofit situation, as the battery unit itself will have an inverter to convert the AC power coming off the solar inverter back to DC power used in the battery. A DC coupled system will offer a slightly higher efficiency than an AC coupled system. With a DC system, the power coming off the roof stays in DC all the way through the battery bank until it is ready to be used by the home.