A solar battery is a large capacity electro-chemical battery that stores electricity. The battery is normally connected to the solar panel system and wired into the home or building electrical system.
What Is A Solar Panel Battery
A solar panel battery is another term to describe a solar battery.
How Does Battery Storage Work?
The battery works by storing electricity. This stored power is used to power the home at night when the solar system is not making electricity and buying power from the grid is expensive.
Most solar batteries are lithium-ion batteries. In some ways they are like a large version of your phone or laptop battery. You can click HERE to find out how lithium-ion batteries work.
How Does Solar Charge The Battery
The solar battery is charged by the roof top solar system. The solar panels produce free solar electricity when the sun is shining. This powers the house during the day. In a standard solar panel system without a battery any electricity not used in the home is exported back to the grid. The exported power generates a small feed-in-tariff of around 5 cents per kWh. This is paid by your electricity provider.
When you have battery storage this excess solar power is used to charge the battery. The battery then discharges this power to run the home at night. This saves you buying electricity from the power company at 35cents per kWh.
What Controls The Solar Charge To The Battery?
The solar panels produce free solar electricity. This goes to an electrical device called an in inverter. The inverter is the solar charge controller. It directs the electricity to where it needs to go. First, power is sent to the house. Then the battery is charged by any excess solar power not used by the house. The inverter directs all of this traffic.
What Is The Storage Capacity Of A Solar Battery System?
Solar battery systems are available in differing storage capacities to suit different needs. The Tesla Powerwall 2 battery capacity is 13.5kWh. Two Tesla Powerwalls can be installed to give a total battery storage capacity 27kWh.
The Sungrow SBR solar battery is a modular style battery. The range has different capacities beginning at 9.6kWh for the SBR096 model. The SBR battery models increase in 3.2kWh steps all the way up to a huge 25.6kWh for the SBR256.
On top of that up to four SBR256 batteries can be installed together to give a massive 102.4kWh of power. SolarBright can design a solar battery system with the right capacity to cover most needs.
What Does Usable Capacity Mean?
The total amount of power that can be stored in the battery is called total capacity. However, some batteries cannot discharge all the power that is available in the battery. They need to keep some power in reserve.
The term “usable capacity” refers to the amount of usable power that battery can discharge before the battery needs to be recharged.
What Is A Battery Cycle?
A full charge and discharge of a battery called a battery cycle. Partial charges and discharges are not considered a full battery cycle but count towards them.
The total amount of battery cycles may be counted toward the warranty life of the battery.
Also, it is important to understand that you may get more than one battery cycle per day. For instance, imagine this scenario where the battery has emptied overnight. In the morning the solar starts charging the battery when the sun comes up. By lunch time the battery may be nearly full. Then a storm rolls over and solar power production ceases. The battery then takes over powering the home. The storm clears out, the sun shines, and the battery again charges up. Here we can see here the battery could well supply 1.5 cycles in a day.
What Is The Right Size Solar Battery System?
To decide what is the right size solar and battery there are two main factors to consider.
Firstly consider how many kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity you use at night and how much of that use you want the battery to supply.
Secondly, you must consider what size solar system is required. The solar needs to be large enough to generate enough power for the home during day. Also, it needs to make enough excess power each day to fill the battery as well.
Under CEC guidelines to estimate the average daily kWh production of a solar system in NSW you multiply the size of the system by 3.9.
Thus a 6.6kW solar system will produce on average 6.6 x 3.9 = 25.74kWh of power per day. This means a 6.6kW solar system could provide 15kWh of power for consumption in the home. This would leave an excess of just over 10kWh per day to fill a home battery storage system.
When designing a solar battery system SolarBright takes all these factors into consideration for you.
How Many Solar Batteries Are Needed To Power A House?
The number and size of the batteries depends on how much electricity is consumed at night. If you are running air-conditioning at night to warm or cool your home this could use a lot of power. A 2.5kW air conditioner running at full power consumes 2.5kWh of power each hour.
For each customer considering solar power and a battery, SolarBright examines the electricity bills to understand power usage and history. We look at the patterns of day and night power usage to correctly size the solar system and battery to suit.
Most battery customers do not want to cover all of their night-time power use. They want to have the battery power available to cover the peak times when electricity from the grid is the most expensive.
What Are Solar Power Banks?
A solar power bank is created when several solar batteries are connected or installed together. This increases the total battery storage capacity available to provide power to the home or building.
For example, as discussed earlier you can connect four Sungrow SBR256 batteries together. This forms a solar power bank, or battery bank with 102.4kWh storage capacity.
What Are The Benefits Of Solar Battery Storage?
There are several major benefits from installing a battery storage system.
Firstly, eliminating or reducing electricity bills is the biggest benefit. The system will pay for itself and will save you thousands of dollars in power bills over its lifetime.
Secondly, it will help you gain energy independence. The right battery storage will also offer power backup for the home and help protect you from blackouts.
Thirdly it helps reduce your carbon footprint. You are replacing electricity generated by coal or gas with clean renewable solar energy
What Is The Cost Of A Solar Battery?
Battery costs are volatile at present. Increasing battery prices are the current trend. Disruptions to supply chains and increased shipping costs have caused issues. Furthermore, the biggest challenge is rising lithium costs as lithium demand surges with increasing electric vehicle production.
As of July 2022, the cost of an installed Tesla Powerwall 2 is now 30% per kWh higher compared with April 2020.
Battery cost also varies depending on the type of battery and the battery capacity. Of course, battery costs increase with the the battery capacity.
Is A Battery Suitable For A Commercial Property?
Yes, solar power batteries are suitable for commercial property and businesses. Any business or organisation that has a power bill and available roof space is a candidate for a solar and battery system. SolarBright has helped churches, aged care homes, schools and vets take advantage of solar power.
Can A Solar Battery Be Added To Existing Solar Systems?
The broad answer is yes! A battery can be added to an existing solar system in many cases. However, the existing solar must be in good condition and properly installed. Also, it needs to produce enough excess power each day to fill a battery. Most systems will require new inverter to connect the battery.
An important point to consider is the quality of the installation workmanship and products in the existing system. If a cheap solar installer did the system corners will have been cut with the installation and components. This means that the system may not be up to standard for battery. We would recommend installing a new system as well in these cases.