Protect Your Solar Power Investment
A solar power system with battery backup delivers many benefits. Solar batteries provide energy independence, storing the power of the sun that is generated by your solar panels and delivering reliable backup power when needed. Battery storage handles critical loads during a power outage. Our Renewable Energy Consultants (RECs) are trained to accurately assess both your power consumption and how to best utilize battery storage for emergency backup power. Contact us to start the discussion on how to design a solar power system with solar batteries – our RECs are ready to help you achieve energy independence and empower your future with the power of the sun!
How A Solar Battery System Works
With a solar battery system, the excess energy generated by your solar panels fills up your battery for your use. This stored energy can be used at night when your solar system is not generating energy. Battery storage systems are particularly good for handling critical loads during power outages. In our region, many homes and businesses are susceptible to power outages during storms. A strong summer thunderstorm or blustery winter blast can each create problems and require emergency backup power to literally “keep the lights on”. Sundance Power Systems can design a battery system that is calibrated to handle your most crucial power consumption and provide key backup power through your solar batteries.
Solar Batteries Provide Reliable Backup Power
Solar batteries have been around for a while, but the technology has grown incredibly in recent years. Homeowners and businesses alike are seeing the value of solar battery backup as a way to maximize the solar energy generated by their solar panels. Solar battery systems enable you to keep the power on during a power outage, seamlessly drawing power from the battery backup system to run the crucial loads in your home or business. Keep the refrigerator on, your lights, your water system pump – we work with you to determine the most efficient way to use your backup power. Solar batteries are a great way to save that solar energy that your solar panels have worked hard to produce.
Solar Battery Options
Today, there are a wide variety of solar battery options available. Every type of solar battery offers backup power from solar energy that your solar panels generated. Our RECs and Design Team are experts in each battery type and will help you choose the best option for your energy needs.
Lithium ion, lithium ion phosphate, partial charge carbon (AGM), sealed lead acid, flooded (wet) lead acid – these are all different battery types that are used in battery storage systems. Here is a quick look at the various solar batteries and terms used to describe their pros and cons.
Peak Power: The amount of power a device is rated to surge to, and hold for a period of time (typically around 5 seconds). This is important to know because appliances have motors and have a surge in power demand when their motors turn on. You must fully understand your back up loads when designing a battery back-up system as you could damage the system if it is not sized properly. This is why a thorough load analysis of your home is absolutely necessary.
Generator Integration: Means a generator can be integrated to communicate with the inverter to charge the batteries when needed, and/or power the back-up loads when necessary.
Depth of Discharge (DoD): The percentage of energy that is used from the battery.
Round Trip Efficiency: The ratio of energy put into the battery versus the amount able to be retrieved.
Retention Rate: Refers to the degradation of the battery capacity over time. Typically, a battery warranty guarantees that the battery will be able to retain a certain percentage of its original capacity for a designated number of years. The higher the guaranteed retention rate the better.
Cycle Life: The number of times a battery is rated to be charged and discharged to a specific state of charge. Typically represented as a percentage of the total amount of energy in the battery. A higher DoD percentage means you can use more of the stored energy before it starts to affect the rated cycle life. This is why Lithium-Ion batteries tend to have longer lifespans than lead acid for daily cycling. Example: 4000 cycles at 50% DoD.
Limited Warranty: The warranty may not cover all components and/or labor related to maintenance, onsite repair, and/or removal.
Pro-Rated Warranty: With a prorated warranty, you will have to pay for some of the replacement battery’s cost. What this means is that the battery manufacturer will cover only part of the defective battery cost. Typically reducing the amount of cost that they will cover over time.
Non-Prorated Warranty: A non-prorated warranty protects against any battery defects, and you will be getting a free replacement if you have issues. With a non-prorated warranty, you get full protection. You don’t have to pay for the cost of the repair or replacement.
Useful Solar Battery Info by Type
Flooded (Wet) Lead Acid Battery:
The lead acid battery is the oldest type of rechargeable battery. It has been in commercial use for over 115 years. It is tried and true. It is the cheapest battery type on the market and is highly recyclable. The disadvantages of lead acid are its low depth of discharge vs cycle life, shorter lifespan, and size. It also requires periodic inspection and maintenance.
Sealed Lead Acid Battery (Gel):
More expensive than the traditional lead acid battery, but require less maintenance and they are much safer. They tolerate heat better than AGM batteries, but do not tolerate fast charging and can be ruined by overcharging.
Partial Charge Carbon (AGM):
Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are a version of a sealed lead acid battery that tends to be more efficient and have a greater lifespan / cycle life than both traditional and sealed lead acid batteries. They typical charge x5 faster than flooded lead acid batteries and have a higher charging efficiency. They also require a lot less maintenance, not requiring watering or off-gassing.
While Lithium-Ion batteries are more expensive than lead acid battery types, they do offer a host of advantages:
1) Higher depth of discharge, which means you can use more of the energy stored in the battery without reducing the cycle life.
2) Longer lifespan, because of the higher cycle life.
3) Higher energy density, which reduces the physical size of the battery (takes up less room & weight).
4) Higher round trip efficiency, which means less energy wasted in maintaining the system.
5) Less maintenance, Li-Ion batteries are virtually maintenance free.
5) Fast charging rates.
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP):
Similar to Lithium-Ion chemistry. However, LFP is more thermally and chemically stable than Lithium-Ion, which makes it safer (i.e. less chance of fire). In addition, it does not contain nickel or cobalt, which both have attached human rights and environmental concerns. Tends to have higher peak power ratings and an even longer life than Li-ion options. Like Lithium-Ion, no maintenance is required once this battery is installed.
The Experts in Solar Battery Backup
Sundance Power Systems has designed and installed battery backup systems since our founding in 1995. Battery power has changed a lot in that time, with more options to choose from for your energy storage system. With the federal solar tax credit at 26% through at least the end of 2022, there has never been a better time to explore solar battery backup. Investing in your energy independence with solar is a great start. Adding battery power is a smart way to maintain reliable power and maximize the work your solar panels are doing. Contact us today to begin the conversation and learn how Sundance Power can empower you with an energy storage system using the right solar batteries for your solar power system!