A solar panels on a field

The core of solar power systems is effectively capturing and storing solar energy. Many still believe the widely debunked myth that solar panels only work properly when the sun is out, proving inefficient when it isn’t shining. The truth is solar power batteries are at the centre of the solar energy storage process, making solar panel systems work flawlessly all year round, even at night, on cloudy days, or in adverse weather conditions.

But how do they work? What are the benefits of using these batteries? And are there different battery types that you can choose from? In this blog, we will use our experience as trusted solar panel suppliers to answer these questions, delving into how solar batteries work, their general and environmental benefits, types, and specific characteristics.

Close-up of a solar panel

Solar Energy Storage in Solar Panel Systems

As we said, energy storage is vital in enhancing the overall reliability of solar power systems. When exposed to sunlight, meaning only during daylight hours, solar panels use their complex internal system to capture it and efficiently convert it into electricity. Without a means to store the accumulated energy, any surplus power generated during the day would be wasted. Thanks to the invaluable performance of solar power batteries, this problem gets solved, and the excess energy is stored for later use when the sun is not shining (for instance, during the night or on overcast days).

With their tireless work, solar batteries help to smooth out solar power’s intermittent nature, making it a more stable energy source, reducing reliance on the grid, and providing a consistent power supply. This handy ability to store and manage energy effectively is essential for both residential and commercial solar power systems.

A solar panel on a roof

How Batteries Work Within a Solar Power System

How do solar power batteries work, specifically? Basically, they operate by storing the excess energy generated by solar panels. When sunlight hits the panels, it is converted into direct current (DC) electricity through a complex process. This DC electricity then flows through an inverter, which further converts it to alternating current (AC) electricity, which is the type used in most homes and businesses. Any electricity that doesn’t get immediately used is then stored in the batteries instead of being sent back to the grid.

This process guarantees a continuous energy supply. It is also worth mentioning that during power outages, especially in areas prone to frequent outages or in off-grid locations, solar batteries can be set up to provide backup power, maintaining basic functions and reinforcing the resilience of the power supply system.

Advantages of Employing Solar Batteries

Whether used in commercial solar panels or residential installations, solar batteries offer numerous advantages, from energy independence to savings to increased resilience to power outages. Let’s explore these aspects.

  • Energy independence is a standout benefit, as it allows both homeowners and businesses to reduce their reliance on the grid, avoid peak demand charges, and pay lower electricity bills. This aspect is especially handy in regions with high electricity costs or frequent rate hikes.
  • Increased resilience must not be overlooked either. As we mentioned, solar batteries efficiently provide backup power during outages so that essential appliances, such as fridges or water tanks, and systems continue to operate. This aspect is particularly valuable in areas frequently hit by storms, other natural disasters, or grid instability.
  • Finally, using stored solar energy will significantly enhance the power grid’s overall resilience, reducing the likelihood of widespread outages.
A battery in the middle of a forest

Environmental Benefits

In an era where switching to eco-friendly practices is more vital than ever, it is worth touching upon the environmental benefits of solar power batteries. Indeed, these components massively help in the transition to sustainable energy. Thanks to their characteristics, they reduce reliance on fossil fuels commonly used to generate electricity, which leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately contributes to the fight against climate change.

Solar batteries also help optimise the use of renewable energy sources. By making solar energy available 24/7, they increase the overall efficiency of solar power systems, making renewable energy resources more efficient and decreasing the demand for conventional power plants. All in all, solar batteries often lead to a significant reduction in pollution and a more sustainable energy infrastructure.

A group of electrical boxes on a wall

Types of Batteries Found in Solar Power Systems

In solar power systems, we find different battery types, each with its features. The most prevalent ones are lithium-ion, lead-acid, and flow batteries.

  • Lithium-ion batteries are the most frequent type. They offer high efficiency (around 90-95%) due to their high energy density and long lifespan (typically 10-15 years). They are also lightweight and require minimal maintenance, which makes them stand out as a popular choice for both commercial and residential solar panels.
  • Lead-acid batteries are one of the oldest types of rechargeable batteries. While more affordable upfront, they tend to have lower efficiency (about 70-80%) and a shorter lifespan (5-7 years). However, they are still used in many systems. They are cheaper than lithium-ion batteries and have lower energy density. They require regular maintenance and are heavier, which makes them less convenient for some applications. Their initial affordability makes them an appealing choice for budget-conscious users.
  • Flow batteries are the newest and most technologically advanced type, offering some unique advantages. They have a longer lifespan, with some models lasting over 20 years, and offer 100% depth of discharge without damaging the battery. Additionally, they are easily scalable to suit larger capacities, which makes them popular in larger installations. However, they are expensive and less energy-dense compared to lithium-ion batteries.
A white boxes on a brick wall

From Capacity to Warranty: The Key Factors to Consider

When choosing the best type of solar power batteries for a system, several key factors should be considered, including their capacity, power ratings, depth of discharge (DoD), round-trip efficiency, and warranty.

  • Capacity: measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), it indicates the total amount of energy a battery will store. A higher capacity means more stored energy, which is central to applications with higher energy demands (for instance, large homes or businesses).
  • Power ratings: measured in kilowatts (kW), they indicate the maximum amount of power a battery delivers at once, which is essential for determining a battery’s suitability for specific needs.
  • Depth of discharge (DoD): this refers to the percentage of the battery’s capacity that is used without affecting its lifespan. The higher the DoD percentages are, the more flexible and efficient the use of the battery’s stored energy.
  • Round-trip efficiency: it measures how much energy is lost during the storage and retrieval process. Higher round-trip efficiency means less energy loss and greater performance.
  • Warranty: provided by the manufacturer, it gives valuable insights into the battery’s expected lifespan and reliability.
A roof with solar panels on it

Install Efficient Solar Panel Systems with Go Green Solar Group

If you are a homeowner or business owner and are considering installing efficient solar power systems, choose Go Green Solar Group. With our extensive expertise, we will help you complete your business solar panel grant request, explore the various solar battery options, and install the best solution for your needs. Contact us today for a free quote and advice; our team will be happy to assist you with any requirement.