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The Future of Solar Battery Technology for Homeowners

The California Independent System Operator’s (ISO) duck graph shows that there is an increase in the penetration of solar electricity in the state’s grid, which is increasing the risk of overgeneration, as well as large ramped-up needs when solar radiation is unavailable or during peak hours.

A lot of effort has gone into lifting our power generation because energy costs are not getting any lower. Air conditioners, computers, refrigerators, lights, and other home appliances cannot function without power. Avoiding using them is, unfortunately, not an option.

What can be done to salvage this situation?

Now is the time to look for alternative ways to take control of the power sector.

But how can you achieve this?

When homeowners install solar panels on their roofs, they can start producing their own energy. This is an effective way to reduce your energy bill. You get the added advantage of longevity by using Enlightened Solar to increase your overall solar energy production.

Is this enough to reduce your utility bills?

No. To see a remarkable saving in your electricity costs, your home needs a solar system with battery storage.

With this battery technology, which is emerging as a key solution to power issues worldwide, you can produce your own energy, and also store excess energy to use later, while maximizing your savings.

In a couple of minutes, you will learn:

  • What solar batteries are
  • The major types of solar batteries
  • Why you should invest in solar battery technology
  • The future of solar battery technology for homeowners

What Are Solar Batteries?

Solar batteries, which are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings, reserve energy to be consumed later and are charged by a well-connected solar system. The stored electricity can be consumed after the sun goes down, during a power outage, or when there is a peak in energy demand.

This home battery system stores surplus solar power and extends the use of the energy generated by the PV-system to provide free and sustainable power when the sun isn’t shining and the panels are not producing energy.

With these batteries, little or no electricity will be fed into the grid. This means that you won’t have to buy costly electricity from the grid. Also, self-consumption increases, leading to a significant decrease in electricity costs. The result is that you pay less per kWh used.

You enjoy more benefits when you get a solar battery in conjunction with solar panels.

Major Types of Solar Batteries

Solar batteries are vital to the energy independence of your home, especially when paired with a reliable solar system like Enlightened Solar. With the lead-acid battery generally becoming the primary source of power in EVs, the demand for EVs is increasing and boosting its market growth.

Although there are different types of solar batteries to choose from, it is important that you are also aware of their specifications, so that you can better evaluate your options.

Here are the different types of batteries that can be used in solar power systems:

Flooded lead-acid

This type of battery is best described as a “wet cell” battery, and is filled with electrolyte. It is the best type of battery for off-grid use, and ranges from medium capacity to high capacity.

    • Size: They are similar in size to auto batteries but can have a full battery bank, which tends to consume a lot of space.

 

    • Charging time: This varies depending on many factors. However, it could take between several hours to a day, or more, to charge fully.

 

    • Lifespan: Flooded lead-acid batteries have a lifespan of about 8 years, and up to 15 years if it is well maintained. Cycling and various other factors will determine the durability of the batteries.

 

    • Cycling: You can expect from 200 to 300 discharge or charge cycles. It mostly depends on the depth of discharge (DoD) that runs over the course of the flooded lead-acid battery’s life.

 

    • Maintenance: It needs regular maintenance like venting, adding water, and cleaning the terminals.

 

    • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature-sensitive. Lower temperatures will reduce the battery capacity, while higher temperatures will increase the capacity. However, higher temperatures tend to degrade the battery life of lead-acid batteries.

 

    • Safety: It contains corrosive and toxic lead and sulfuric acid. Be careful when you are either refilling or recharging the battery as gaseous hydrogen could cause an explosion.

 

    • Price: Of all the different types of batteries for solar PV applications, this one is the cheapest.

 

  • Green factor: The green factor is low because of the toxic nature of lead-acid batteries. The flooded lead cell types tend to leak as well.

Gelled electrolyte sealed lead-acid

The sealed lead-acid battery uses silica gel with suspended electrolyte. It works best for almost all deep cycle applications.

    • Size: Quite similar to auto or marine batteries and varies in capacity. The home bank consists of several batteries.

 

    • Charging time: Charging time, which can vary between a couple to several hours, depends on different factors.

 

    • Lifespan: It has a battery life of up to 8 years and less than 20% DoD if properly maintained.

 

    • Cycling: The cycling of this battery varies in the capacity withdrawn. It can have up to 1100 cycles with a withdrawn capacity of 50%.

 

<li>Maintenance: It is maintenance-free.

 

 

  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature-sensitive. Lower temperatures will reduce the battery capacity. Higher temperatures, on the other hand, will increase the capacity but degrade the battery life.

 

 

 

  • Safety: It contains corrosive and toxic lead and sulphuric acid. There could be an explosion if exposed to gaseous hydrogen, so be careful when recharging.

 

 

 

  • Price: When compared to an AGM battery with a similar capacity, this is a slightly more expensive option.

 

 

 

  • Green factor: The green factor for this type of battery is low as lead-acid batteries are known to be toxic. However, the components can be recycled.

 

 

Sealed absorbed glass mat lead-acid (AGM)

It is a sealed lead-acid battery that stores its electrolyte in thin glass mats rather than allowing them to flood the plates freely. AGM is great for standby applications that use infrequent deep discharge. Advanced technology makes it suitable for DoD uses as well.

  • Size: AGM shares a similar size with the gel cell and flooded lead-acid batteries.
  • Charging time: It charges rapidly, with a charging time that is up to five times faster than the flooded battery technology.
  • Lifespan: A good estimation of the lifespan of this battery is 4 to 7 years. It can last up to 8 years with proper maintenance. DoD is less than 20%.
  • Cycling: The cycling depends on the capacity withdrawn so, with normal use, you can expect about 700 to 800 cycles.
  • Maintenance: It comes with no maintenance cost.
  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature sensitive. Lower temperatures reduce the battery capacity, while higher temperatures can cause performance degradation.
  • Safety: This battery contains corrosive and toxic lead and sulphuric acid. It should be recharged with caution as gaseous hydrogen can cause an explosion.
  • Price: It has an upfront cost that is significantly lower than that of lithium-ion, is cheaper than gel cell, and pricier than flooded lead-acid batteries.
  • Green factor: AGM has a low green factor with toxic lead-acid batteries that have recyclable components.

Lithium-ion

This is the most commonly used and most versatile energy storage technology today. It uses lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries to store solar energy.

  • Size: It has a higher storage capacity, making it lighter and smaller than lead-acid batteries. The home battery system typically resembles small refrigerators or one or two washing machines in size.
  • Charging time: The charging time for lithium-ion batteries varies significantly due to several factors. A full charge should take about three hours or more.
  • Lifespan: The high-quality lithium-ion battery’s lifespan is 10 years.
  • Cycling: Expect 5,000 to 7,000 cycles if you get a high-quality battery. This figure varies by capacity withdrawn and other factors.
  • Maintenance: The maintenance is free and solid, with no need for water filling or refilling.
  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature sensitive. At higher temperatures, there could be performance degradation.
  • Safety: It is relatively safe if you use it properly.
  • Price: This battery is quite expensive, usually double the price of lead-acid batteries. The high upfront costs are offset by the long-term cost-efficiency.
  • Green factor: The price of this battery depends on the material used during the manufacturing process. Some manufacturers use toxin-free organic materials. However, inorganic lithium-ion is toxic, so you have to dispose of it carefully.

Flow

It is made up of reaction stacks that are separated by electrolyte and held in storage tanks. Best suited for storing power in large quantities.

  • Size: The size of this type of battery varies, and is available in very large sizes.
  • Charging time: This type of battery recharges in a way that is almost like filling an automatic gas tank. It is recharged by replacing the electrolyte.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of vanadium redox batteries is as long as 25 years or more. You can charge and discharge it without any lifespan impact.
  • Cycling: It has no cycling limitations whatsoever.
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance.
  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature sensitive.
  • Safety: It is inherently safe as electrolyte can neither get hot nor catch fire.
  • Price: This battery is currently quite expensive, but can become less expensive with advances in organic aqueous technology.
  • Green factor: Flow has a good green factor, a long life cycle, readily available required resources, and is easily recyclable.

Why Should You Invest in Solar Battery Technology?

Clearly, purchasing solar battery storage is a worthwhile investment when you are considering switching to solar power.

It allows you to easily use most of your solar power by yourself, which reduces the amount of electricity you purchase from energy suppliers.

Also, retrofitting a storage system will benefit you because we live in a society where we pay more for electricity than we spend on feed-in revenue. Basically, the power fed into the national grid does not make economic sense anymore.

Here are some of the reasons you should invest in solar batteries:

1.Reduces electricity bills:

Having a solar battery will help you to significantly reduce your energy costs. If you spend most of your day at work, you can enjoy electricity when you get home in the evenings when the solar power isn’t generating any electricity.

Battery storage will eliminate your reliance on the grid for energy, as well as spending too much on electricity. You will charge your battery in off-peak hours then discharge it in peak hours.

2. Use more electricity:

You get to use 100% of the electricity your solar panels generate. The battery stores the energy you do not use during the day for use during non-production hours. If your electricity demand does not exceed your battery’s supply, you can run on 24-hour renewable energy.

4. It is lucrative:

Some energy companies permit net metering and this is a good avenue to make some extra money.

How can you do this?

Simply sell your stored energy in your solar battery to your energy company when the prices of electricity are high. Especially if you won’t be needing electricity.

Another lucrative way that you can make some extra money is to allow some firms to use your solar battery to store their excess grid electricity.

5. It is an asset

An engineering professor, Yi Cui, said, “if you think about green scale storage, you want 20, 30 years lifetime.”

By patronizing a team of professionals like those at Enlightened Solar, you will get value for your money. Once you install our solar power system with batteries, you make a 30-year asset purchase.

The Future of Solar Battery Technology for Homeowners

Although it is hard to say where the power industry will go from here, the future looks bright for solar battery technology. Technological innovation increases renewable penetration, while decreasing costs have helped to proliferate battery energy storage on a global scale.

However, these technological advancements alone won’t suffice for quick adoption and the deployment of battery energy storage.

Some of the obstacles facing energy storage are:

    • The difficulty in monetizing each value stream that energy storage can provide, and

 

  • The inability to appropriately quantify and price energy storage despite the general agreement that it can work wonders for the power grid.

To support the deployment of battery energy storage technology, regulators, policymakers, and market operators need to focus on the following three areas that can significantly impact the energy sector:

  • Pursue diverse hybrid storage projects;
  • Tailor markets and regulations to produce the desired results;
  • Make the regulations, policies, and rules of the market technology agnostic;

What does this mean for the energy industry?

It means that storage solutions will become viable and incredibly lucrative while offering innovative and efficient ways for homeowners to retain power.

So, which Solar Battery Technology is the Best for Homeowners?

With so many companies involved in the production of solar batteries, you must make an informed decision before making a purchase.

At Enlightened Solar, we will help you to assess your energy consumption, electrical panels, building structure, and other vital information that will help to determine how much you will save by installing a solar system with battery storage in your home.

When is the best time to install solar power with battery technology in your home?

There’s no better time to take action than NOW!

A Homeowner’s Complete Guide for Choosing Generator Sizing for an Off-Grid Solar System

According to a Pew Research Center survey carried out in 2019, there is a growing number of homeowners (46%) who are considering solar systems for domestic use, with 6% having installed solar panels in their homes already.

The president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Abigail Ross Hopper said, “The rapid growth in the solar industry has completely reshaped the energy conversation in this country.”

According to her, “this $17 billion industry is on track to double again in five years, and we believe that the 2020s will be the decade that solar becomes the dominant new form of energy generation.”

What are you waiting for?

Every day when the sun rises, everyone can power their lives! Ipads, TVs, A/Cs, refrigerators, heaters, lights, phones, and lots more, powered by sunlight.  It is a smarter, more reliable, and natural way to power everything in our lives.

Many homeowners deem the off-grid solar system advantageous because of its ability to maximize output and cycle electricity in your home. Many countries are currently facing a power crisis, and a trustworthy, off-grid solar system is the ideal solution.

This complete generator sizing guide for off-grid solar systems covers a wide range of topics, as follows:

  • What is an off-grid solar system?
  • Basic components of the off-grid solar system
  • 5 Reasons why you should use off-grid solar systems
  • Generator backup for solar systems
  • Generator sizing guide for off-grid solar systems – factors to consider

What is An Off-Grid Solar System?

There are mainly three types of solar systems, namely:

  • On-grid solar systems
  • Off-grid solar systems
  • Hybrid solar systems

Although they all have some components in common like inverters and panels, we will be focusing on the off-grid solar system.

Simply put, an off-grid solar system is a system that is off the grid. It works with solar panels, inverters, charge controllers, and a battery bank to provide renewable energy instead of depending on shared electricity.

The off-grid solar system, also known as the stand-alone power system (SAPS), generates electricity via solar panels, which is used to charge the solar battery with the help of a charger controller.

Then, an inverter is used to convert the electricity, enabling you to power your home or business appliances.

Saving electricity in a solar battery makes it easy to run your home and business with solar energy round the clock.

Basic Components of the Off-Grid Solar System

The off-grid solar system incorporates four components to ensure maximum functionality. Here they are:

  • Solar panels
  • Solar batteries
  • Solar inverters
  • Solar charge controllers

1.Solar panels

Solar panels are mounted physically on a mounting structure to produce DC power, which is wired through the charge controller before it is stored in the battery bank.

The size and production of a solar panel array depend on the amount of sunlight available in that region, as well as the energy consumption needs and the available usable roof space.

2.Solar batteries

The battery bank of the stand-alone power system stores the energy produced by the solar array during the day to be used anytime, even at night.

Solar batteries allow your home to continue running even after the sun goes down.

Since solar panels are capable of generating excess electricity, the solar storage device charges throughout the day. The solar batteries store energy to help avoid losing so much solar power.

3.Solar inverters

Solar inverters are also called PV inverters. Stand-alone inverters work best for off-grid solar systems.

You will need a solar inverter to convert the direct current (DC) from the solar panel array into an alternating current (AC). This will allow you to to run your home and business appliances and electronics.

4.Solar charge controllers

Also known as a battery charger, the solar charge controller is vital for the battery to save energy. Its main function is regulating the voltage and current received by the solar battery to prevent either overcharging or damage.

Charge controllers have two main functions:

  • Preventing overcharging of the battery, and
  • Eliminating the reverse current flow that takes place at night from the batteries to the solar modules.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Off-Grid Solar Systems

As Steve Jobs rightly said, “To me, ideas are worth nothing. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”

Are you confused about the best type of solar energy for your home or office?

Many people like you are pondering the same thing. Honestly speaking, both types of solar systems offer their set of advantages and disadvantages. So, it is really up to you to choose the best for your power supply needs.

The tremendous benefits of using off-grid solar energy in your home cannot be overemphasized, especially since it will make you stand out from other homeowners when there is a power outage.

To make things as easy as possible for you, we’re going to give you 5 reasons why the off-grid solar system is more beneficial for your house and office.

1.Low monthly rates

Enlightened Solar helps proud homeowners to save money by installing beautiful solar systems at a fair price.

By using off-grid solar systems, you will be helping the environment and saving money in the long run. You will no longer have to worry about high monthly rates and mounting electricity bills.

The average amount that solar energy homeowners pay monthly is about $84, which varies depending on many factors.

Also, this team of passionate solar professionals will show you the exact costs of every component in the off-grid solar system, providing you with the best value for your money.

2.Keeps the environment clean

How much do you love the environment?

If you love to see your environment green and clean at all times, you should go solar.

Many companies provide electricity using means that are hazardous to the environment. The experienced professionals at Enlightened Solar are eco-friendly and will ensure that you enjoy clean energy from the sun with a minimal carbon footprint.

3.Stable light despite power outages

When there is a power outage caused by a storm and you are grid-tied, you will find yourself in a blackout. Since most home and office appliances run on electricity, you will be helpless until power is restored.

With Enlightened Solar, your energy is stored in case of disasters and you will be fine when others are experiencing power outages.

Sudden natural disasters have caused considerable devastation in different parts of America, making it essential to have a reliable backup. This is achieved by storing energy in batteries so that your home will be powered all the time, irrespective of the weather conditions.

4.A better alternative for rural life

One of the problems faced by people living in rural areas is the high cost of connecting to the main electrical grid, which is usually costly and tedious.

Are you moving to a rural area and worried about powering your house?

With off-grid systems, you can save that extra money, especially if you live far from the main electrical grid. You will also produce and control clean electricity to live wherever you like. This will save you time and money, while still ensuring that you enjoy a stable electricity connection.

Save yourself the chore of jumping over the hurdles associated with being grid-tied by literally going off-grid.

5.Easy installation

The installation process for off-grid solar systems is very straightforward because the equipment needed to run it does not depend on the grid to work. There is no need for a complex infrastructure or connection.

All that is required to install this system is for you to have some background knowledge of basic tools. You will only need a professional to guide you and show you the ropes.

Also, there is no need to undergo the expensive process of the trenching required when putting the collected solar energy on the grid.

Generator Backup for Solar System

Do you want to enjoy full energy independence?

Do not forget that there will be days without sunshine. On such days, you will still need to generate energy. Hence the need for a generator to give you full energy independence.

A generator can serve as a good backup plan for the days you do not have enough natural light to generate solar energy and power your home appliances. Although not all solar power systems require a generator, some living or working conditions require a viable backup solution.

So, where using a wind turbine as a secondary source of power is impractical, you should use a generator.

However, not all generators are suitable for off-grid solar systems. The two main types of generators that can be used for off-grid solar systems are:

  • Conventional generators, and
  • Inverter generators.

Generator Sizing Guide for Off-Grid Solar Systems – Factors to Consider

Off-grid solar systems need a backup plan for times when the solar system does not produce enough energy to meet your required needs. Most of these systems pair with a generator. Just make sure you choose models that are durable, cost-effective, and reliable.

Are you thinking of having an off-grid solar system installed in your home?

Then you should consider buying the off-grid solar system from experts. They will help you choose the one that best suits your home design. Installing the wrong systems can lead to adverse consequences as the electric output may not be a good match for your appliances.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the size of the generator for your solar system:

The size of the generator

Generally, the output of the generator should be about double the size of the continuous output of the inverter. The reason for this is that the generator will have to charge the batteries while it is powering loads.

For instance:

You should pair a 4,000-watt inverter with an 8,000-watt generator.

If you have loads of 4,000 watts, and a charger of 60 amps at 48 volts, you should expect continuous power of about 7kW.

That is:

60a x 48v = 2,880 watts + 4,000 watts = 6,880 watts

The minimum generator size you should go for is 8kW. This size can power loads and still have the power needed to charge the battery bank as well.

You could round up a little to give more headroom for the generator. Your generator will need this because it is likely to lose some power when it is at higher elevations.

Larger or smaller generator?

What size generator is best for off-grid solar systems?

Larger generators are great for households or offices with large loads like air conditioners. A 4000w inverter is usually suitable for 12kW and 14kW generators in the off-grid system. However, larger generators tend to burn more fuel than smaller ones.

Would you rather go for a smaller generator?

Smaller generators, on the other hand, require that you adjust the settings to limit the output of the battery charger for them to work well. Most battery chargers will need you to adjust the settings for the charge rate and AC input amperage. Also, the generator’s voltage has to match that of the inverter.

Type of generator fuel

What kind of fuel will be more efficient and pocket-friendly for your generator?

Most of the standby home generators run on diesel, propane, or natural gas.

Diesel generators have the advantage of lasting longer and being more fuel-efficient than either natural gas or propane. However, it costs two or three times more than the alternatives.

Most people who use off-grid solar systems use generators that can be configured to work with either propane or natural gas.

Warranty

You need to take a close look at the warranty of your generator to ensure that it covers prime power or off-grid applications.

There are generators that offer up to 18 months or 1000 hours warranty for off-grid use. This is in addition to the 10-year installation warranties and 25 years of energy production warranties you will get from trusting Enlightened Solar with your renewable energy needs. It’s a great deal!

1800 RPM generators vs. 3600 RPM generators

Typically, generators operate at an engine speed of either 1800 RPM or 3600 RPM.

What’s the difference between the two and which one will be best for you?

The difference between the two engine speeds is based on the alternator that is used, as well as the engine design.

1800 RPM generators are superior to 3600 RPM generators in terms of their fuel efficiency. However, they are pricier than 3600 RPM generators. Although 3600 RPM generators are cheaper, they are not as efficient as 1800 RPM generators.

2-wire start

When pairing your off-grid generators with solar power systems, you need to use 2-wire start capability. This will elicit a better response from the automatic generator start (AGS) functionality.

The AGS kicks in to start the generator and recharges the battery bank when your batteries drop below a particular voltage.

A 2-wire start is not an electric start. While some generators have an electric start/stop button, they cannot be controlled with the 2-wire signal. This means that the inverter will not communicate with the generator before the AGS mechanism is triggered.

Are you ready to be a proud homeowner with full energy independence?

Michelle Davis, the Senior Solar Analyst at Wood Mackenzie, forecasted that “by 2024, there will be on average, 1 solar installation per minute. That’s up from one installation every 10 minutes in 2010.”

From this latest forecast, it is abundantly clear that having an off-grid solar energy system is the best option for your home. As a homeowner, you deserve to generate your own power for long-term use.

Solar design is an art and Enlightened Solar has the expertise, experience, and desire to power your home in a beautiful way.