We explain how energy storage systems with solar energy work in this blog and what that means for the results your storage system will provide.
Your solar power system might benefit from having a solar battery. It gives you more options for how to power your home and helps you store excess electricity that you can use when your solar panels aren’t producing enough of it.
In order for solar batteries to function, excess solar energy that would otherwise be sent back to the grid must be stored. You can use the solar energy that is stored in your battery to generate electricity when you need it at night.
If you’re looking for the answer to, “How do solar batteries work?”, this article will explain solar battery science, and how solar batteries work with a solar power system.
How Do Solar Batteries Work With a Solar Power System?
The solar panels on the roof begin to produce energy at the beginning of this entire process. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of what happens with a DC-coupled system:
- DC electricity is produced when sunlight strikes solar panels.
- When power is applied to the battery, DC electricity is stored there.
- The DC energy then exits the battery and enters an inverter where it is transformed into usable AC energy for the house.
When using an AC-coupled system, the procedure is slightly different.
- Solar panels receive solar energy, which is then transformed into DC electricity.
- The electricity enters the inverter to be converted into AC electricity the home can use.
- Excess electricity then flows through another inverter to change back into DC electricity that can be stored for later.
- The battery’s energy must be converted back into AC electricity by the inverter before the house can use it.
How Do Solar Batteries Work With a Hybrid Inverter?
A hybrid inverter is a single device that can transform DC electricity into AC electricity as well as AC electricity into DC electricity. As a result, your photovoltaic (PV) system doesn’t require two inverters: one to convert electricity from your solar panels (solar inverter) and another to convert electricity from the solar battery (battery inverter).
The hybrid inverter, also referred to as a battery-based inverter or hybrid grid-tied inverter, combines a battery inverter and a solar inverter into a single piece of machinery. It serves as an inverter for both the electricity from your solar battery and the electricity from your solar panels, obviating the need for two separate inverters in the same setup.
Due to their ability to operate both with and without battery storage, hybrid inverters are becoming more and more common. Your solar power system without batteries can have a hybrid inverter installed as part of the initial installation, giving you the option of later including solar energy storage.
The Science of Solar Batteries
The most widely used type of solar battery on the market right now is a lithium-ion battery. This is the same technology used for smartphones and other high-tech batteries.
In order to store chemical energy before converting it to electrical energy, lithium-ion batteries undergo a chemical reaction. Lithium ions release free electrons, which then move from the negatively charged anode to the positively charged cathode, initiating the reaction.
This movement is encouraged and enhanced by lithium-salt electrolyte, a liquid inside the battery that balances the reaction by providing the necessary positive ions. This movement of unbound electrons generates the current required for the human use of electricity.
Lithium ions return across the electrolyte to the positive electrode when electricity is drawn from the battery. The connected device is powered at the same time that electrons move through the outer circuit from the negative electrode to the positive electrode.
Multiple lithium-ion battery cells are combined with sophisticated electronics in home solar power storage batteries to control the system’s performance and safety. Solar batteries, therefore, work as rechargeable batteries that start the process of making an electrical current from scratch by using the energy of the sun as the initial input.
Battery Size, Life Cyclesand Discharge Rates
A cycle is a term used to describe how many times a solar battery can be charged and discharged. Though their lifespan may be shortened if cycled frequently, the best solar batteries can handle up to 4,000 cycles and typically have a 10-year warranty.
Depth of Discharge
Solar batteries don’t discharge to their full capacity. Lithium-ion batteries typically lose 90 to 95% of their original capacity. A solar battery’s lifespan will be shortened if it is routinely discharged past the depth of discharge.
In kWh units, the battery size is expressed. If a battery has a 95% depth of discharge, its useful capacity of 10 kWh may actually be only 9.5 kWh.
Some battery storage systems include extra features like power backup and the capacity to sell electricity to the grid during periods of high demand. In the event of a blackout, your home can be powered by a solar system with battery backup.
This additional functionality isn’t present in every system; for some, it’s a built-in feature, for others, it can be added, and for some, it’s completely impractical. The cost of solar battery storage will rise overall with increased functionality.
AC and DC Batteries
Depending on the type of battery you purchase, the configuration of your solar panel and battery system may change. Any system can be retrofitted with an AC battery. Many DC batteries can be fitted to systems too, but bear in mind that the type of battery can impact on functionality, and not every battery may be able to be retrofitted to your existing system.
Conclusion: Working Principle of Solar Batteries
That’s how easy it is, really! Solar batteries store extra solar energy so it can be used when it will be most useful to the homeowner, such as during a power outage or to take advantage of additional electric bill savings.
If you’re considering adding solar panel energy storage to your solar power system, it’s critical to comprehend how solar batteries operate. You can use any extra solar energy your solar panels produce because it functions like a sizable rechargeable battery for your home, giving you more control over when and how you use solar energy.
How Long Do Solar Batteries Last?
Home solar battery units last anywhere between 5 and 15 years. To match the 20 to 30-year lifespan of your solar power system, it is almost certain that you will need to replace your solar battery if you decide to install one today.
What Happens When Solar Batteries Run Out of Power?
Should the battery bank become full, it will stop absorbing power from the solar system. The voltage produced by the solar panels will continue to be produced, but it won’t be used or stored until there is a need for energy or sufficient battery capacity.
Do Solar Batteries Recharge Themselves?
The best thing about solar batteries is that they do not require electricity or any other external source to charge themselves, unlike regular rechargeable batteries. One of the reasons why solar batteries are so well-liked by people is that they can be charged using the sun’s rays.