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How to store solar energy

4 min read

You may already know how solar panels work, but do you know what happens when it’s nighttime, or the sun hides behind the clouds? What about when your solar energy system produces more energy than you use?

In this article, let’s talk about how you can store solar energy in a solar storage system (or home battery backup) and the different options that are available to you.

How to Store Solar Energy

You can store excess solar energy with a home battery. Home batteries are great because they help you take advantage of the electricity your solar energy system produces when you need it. We use energy all day long to heat and cool our homes, but most of us use our lights and other electronics mostly at night when we’re home after work. Unfortunately, this is also when solar panels stop producing energy.

A solar battery storage system helps alleviate this problem by storing excess energy your solar panels produce. This way, you can still use clean energy when you get home from work, instead of pulling energy from the utility grid, which is most likely using coal or some other form of fossil fuel energy.

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How Do Solar Batteries Work

So, how does solar battery storage work?

While some batteries just store energy for backup power, if you use a solar+storage system for self-consumption, it will follow three basic steps:

  1. Produce
  2. Store
  3. Power

Let’s talk about each of these steps in more detail.

Produce

The photovoltaic cells on your solar panels collect sunlight and turn that light into direct current (DC) electricity. Your system’s inverter then takes that direct current power generated by the panels and converts it into alternating current (also known as AC.) Alternating current is the type of current that your home and electronics use.

Store

After your inverter converts the power into alternating current, that electricity will run through the rest of the house. It will then power your appliances and devices. Energy which is unused will then be sent to the home battery for storage. If you don’t have a home battery or your home battery is fully charged, the electricity will then be sent to the grid. If your electricity is being sent to the grid, it’s possible that you could benefit from net metering. You can talk to your solar rep to learn more.

Power

When you need more electricity than your solar energy system is producing, your home can use the energy stored in your home battery. The battery will automatically discharge whenever your home is consuming more power than your solar panels are producing; this delays the need to pull energy from the grid.

In some markets, a battery will consider specific Time of Use (TOU)and Net Metering rates when making these decisions in order to provide the most economic value.

At the same time, the home battery will reserve some power in case of grid failure. To learn more about how a home battery helps in a power outage, read our article: “Everything You Need to Know About Home Batteries.”

Should You Get A Solar Battery?

Now that you know how to store solar energy and a little bit about how home batteries work, the question is, “Should you get a solar battery?”

While you’re going through the process of getting a new solar energy system for your home, your Vivint Solar rep can help you decide how much you could benefit from adding a battery. They will take a variety of factors into account including your utility rates, how much energy you use, and how much electricity your solar energy system produces. With that information they will be able to recommend whether or not a home battery is the right choice for you and your home. If you are in Hawaii, and you own a solar energy system, you will need a home battery to get the most out of your PV system.

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Store Your Solar Energy with the LG Chem Battery

Our solar energy systems integrated with an LG Chem RESU10H home battery will help you produce and store clean, solar energy for when you need it most. It’s one of the most popular solar energy storage systems on the market today. It has a compact and sleek design, meaning it won’t take up a whole lot of space wherever it’s installed. It can also be mounted both indoors and outdoors.

If you’re looking to rely less on traditional energy from fossil fuels, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Vivint Solar representative today!

See how much solar could save you!

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