Energy Storage 101
What’s an energy storage system?
Many solar-energy system owners are looking at ways to connect their system to a battery so they can use that energy at night or in the event of a power outage. Simply put, an energy storage system is a battery/inverter system that is charged by a connected solar system, such as a photovoltaic (PV) one.
Solar panels have one job: They collect sunlight and transform it into electricity. But they can make that energy only when the sun is shining. That’s why the ability to store solar energy for later use is important: It helps to keep the balance between electricity generation and demand.
Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable because their chemical reactions are reversible, allowing them to absorb power and discharge it later. Lithium-ion batteries can store a lot of energy, and they hold a charge for longer than other kinds of batteries.
How does the energy storage system work?
When you install a solar battery as part of your solar panel system, you can store excess solar electricity instead of sending it back to the grid. If the solar panels produce more electricity than what is being used or needed, the excess energy goes towards charging the battery. Electricity will only go back to the grid when your battery is fully charged, and electricity will only be drawn from the grid when the battery is depleted. You will need to have an inverter to convert DC energy being produced by your solar panels and store it in a battery as AC power for later use. The higher your battery’s capacity, the larger the solar system it can charge.