Shopping for a solar battery (or any energy-related product) can be confusing. There are a ton of different specs and metrics, and it’s often hard to tell which options make sense for your home.
Here are some of the most common questions we get about solar batteries, and our answers:
Are Batteries for Solar Worth It?
Solar batteries are a smart investment for most solar energy users, especially those who want to go off the grid. They are recommended for residential energy storage, DIY solar projects, and many other uses.
You can use your solar batteries to store the extra energy your system generates during the day. That way, it’s there when you need it at night or on cloudy days. Your batteries will also come in handy during power outages.
Solar batteries are an energy-efficient source of backup power for many people. However, they tend to pay off more in the long run — in the short run, a propane or natural gas generator may be cheaper.
How Long Do Solar Batteries Last?
A fully charged solar battery should be able to power a home for 12 to 24 hours on average. Typically, a solar battery will last up to 15 years and most manufacturers offer a 10 year warranty.
Factors like the capacity of your solar batteries, your household’s energy consumption, and whether or not you are connected to an electrical grid affect how long your solar battery can provide continuous power. You can help your solar battery last longer with proper maintenance and protection from extreme weather conditions, including extreme temperatures. For that reason we always recommend having the batteries installed in the garage, but if they have to be outdoors, keeping them out of direct sunlight is best.
How Do I Choose the Right Solar Battery Bank Size?
A battery bank is a collection of connected batteries that allow for more power storage than you would get from a single battery. Your ideal battery solar bank size depends on the size of your solar array and the amount of power your household needs to store.
To figure out what size solar battery bank you need, get in touch with our Switch Electric team. We help people throughout the Seattle and Walla Walla areas with their solar energy goals.
How Do I Compare Solar Batteries for My Home?
You can compare solar batteries by capacity, power, depth of discharge, round-trip efficiency, and warranty.
Capacity to power tells you how much energy the battery can store. It’s usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A typical capacity for a solar battery is 10 kWh, but some have a higher or lower capacity. On average, American households use about 30 kWh per day.
Power is the battery’s output capability, or the amount of amperage it can deliver at any given time. Some batteries can deliver more power at once than others. The power of a battery is typically measured in amps.
Depth of discharge (DoD) is how much your battery can be used before you begin to shorten its life span. A higher DoD means you will get more usage from the battery’s capacity.
Round-trip efficiency is the difference between the amount of energy used to charge the battery and the amount of energy available for you to use. The higher the round-trip efficiency, the better.
Warranty is not a top factor in every buyer’s mind, but it can make a huge difference over the course of your solar battery ownership. Battery performance tends to decline over time, and you ideally want a warranty that guarantees years of good performance and/or a large number of cycles. The warranty or guarantee should also cover the battery’s capacity.
How Much is a Home Solar Battery?
The average home solar battery installation costs between $7,000 and $14,000. We recommend looking at the total cost per kWh for the amount of battery storage you need. In many cases, it may make sense to choose a few high-capacity batteries rather than a larger number of lower-capacity units.
Solar batteries cost what they cost because of the materials used to produce them. Over time, solar battery prices are expected to drop due to technological advances, although recently we have seen them rise due to shortage of materials and growing demand.
To find out how much a solar battery system will cost for your home, get in touch with a local solar energy expert. You can reach out to the Switch Electric team for electrical needs in the Seattle or Walla Walla areas. If you are looking to install a completely new solar system, check out our solar cost calculator.
What Are the Best Battery Storage Systems For Solar Energy?
Here are our top picks at Switch Electric due to the quality of materials and warranty that is offered:
- SunPower SunVault — offered in 13kWh, 26kWh, and 52kWh and featuring a 10 year unlimited cycle warranty.
- Enphase IQ Storage — offered in increments of 3.36kWh of battery storage that can be built up to a total of 40kWh depending on customers’ needs. This system offers generator support to help supplement charge to the batteries in extended outages. The warranty is 10 years or 4000 cycles.
Did We Answer Your Question?
For more information about solar batteries and solar power systems, get in touch with the Switch Electric team. We’re always happy to help people work toward a more renewable, reliable energy system.