Battery Backup Systems: Should You Be Storing Solar? | EnergyLink
Close this search box.

Battery Backup Systems: Should You Be Storing Solar?

Solar Plus Storage | Commercial solar plus energy storage

People often wonder how businesses and homes that use solar stay powered when the sun isn’t out. There are a few different ways, including the use of a solar battery system. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether you should be storing your solar energy with a backup battery system. These include your utility rates, how much power your solar energy system produces, and the amount of daily energy use.  Let’s discuss the ins and outs of storing solar energy in a backup battery system.

How Does the Battery Store Solar Energy?

The process starts when the solar panels collect energy from sunlight and convert it into usable electricity. This passes through an inverter and is turned into the form of power you can use in your home or commercial building. Some solar batteries have their own inverter for an integrated conversion of energy. When your solar panels produce more energy than you need, the excess goes to the battery to charge it. Then during times of day when the solar panels aren’t generating electricity, you can pull energy from the battery.

Net Metering vs. Battery Backup

Many states use net metering, meaning any surplus of power generated from solar panels gets sent back to the public-utility power grid and can be used at a later date. Unfortunately, it isn’t always an even give-and-take. Utility companies generally don’t credit back the same dollar amount worth of energy. For example, you may pay $0.12 per kWh for electricity but are only given a $0.05 credit for what is sent back to the grid. The solution for how to keep this from happening lies within the use of a battery backup system.

Battery backup systems allow you to store any excess energy you produce, so you can pull from the battery when necessary. This is great during times when you need to use more solar energy than your panels are producing. Since many states have demand-based rate plans, you can end up paying more for energy usage during peak hours, but if you can use energy stored in your battery, you can avoid this increase in price per kWh and save yourself some money. A backup battery can also provide power in case of a power outage. Yes, a standard diesel generator can do the same, but a solar backup battery does so without producing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Ready to Harness the Power of a Solar Battery?

If your solar system powers a facility that would be significantly affected by a power outage, having a solar battery backup could be a critical component in keeping power while not compromising the use of green energy. Having a backup battery is also wise if your commercial building needs to maintain power at all times and doesn’t want to worry about any time-of-use rates that cost more during “peak hours.”

Sign up for bi-weekly energy news updates

Get the latest energy news

Fill out the form below and and we’ll send you the energy news updates every two weeks.