Solar power is an increasingly viable method of generating electricity at home. It’s environmentally friendly and can help reduce your bills.
While we all know about solar panels you may not know that you can take your solar panels a step further by utilising a solar storage battery. This means that if you’re canny, you generate electricity during the day, and then use that electricity at night, reducing your reliance on the grid. Thanks to an increasing focus on renewable home generation, batteries are becoming ever more popular with the public as a way of using energy effectively.
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1. What are Solar Storage Batteries?
2. Are Solar Storage Batteries Worth it?
3. Can Solar Storage batteries work with my EV?
4. Can My EV work as a Solar Storage battery?
Solar Storage batteries enable you to actively store excess electricity that you generate throughout the day. That energy can then be used later when the panels aren’t generating enough power - such as in the evenings or on cloudy days.
They’re great if you want to be more self-sufficient and, especially if you use more electricity in the evening than in the day, you’ll be able to use the energy stored in the battery, rather than relying on the national grid.
There are several types of solar storage batteries, including lithium-ion, lead-acid and flow batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used type of solar storage battery due to their high energy density, long lifespan, and low maintenance requirements.
The capacity of a solar storage battery is typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and varies depending on the size of the solar power system and the energy needs of the user. The larger the battery, the more energy it can store, and the longer it can provide energy for.
The average battery currently holds 10 kWh, which is pretty good going when you consider that the average hourly use in the UK is 0.43 kWh. Theoretically from a full charge you’ll be able to power your house for approximately 20 hours - although energy usage does tend to be higher in the evening!
It’s worth noting that the amount of energy a solar storage battery can hold is not the same as its power output, which is the rate at which it can deliver energy. This depends on its design and the amount of energy it contains.
Let’s not beat around the bush - they are expensive. The more affordable ones start at about £1,200. But if you’re planning on living more sustainably, want to save money and reduce your dependency on the grid, or have problems with power outages they should be a serious consideration.
Many utility companies offer rebates and incentives for those who install solar panels and batteries, meaning that the cost of installation could be significantly reduced
They will also last a long time. Most batteries on the market today are expected to last between 5 and 15 years - so although you will need to replace one before your solar panels, it won’t be every year!
Yes. You can use solar storage batteries with your Electric Vehicle. In fact, this can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels even further.
To use a solar battery storage system to charge your electric vehicle, you will need to have a compatible charging system that can be connected to the battery.
Some electric vehicle chargers are also designed to work with solar power systems, so you should check with your electric vehicle manufacturer or charger provider to see if they offer this option.
Yes, your EV can be used as a storage battery. It is known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which allows the battery of an electric vehicle to be used to store excess solar energy generated during the day and then discharge it to the grid or your home at night.
To use your electric vehicle battery as a solar battery storage system, you will need a V2G-enabled electric vehicle charger and a solar panel system that is compatible with the charger.
The V2G-enabled charger allows the battery of your electric vehicle to communicate with the solar panel system and the electricity grid, ensuring that the battery is charged when excess solar energy is available and discharged when needed.
There are 3 main companies in the UK that are currently reviewing trial data to understand how best to roll out a comprehensive country-wide V2G strategy. These companies are:
Octopus and Ovo are also energy suppliers and are encouraging solar panel and battery installation together. They also offer preferential tariffs and ‘smart export’ tariffs for selling energy back into the grid.
Solar power’s initial outlay is steep, and it should be seen as a long-term investment but if you’re committed to reducing your carbon emissions and are already using, or thinking about getting, an electric vehicle - there is a neat symbiosis between the panels, battery and car.
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