Over the decades, the original and obvious challenge for solar energy has been night time. As PV solar panels require sunlight to produce electricity, there’s a cap on how much energy they can produce. This used to mean the technology was only useful during the day.
Thankfully, that’s not the case now.
Throughout the year, Brisbane gets between 7-8 hours of sunlight a day on average. Beyond those hours, homes are either powered by the local grid or by solar batteries.
Storing Solar Power
If you can’t produce electricity at night, you can at least store it during the day and use it later. Bell Labs had that idea during the mid-1950s, developing the world’s first solar battery. Their product only had an efficiency of about 6%, but innovations never stopped. Now, modern solar batteries like Tesla Powerwall have an efficiency around 92%.
With the power to store solar energy, the technology is able to run homes and cities 24/7.
Choosing the Right Solar Battery
There are so many battery options out there. So how do you choose one that suits both your current solar panels and power needs? Well, the main things you’ll need to compare are:
- Storage Capacity – The amount of kWh it can hold.
- Depth of Discharge – DoD refers to a battery’s usable storage capacity.
- Charge/Discharge – The amount of kW it can deliver.
- Round-Trip Efficiency – The effectiveness of the storage (e.g., if it stores 10kWh and later gives back 9kWh, it has a round-trip efficiency of 90% ).
- Battery Life and Warranty – Solar batteries generally have long lives. And depending on the brand, they guarantee a level of efficiency for a certain amount of time.
It’s also important to consider the price. Then you can better make the right investment for your personal budget.
If your solar array produces a lot of energy, then it may be worth having a solar battery with a larger storage capacity – or stacking multiple batteries. The power (charge/discharge) of the battery is also vital. A solar battery with 2kW of power won’t be able to run as many home appliances as a battery with 5kW. Still not sure which solar battery is right for your home? Our solar power experts are happy to help.