Energy Storage with Solar Power
A major challenge in truly quantifying solar energy has always been energy storage. Adding on an efficient battery backup will enable your solar powered system to produce electricity when the sun isn’t shining at night and during cloudy weather.
The solar industry in general has been focusing on better battery storage for photovoltaics (PV). The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) project is working with five utilities to test energy storage and load management. This has led to a prototype system that integrates PV, batteries, smart home technology, and weather forecasting equipment in the Southeast.
Researchers are also working to better understand how all of the technologies interact to generate and store power based on the weather forecast. This should help with developing algorithms that force the system to automatically store energy when a storm is on the way, enabling the home to rely on solar power without any active sunshine for extended periods of time. The technology can also help electric grid operators balance the supply/demand of solar energy on the grid. This eliminates the need for storage all together and actually yield the best use of energy generated by your panels.
Battery degradation (in accordance with manufacturer’s spec) will retain anywhere from 50%-70% of the energy generated, but these are laboratory testing results. In my personal experience, I have witnessed battery backup systems retaining 20%-30%. Lithium-ion battery backups are the best on the market right now.
Energy Storage Facilities
When homes generate solar electricity, that power flows to a utility’s feeder. With the new distributed energy resource optimizers, that energy can now be diverted to massive battery storage facilities so a given utility and energy provider can rely on that power when it’s needed. This is taking place now in Texas and is acting as a template for other utility and solar companies to learn from and replicate.
As more American homes and businesses are transitioning to solar energy, battery backup and creative storage solutions are making solar power available even when the sun is not. These energy storage solutions should enable renewable energy sources like solar (and wind) to play a larger role on our nation’s electric grid. This is a critical component of the Energy Department’s Grid Modernization Initiative, as we work to create the grid of the future that will be capable of delivering resilient, reliable, flexible, secure, sustainable, and affordable electricity.
To learn more about adding solar energy to your home, call ONIT Energy USA today! 682-284-1174