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Storing solar energy: everything you need to know

by YINTOM 13 May 2024 0 comentários
Storing solar energy: everything you need to know

Storing this surplus energy is essential to getting the most out of any solar panel system, and can result in cost-savings, more efficient energy grids, and decreased fossil fuel emissions. Storing solar energy has a few main benefits:

Balancing electric loads. If electricity isn’t stored, it has to be used at the moment it’s generated. Energy storage allows surplus generation to be banked for peak-use. As far as renewable energy is concerned, storing surplus power allows the lights to stay on when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing. Simply put, energy storage allows an energy reservoir to be charged when generation is high and demand is low, then released when generation diminishes and demand grows.

Filling in the gaps. Short-term solar energy storage allows for consistent energy flow during brief disruptions in generators, such as passing clouds or routine maintenance.

Energy resilience. The energy grid is vulnerable to disruptions and outages due to anything from wildfires to severe weather. Solar energy storage creates a protective bubble during disruptive events by decentralizing where we get our energy from.

Reducing carbon footprint. With more control over the amount of solar energy you use, battery storage can reduce your property’s carbon footprint in areas with fossil fuel-based utility power. Large solar batteries can also be used to help charge electric vehicles and turn any appliance in your home into a “solar-powered” device.

Savings from electric bills. If you live in a state that has no solar net energy metering, or policies that don’t fairly compensate you for the solar energy you generate, battery storage can help lower your utility bills while consuming more of your own power. So, while you may not be compensated as much for excess energy sent to the grid, any additional solar power generated and stored throughout the day can be discharged from a battery at night or on cloudy days in the place of utility consumption.

Residential solar has myriad benefits, including resiliency, cost savings, and decentralization of electrical production (otherwise known as “virtual power plants”). But the commercial energy storage methods we discussed above are likely cost-prohibitive for the average homeowner. Thankfully, battery storage can now offer homeowners a cost-effective and efficient way to store solar energy.

Lithium-ion batteries are the go-to for home solar energy storage. They’re relatively cheap (and getting cheaper), low profile, and suited for a range of needs. Other batteries commonly available for residential use include saltwater batteries and lead-acid batteries.

Regardless of the battery type, home backup batteries allow homeowners to save energy during high production, low demand times (i.e. during the workday) for use during high demand periods when generation diminishes. Home solar energy storage inherits the same benefits of large-scale solar energy storage, translating into resiliency, uninterrupted energy, and cost savings. And these benefits go directly to the homeowner.

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