When installing a solar PV system in your home one of the elements to consider is if you need a battery system to complement your PV panel setup. At Spirit, we install battery systems for most domestic PV systems we install, however there are a few factors that go into this decision.
Beat the Blackouts
The most obvious advantage of having a battery is that the energy in it can be used in the event of a blackout or brownout. This has obvious benefits especially if your property contains older or otherwise vulnerable people and allows you to maintain light and heat for a period while the problem is fixed by the grid.
(Please note, that not all battery backup systems provide UPS certified quality power switching which may be necessary for certain medical or data support systems, talk to your installer for more details)
Supercharge Your Savings
From an economic standpoint, installing a battery system can increase how much money you save in two ways. Firstly, storing excess energy in a battery during the day rather than selling the energy back to the grid means that the energy can be used in your home on cloudy days or at night. The rates to buy energy from the grid are considerably more (generally at least double) than the money you get selling energy back to the grid, so storing your energy in a battery for later use helps maximise the money you save on your bills.
Secondly, the battery can also be used to store energy so it can be sold back to the grid. Sometimes, it is possible to get more value from flexible export tariffs by having a battery as the energy stored can be sold in a way as to take advantage of the variable rates offered by such tariffs as Octopus Flux. However, this feature is dependent on the type of battery you install as well as the energy company offering the tariff.
Eco Friendly and Economically Wise Installing
Installing a battery along side your solar system also has positive effects on Britain's grid capacity and the environment as a whole. There are huge spikes in national grid usage in the evening as people come home from work and switch on their kettle and the TV, this means the grid needs to fire up additional power generation plants (typically coal power plants due to their ability to quickly increase output, unlike alternatives). Using a battery, that you will have charged up throughout the day with your solar PV will decrease your reliance on the grid in these hours, hence substantially decreasing your footprint. It can also therefore allow the national grid to avoid expensive network upgrades as new homes are built as more and more homes are effectively not pulling energy at peak hours.
Overall, installing a battery with your solar PV system is something that needs to be weighed carefully based on the parameters of your solar installation and your energy use. If you have a system on the larger size, a battery set up is often more economical, especially if your household uses electricity most in the evenings or at night and the property is largely empty during the day.
You can find out more about battery systems in our knowledge bank. For expert advice and guidance whether you're installing solar from scratch or looking to retrofit a battery system on an existing solar installation, email email@example.com or call us on 0118 951 4490.