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What is driving people to buy solar batteries?

Solar power storage: Why do people keep buying solar home batteries?

Homeowners are buying more batteries for solar power storage to decrease electricity costs. The purchase of solar batteries also gives homeowners a sense of security, knowing they can power their homes in almost any weather conditions. When using solar panels on a cloudy day or during a rainstorm, power is accessible through battery storage, even if connected to the electric grid. 

Using solar batteries also gets the most use out of the Photovoltaics electricity. If you would like additional information regarding Photovoltaics (PV) and any PV testing, one of our team members at PPM Solar can help!

Why is solar battery storage becoming more popular in the USA?

To save money on utility bills due to increases in power rates:

  • Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricity prices are 14.51 % higher in 2022 versus 2018. 
  • Over the past five years, the average electricity inflation rate has been 3.45% per year.

Access to electricity even if the grid is down:

  • On average, there are 51-100 power outages annually in Florida.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food will only stay safe in a refrigerator for up to four hours. In areas of natural disasters, the power outages could last for days, weeks, and sometimes even months. Typical homeowner insurance policies do not cover food loss.
  • Homeowners interested in living 100 % off the grid can do so with a solar system that includes battery storage.

An Enphase Encharge Battery solar power storage is installed on a home’s outside wall.

What are the advantages of solar battery storage?

There are so many solar battery advantages. Listed here are just a few: 

  1. Electric seamless operation – with the benefit of solar storage, most people would not even know there is a power outage.
  2. Since battery costs are lower than ever, having this solar storage as an option is more attainable.
  3. Solar battery storage ensures energy independence – whether on the electric grid or 100% off-grid. When the power goes out, the solar battery storage unit kicks on.
  4. The battery storage units of today are sleek and robust in, both, integration and appearance. No one wants an unsightly battery storage unit on their home.
  5. With new technology, the residential battery storage system is reliable for decades.
  6. There are specific battery storage tax incentives, for solar systems in Florida. Our knowledgeable team at PPM Solar guides each client through all their options for incentives. 

When would you need your solar storage system?

Two of the most important reasons for the need of a solar storage system are power outages and extreme weather events.

If you are living totally off-grid, you would need battery storage for your home during dusk, dawn, and the night hours when the sun isn’t powering your solar panels.

If the electric grid in your area is unreliable, this could be not only an inconvenience, but it could end up costing you money. If the result of the outage is the loss of food, then you will pay out of pocket to replace that food. Most homeowners’ insurance does not cover the loss of food. 

If you have medical devices that run on power, the need of a solar storage system is essential!

Another advantage of having solar battery storage will be if you work from home. Power outages could cause project delays, interruptions of online meetings, etc. If your children are homeschooled or have school projects to complete, the outage could also cause delays. 

Florida has a track record of major hurricanes hitting the state. Even if the state is not hit directly, we usually get high winds, rain, and flooding from the outskirts of the storm. This is where the benefits of solar battery storage can really come into use. Having power during a natural disaster or even during a huge rainstorm could help avoid injuries and medical emergencies. No one wants to stumble around in the dark trying to find candles, flashlights, medications, food, etc. Using candles to light your home can also be a fire hazard. If someone depends on electric medical equipment, the transition from solar power to battery storage power is seamless. There would be virtually no interruption in the power flow to the medical equipment needed.

The advantages of a solar battery during extreme weather conditions are immeasurable.

How much does the solar battery storage cost?

Solar battery costs are widely varied and are higher for more powerful batteries.  Smaller lead-acid batteries can be purchased for as little as $200. Lithium-ion battery costs range from $7,000 to $14,000. Costs are also determined by kWh. For example:

  • $4,500-9,600 for 6kWh
  • $9,800-14,000 for 10kWh
  • $8,000-18,000 for 13kWh

These costs are for the batteries only. Installation is an added expense. PPM Solar’s experts can help you through the decision process to ensure you get the size battery needed for your home.

Can you earn money?

Earning money (or credits) is possible when you sell your excess energy back to the grid. This is done in Florida by Net Metering. 

Net metering is the process of providing credit for any excess electricity your home’s solar power system produces and delivers to the power grid. While the state of Florida offers this program, the state’s net metering laws only apply to Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs). Four companies currently cover 79% of statewide customers. 

  1. FPL- Florida Power & Light
  2. Duke Energy Florida
  3. TECO- Tampa Electric Company
  4. Florida Public Utilities Corporation

Municipal electric companies or rural electric co-ops cover the remainder of the Florida customers. 

PPM Solar’s experts can advise you about the programs available where your home is located.

Net Metering is one of the benefits of solar storage in 2022.

Do you need a battery for solar panels to work?

In a word, no. Solar panels receive their power from the sun. During peak hours of use, (early morning and evening), solar panels can draw any extra power needed from the electrical grid. While solar panel battery storage backup systems are not essential for solar panels to work, they have proven their worth in many ways. For those who use solar panels and are connected to the electrical grid, solar battery storage can be a useful backup system in case of a grid outage or black out. In cases where customers want to live totally off-grid, a solar battery storage unit is essential. For off-grid living, having a battery storage unit ensures the use of lights, appliances, etc during hours when the sun is not shining.

What major manufacturers offer residential solar energy storage? What are the advantages and disadvantages for each?

Tesla

  • Advantages 
  • PV and inverter agnostic 
  • High capacity and relative kWh
  • Disadvantages
    • Lipo (flammable)
  • Enphase
    • Advantages
      • Stacks with solar 
      • Unifies with inverters
      • No runaway heat 
    • Disadvantages
      • Only works with Enphase inverters 
  • Schneider 
    • Advantages
      • Inexpensive 
      • Low-voltage battery compatible 
    • Disadvantages
      • No high-voltage battery ability
  • Outback
    • Advantages
      • Extremely robust and durable
    • Disadvantages
      • Expensive 
  • Generac 
    • Advantages
      • Integrated Inverter 
    • Disadvantages
      • String configuration and limited solar configuration 
  • StorEdge by SolarEdge
    • Advantages
      • Integrates with LG Chem batteries
      • High voltage and lower losses (truly DC coupled)
      • Stacks with “Whole Home Backup” kit integration 
    • Disadvantages
      • SolarEdge Inverter/Optimizer compatible only 
      • Relatively low power output per unit 

So, are solar batteries worth it?

Yes! 

Do you want to:

  • make a positive impact on the environment by having zero green gas emissions?
  • lessen your dependence on the electrical grid?
  • live totally off-grid?
  • use the substantial incentives currently available?
  • do-away with unsightly generators that run on carbon-based fuel?
  • not have to worry about how and where to store the fuel for a generator?
  • have a long-lasting backup power system?
  • have the convenience that having solar power brings, even in an outage?
  • have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your family are safer with access to power 24/7?
  • have continuous power during extreme weather events?
  • avoid replacing spoiled food from your refrigerator and freezer during an electric grid outage or blackout?
  • decrease your utility bills?
  • store the excess energy produced by your solar panels?
  • monitor how much solar power your panels make, as well as how much power you use?

Did you answer yes to one or more of these questions? If you did, and if these are your goals, then we, at PPM Solar, believe that you will agree: YES, solar batteries are worth it!!

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