Battery back-up for Grid Solar Power
1. What is a hybrid solar power system?
Have guaranteed electricity supply from the grid, with stored excess solar power available for use at night. Use your own stored power if the grid goes down, or at any time you like. Hybrid solar power systems cost less than half the price of a totally off-grid system, and don’t require generator back up. The benefits of battery storage are being recognised by an increasing number of people.
2. What are the benefits of “battery back-up”?
- use solar energy for your day time power, charge batteries for use at night, and still sell any excess power.
- buy only the cheapest grid power – optimise the value of grid-supplied mains electricity.
- Improve sub-standard, or low voltage mains electricity supply.
- avoid buying electricity at the highest tariff rates.
- avoid peak-usage charges, by using stored cheap power.
- have reliable, continuous power at any time, even when the grid is not operating
- overcome utility-imposed solar system size restrictions, by storing your unused power, and limiting the power exported to the grid.
3. Why consider buying a hybrid solar system?
1) Keep the electricity flowing if the grid goes down
Most solar power systems shut down if they detect failure of the grid. This is a safety requirement to protect workers making repairs to wires outside your home. A hybrid solar system also safely disconnects your house from the grid in the event of a power outage, but runs your house from the batteries. Imagine, yours is the only house in the street with lights on, the TV going, and the fridge keeping the beers cold.
2) Overcome solar system ‘size limits’ imposed by the electricity network
More electricity networks are tightening restrictions on maximum allowable solar system sizes. This often results in home owners being restricted to a solar system much smaller than they need to offset their bills. Hybrid solar systems get around this limitation by using a smart inverter that works with your battery bank. These inverters can be configured to have a restricted export that complies, but allows your system to produce much more under full sunlight conditions. So, to the grid a 10kW installed solar power system could look like a 2kW system. Whilst only 2kW is exported to the grid, the other 8kW is either used on site, or delivered to the batteries for later use.
3) Get around low feed-in tariffs
Why accept just 5 cents for solar power exported, and then buy it back at five times the price, just hours later? With a hybrid solar power system, your inverter charges batteries with any surplus solar power, to be used at night, so you get ‘free’ electricity then, instead of paying for it.
4) Benefit from cheap off-peak electricity
‘Time of use’ tariffs are available in some places – this means that grid electricity costs more during periods of peak demand. With a hybrid solar power system, you can use stored battery power when prices are high, rather than buying power. And if your batteries need a little top up during winter because of low sunlight for a few days, just charge them using cheap off peak tariffs.
Economic ways to convert your solar power system to battery storage:
Buying a new hybrid (battery back-up) solar power system: