Solar Battery Storage For Homes: A Comprehensive Guide

Home energy storage · Oct 26, 2023

Adding solar panels to homes is a key method of addressing home energy needs, and its use is expanding. However, that energy is only produced during the day and many local regulations are set so that solar installations must be shut down if there’s a power outage. What’s needed is a way to improve solar generation efficiency by using that energy at night and during blackouts. That’s where a home energy management system with battery storage will help.

Solar batteries store excess energy generated by solar panels for later use, ensuring a continuous power supply when sunlight is unavailable. With a modern home energy management system that separates solar from the main panel, solar can keep producing even during blackouts.

Such residential home energy management systems enhance self-sufficiency, reduce reliance on the grid, and enable homeowners to maximize their solar power utilization, especially during periods of low sunlight or at night. This technology contributes to greater energy independence and sustainability.

Franklin Home Power

The popularity of combining solar and batteries for homes is on the rise due to growing environmental awareness and a desire for sustainable energy solutions. Homeowners increasingly recognize the ability to store excess solar energy, providing a consistent power supply, reducing reliance on traditional grids, and promoting self-sufficiency.

As advancements continue, the integration of solar batteries becomes a key component in enhancing the overall efficiency and sustainability of residential solar energy systems.

FranklinWH designs and manufactures Franklin Home Power, a whole-home energy management system integrating solar, battery, grid, and generator power sources and managing them to optimize the safety, reliability, and efficiency of home energy.

Connect with FranklinWH at www.franklinwh.com.

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What Is Solar Battery Storage?

In residential systems, batteries store energy generated by solar panels and the grid. Their primary function is to capture and store surplus solar energy during periods of sunlight, allowing homeowners to use it in the evenings when utility bills are the highest. Reducing dependence on the electrical grid enhances the overall efficiency and reliability of residential solar energy systems as well as provides increased savings.

 

Home battery working process

Benefits of Home Solar Batteries

With decreasing natural resources and increasing energy usage, the energy supply problem is getting severe. The cost of energy increases dramatically, and the environment is damaged. As a new technology, solar batteries provide many benefits.

  1. Cost Savings: Batteries can help reduce energy costs by storing excess energy produced by solar panels for use in the evening and on cloudy days. This can help reduce the amount of energy that must be purchased from the utility company.
  2. Low Maintenance: Modern batteries require very little maintenance and can last up to 10 years or more, depending on the model.
  3. Increased Energy Security: Batteries allow for energy storage, making households less vulnerable to power outages and providing backup power in case of an emergency.
  4. Reduced Carbon Footprint: Solar batteries help reduce household carbon emissions by storing solar energy for use when the sun isn’t shining.
  5. Increased Energy Efficiency: Batteries can help optimize the energy efficiency of a household by storing excess energy produced by solar panels for use when energy demand is higher.

By making most of the solar energy, homeowners can achieve energy independence and significantly reduce energy bills, providing the home with energy security without daily life being interrupted.

Energy Freedom

Solar power generation and battery storage enable energy independence. The combination maximizes solar self-consumption, thereby reducing the electricity needed from the grid.

The grid can be unstable. But with solar, you can generate and store the energy in the battery and use it when you need it, for instance, at night or during an outage. With batteries, we can gain energy freedom for the first time through solar systems.

Environmental Benefits

Solar and battery storage reduce the reliance on traditional power sources, which helps reduce pollution and carbon emissions. As a renewable energy source, the combination doesn’t deplete natural resources such as fossil fuels. It also reduces the need for additional power plants, which helps conserve land and other natural resources while reducing the demand for electricity from the grid, helping to prevent blackouts.

For individuals, solar and battery storage can reduce energy costs, helping to reduce carbon footprint. At the same time, these batteries don't produce noise or air pollution as traditional generators do.

Long Lifespan

Home solar batteries have an incredibly long lifespan, lasting 10 years or more. This is because solar batteries are designed to be extremely durable and are made to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

They also don’t contain any moving parts, making them immune to wear and tear. This means that you can rest assured that your battery will last for many years to come.

Electric Bill Savings

Solar and battery storage can be a great way to save on your electric bill. By storing excess energy generated from solar panels during the day, the batteries can provide you with clean, renewable energy to power your home when the sun isn't shining. This reduces the amount of energy you need to purchase from the utility, which can lead to significant reductions in utility bills.

Franklin Home Power

Factors to Consider For Solar Batteries


As a new technology with many benefits, there are several factors to consider before purchasing solar battery storage.

Use and Need Considerations

When considering home solar batteries, it’s important to consider several factors.

  1. Location: Solar battery storage works best in locations that get plenty of sunlight throughout the year. It’s important to assess the amount of sunlight available in a given area before investing in a battery.
  2. Investment: Home batteries can be a significant investment, so it’s important to make sure that the investment will pay off in the long run. Factors such as energy costs in the area, size of the home, current energy usage, and government and local incentives should all be taken into account.
  3. Battery Size: The size of the battery should also be taken into consideration. Larger batteries can store more energy, but they require a larger initial investment.
  4. Battery Type: Different types of  batteries have different capabilities. It’s important to assess the needs of the home and choose a battery that will meet those needs.
  5. Maintenance: Batteries require regular maintenance to ensure that they are working correctly and efficiently. This can include cleaning, testing, and replacing parts.

By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can determine if a solar home battery is the right choice for your needs.

Battery life and warranty

A battery’s lifespan generally ranges from 5 to 15 years, which can vary depending on the battery type and usage. Generally, solar battery storage is designed to last for a long time and provide reliable power.

Warranties for batteries are typically stated in years or cycles. For instance, a battery can have a warranty of either ten years or 10,000 cycles, whichever comes first.

Some warranties may also cover any damage caused by improper installation or other causes. Make sure to read the warranty of the battery you are considering before making a purchase.

Power capacity

The capacity of solar battery storage is typically rated with two primary parameters: kilowatt (kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh).

The former is a measurement of how quickly the battery can discharge its stored energy, and the latter is the electrical storage capacity of the battery. Typically, these two capacities range from 0.5 to 5 kW, and 5 to 20 kWh.

Solar batteries are usually stackable; this means you can have multiple batteries in a home to increase capacity.

State of Charge

The state of charge (SOC) of batteries measures how much energy is stored in compared to full capacity. A full depth of charge means that the battery is completely filled with energy, while a shallow depth of charge means that only a fraction of the energy has been stored.

For example, if a battery has a 100% SOC, it means you can use the full battery storage amount to power your home. If a battery has a 94% SOC, you can use up to 94% of the battery capacity (e.g., for a 2.5 kWh battery, you can only use 2.35 kWh, which is 94% of 2.5 kWh before the battery needs to be recharged).

Round-Trip Efficiency

Round-trip efficiency is the charging and discharging efficiency or losses incurred during cycle use. The transfer of energy from one form to another, (and in many cases from electrical to chemical energy), will always result in some energy losses. Normally, the charge and discharge losses from a lead-acid-based battery are close to 20%, while most lithium-ion batteries are usually within 5-8%.

In general, solar battery storage has a round trip efficiency of between 85-95%, meaning that for every 100 kWh of energy stored, 85-95 kWh will be available to use.

Solar batteries for home

Solar Battery Storage Savings


The savings associated with solar battery storage can be attributed to several factors, including reduced reliance on the grid, time-of-use (TOU) rates, and financial incentives.

Reduced reliance on the grid

One of the primary ways that solar battery storage can lead to savings is by reducing reliance on the grid. When a solar system generates more electricity than is being consumed in real-time, the excess energy can be stored in batteries instead of being sent back to the grid.

By storing this excess energy, homeowners can use it during periods when their solar panels are not producing enough electricity, such as at night or during cloudy days. This reduces the need to purchase electricity from the grid, resulting in lower electricity bills.

Time of use rates

Additionally, many utility companies offer TOU rates, which means that the cost of electricity varies depending on the time of day. With solar battery storage, homeowners can take advantage of these TOU rates by using stored energy during peak hours, when electricity prices are higher, and relying on the grid during off-peak hours, when prices are lower. This allows homeowners to maximize their savings by avoiding high-priced electricity from the grid during peak times.

Financial incentives

Furthermore, there are various incentives and programs available that can further enhance the savings associated with solar battery storage. These incentives can include federal tax credits, state rebates, and utility company incentives. For example, homeowners who install a system may be eligible for a federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows them to deduct a percentage of the system's cost from their federal taxes. State-level incentives and rebates vary by location but can provide additional financial benefits for installing solar battery storage systems.

Indirect savings

In areas where power outages frequently occur, food stored in refrigerators can spoil, especially in large households that store a lot of food. Meanwhile, the frequency of power surges could cause damage to electrical appliances, which leads to potential monetary loss.

With an energy management system with battery storage in the home, the system will immediately start to supply power to the house appliances as soon as it detects a grid down, at the same time protecting electronics through an uninterrupted power supply.

Long-term savings

In addition to these direct savings, solar battery storage can also provide indirect benefits that contribute to overall cost savings. For instance, by reducing reliance on the grid and using stored energy during peak hours, homeowners can help alleviate strain on the electrical grid, potentially leading to lower electricity prices in the long run.

Consult a professional

It is important to note that the actual savings from solar batteries will vary depending on several factors, including the size of the solar system, the capacity of the battery storage system, electricity usage patterns, local electricity rates, and available incentives. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a professional solar installer or energy consultant to assess the specific savings potential for a particular situation.

Solar batteries to charge EV

Cost of Solar Batteries


The cost of solar batteries is determined by several factors, such as capacity, brand, type, and performance.

  • Capacity

The capacity of a solar battery is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and determines how much energy it can store. Generally, the higher the capacity, the higher the initial cost.

  • Brand

Different brands of solar batteries can have different costs due to their quality and features. Premium brands tend to have higher costs associated with them due to their higher quality and advanced features.

  • Type

Solar batteries come in different types, such as lithium-ion, lead-acid, and flow batteries. The type of battery will affect the cost; for example, lithium-ion batteries tend to be more expensive than lead-acid batteries.

  • Performance

High-performance solar batteries are generally more expensive than lower-performance batteries. This is because they are designed to store more energy and last longer than lower-performance batteries.

Financial incentives & government rebates

Federal Tax Credit

The federal government offers as high as a 30% tax credit for homeowners who install a home energy storage system starting from the beginning of 2023 to the end of 2035. This credit applies to the cost of purchasing and installing the system. The credit is set to expire at the end of 2035 so the sooner the installation, the more rebate they will receive. Read this article for new rebate policies: The Inflation Reduction Act.

State-Level Incentives

Several states offer incentives for homeowners to install home energy storage systems. For example, California offers a Self-Generation Incentive Program that provides rebates for installing renewable energy systems such as solar panels and energy storage.

Hawaii also offers a Hawaii Battery Bonus Program that provides residents with considerable rebates to encourage home energy storage installation.

In the northeast, there are ConnectedSolutions and Energy Storage Solutions which provide generous incentives to people to add energy storage to their solar systems.

Net Metering

Net metering is a policy that allows homeowners to receive credits for excess electricity generated by their solar panel system. If a homeowner generates more electricity than they use, the excess energy is sent back to the grid, and the homeowner receives credits for that electricity. These credits can then be used to offset the cost of electricity consumed from the grid when the solar panels are not generating enough power.

Franklin Home Power

Franklin Home Power is a home energy management system that integrates solar, batteries, grid, and generator. It can manage and track energy use and consumption in the home. It allows you to monitor your past and present energy consumption while controlling critical home appliances remotely through the FranklinWH App. This feature enables you to save more and spend less on energy bills.

FranklinWH battery system

With Franklin Home Power, you can implement different economic and energy-saving electricity schemes in the home. Franklin Home Power has several amazing additional features such as:

Bill savings

It supports different electricity schemes to maximize your energy efficiency and minimize your energy bills.

Solar black start

It can restart your PV system to generate energy during an outage when the grid is down.

Backup generator management

It offers you more energy options during an outage by integrating generators alongside solar and batteries.

Smart Circuits

It allows you to control up to three household circuits remotely through the FranklinWH App, allowing direct control of critical appliances.

FAQs

1. What is the average lifespan of solar battery storage?

The average lifespan of a solar battery storage is between 5 and 15 years, depending on the type of battery used.

2. Can solar batteries be used during power outages?

Yes, they can be used during power outages. Solar batteries, also known as solar energy storage systems (ESS), are designed to store excess energy generated by solar panels during the day for use at night or during power outages.

3. Are solar batteries eligible for government incentives?

Yes. In the United States, solar battery storage may be eligible for federal and state incentives. It is best to check with your local government for information on battery incentives in your area.

4. How does the installation process for solar battery storage work?

The installation process for solar battery storage typically follows five main steps:

1. Site assessment

An assessment of the site is conducted to determine the type and size of the battery system that will best meet the needs of the property.

2. System design

The solar installer will create a system design, including the type and size of the battery, the capacity of the system, and the components (inverters, charge controllers, etc.) needed for the system.

3. Permitting and approval

Depending on local laws, the installation may require permits and/or approval from local governing bodies.

4. Installation

The battery system components are installed, typically on a wall, and connected to the existing electrical system.

5. Commissioning

The system is tested to ensure it is functioning properly, and the customer is given instructions on how to use it.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we introduced a variety of topics about solar battery storage, including the definitions, benefits, factors to consider, costs, Franklin Home Power, and some FAQs.

If you're thinking about going solar or going for solar battery storage, it is important to do thorough research and choose the right battery and brand for your home.

Still have questions? Connect with our energy advisory team today

If you are interested in learning more about solar battery storage or the FranklinWH Energy Management System, you can visit the FranklinWH website or leave a message here. Our energy advisors will quickly connect with you!Franklin Home Power