battery with solar panels

Solar battery storage and the rise of AI: Six solar energy trends for 2024

Now that 2024 is upon us, thoughts turn to what the next 12 months have in store for the versatile, rapidly evolving solar energy market. The growth of the popular renewable energy shows no sign of slowing down, with technological advances at the centre of its ongoing evolution. From solar battery storage solutions playing a vital role in ensuring stable energy supplies to artificial intelligence revolutionising energy production, 2024 looks set to be another exciting year for the sector. Here are six trends that look set to continue, or ramp up in the coming year.

Solar battery storage

Pivotal to a successful transition from traditional energy sources to renewable alternatives is the ability to store excess electricity until it is needed. Solar battery storage systems have been increasing in capacity and efficacy for some time. This year, it is thought that this technology will become even more important. Geopolitical instability in key energy areas such as the Middle East and Russia will render the need for renewable energy sources more vital than ever before. Having powerful, technologically advanced solar battery storage solutions in place will help hugely with the need to have access to energy and electricity generated closer to home.

Advances in solar panel technologies

As global attention remains firmly on renewable energy as a way to help combat climate change and reduce fossil fuel use, so investment in associated technology in will continue into 2024. Time and money will be spent on finding ways to ensure that solar power can be accessible and efficient. Advanced solar battery storage solutions will complement greater efficiencies in solar panels. Innovations such as bifacial panels, which can capture solar energy on both sides rather than just one will help with this predicted trend. Other advances are likely to be around increasing the amount of energy that can be collected, and the speed and efficacy of its conversion into useable electricity for a household or business.

Increased support from the Government

Linked to concerns over geopolitical issues affecting energy supply is a predicted continuation of, or even increase in Government support for renewable energy projects and equipment such as solar battery storage and photovoltaic solar panels. Sustainability issues and climate change policies will also shape governments’ responses to the need to support and fund renewable initiatives to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote cleaner energy. Financial incentives like feed-in tariffs and tax credits will also drive growth in domestic and commercial markets.

Decentralising solar power

The trend of moving the control of energy production to individual households and businesses will also continue into 2024, as more people and companies wake up to the benefits of solar panels, solar battery storage and other renewable energy solutions. While the National Grid will continue to play a larger part in providing energy across the UK, more people will be able to produce their own electricity and sell back surplus to the National Grid to help offset the costs of photovoltaic panels and solar battery storage. This will help foster independence and greater resilience when it comes to energy production.

Ongoing interest in renewable energy issues from individuals and businesses

As renewable energy evolves and improves through technological advancements, so the subject will remain high on the agendas of media outlets and discussion fora. Global event such as the series of COP conferences will attract global leaders from around the world. High-level delegates will continue to discuss renewable energy solutions and how to support innovations in solar energy. This will include improving and empowering solutions such as solar battery storage and solar panel technology. The topic of renewable energy will be included on boardroom agendas, school curricula and social media platforms. As such, it will remain in the public domain for the whole year and play a large part in discussions about moving away from oil, gas and other fossil fuels.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more integrated into different sectors around the world, from healthcare to city planning; education to communications. Renewable energy and solar power is no exception. The clever technology is playing a larger part than ever before in controlling solar battery storage, optimising solar panel positioning and predicting energy production quantities and timings. The adoption of AI in solar battery storage and panel systems will lead to better performance overall and more effective processes.

solar panel system on home roof that uses a solar battery

What You Need To Know About Looking After Your Solar Battery

When you invest in a solar panel system, you inevitably want it to last as long as possible and to perform effectively in order to maximise your investment. One key way of doing this is to extend the life of your solar battery. You can do this by keeping it clean and well-maintained. In addition, it is a good idea to learn how to use it properly in order not to place undue stress on it or cause it to deteriorate more rapidly. Here are some ways to ensure your solar battery remains in tip-top condition for longer.

Get It Right From The Start

Always follow an expert solar panel installer’s guidance when choosing how many solar batteries to install and how much power you need them to be able to store and discharge. Overloaded systems can be very dangerous. Always choose the best quality solar batteries you can afford. It is better to buy batteries capable of more capacity than you think you need. You may end up needing extra capacity later on as power requirements increase. Voltages change over time, and adding newer batteries with different voltages can adversely affect a system’s overall performance.

Depth Of Discharge

Depth of discharge means how much power you can get out of your battery before you need to recharge it. This can vary from type to type, depending on the chemistry of each battery. Your solar panel system installer can tell you which chemistry your solar battery has, and how best to charge it. Some are designed to be recharged daily to gain energy from the sun during the day and discharge it to power your property after dark. Others may need to be charged for a longer or shorter time period to be more effective. Once you know this, it will be easier to work out how to use your solar battery and panel system most efficiently.

solar panel installers working on roof

Storage And Temperature

Some batteries are designed to be stored indoors only, while others can withstand being kept anywhere. Again, check with your installer what you need to do to protect the particular solar battery your system incorporates. You may need to install your battery somewhere enclosed, such as a garage, outhouse or cellar. If you position it in the wrong place, exposure to harmful temperatures can seriously affect its performance and even cause safety issues. So, avoid scenarios where it could freeze in sub-zero temperatures, or overheat in the summer months. Also, avoid overly damp or brightly lit locations. Make sure it is accessible for maintenance, repair or cleaning.

Cleaning And Maintenance 

Speaking of which, keeping your solar battery clean and well-maintained is also important. This can be carried out by solar power engineers during their annual servicing visit. However, in between appointments, there are other ways you can ensure your solar battery remains free from dirt and debris.

  • Disconnect the battery for safety before starting to clean it.
  • Use a damp cloth to gently wipe the battery surface.
  • Don’t let any water pool on the battery, especially not near the top, as this can cause damage.
  • Always wear gloves and safety goggles, as there could be acid on the surface.
  • Allow to dry naturally or pat with a dry cloth. Keep the general area free from dust, garden debris etc.
  • Never attempt battery maintenance without expert input and advice.

Corrosion Protection

Cleaning can go a long way to help prevent corrosion – a major problem for batteries of all kinds. However, there are also other ways to help prevent your solar battery terminals from becoming corroded.

  • Wipe away any dust or moisture regularly with a dry cloth.
  • Avoid locating batteries where the rain can get in and make contact.
  • Keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Aim to bring the batteries to a full state of charge roughly every three weeks. This helps to reduce internal deterioration and corrosion and stops the battery from degrading through lack of use.
  • Avoid spilling anything on the battery’s surface and wipe anything that does fall on it away immediately.
  • Include the solar battery in your annual solar panels maintenance appointment – ask for a corrosion check and a full clean and service.