Maximising your Solar Power: Choosing the Right Battery Storage for your Home

solar battery storage

There is a wide range of solar battery storage options that can be connected to solar panels to capture surplus electricity for future use. They come in various sizes and capacities to match different types of households and commercial premises. Choosing the right system for your needs helps reduce wastage, lower electricity and energy costs and reduce reliance on fossil fuels and the National Grid.

As with any aspect of a renewable energy or solar panel system, choosing the right battery is not always straightforward. Alongside storage capacity, there are many other things to consider when looking for the best solar batteries for your needs. Here are some top tips to think about when choosing home solar storage solutions

Work out costs, return on investment and your overall budget

Purchasing a solar battery, or other home solar storage solutions can represent a large investment. So, it is important to choose the right one to avoid wasting money by having the wrong set-up for your needs. Think about how many batteries you will need and whether or not you would like to have any back-up solar battery storage options. Weigh up the pros and cons of picking a low-cost option that might not last so long and could require more maintenance, or a more expensive model that costs more to begin with but could repay you with many years’ reliable service.

Decide what type of home solar storage solutions you prefer

As with most things available on the market today, householders have a choice of battery types, including lithium-ion and lead-acid. There are pros and cons to both of these types. Lithium-ion batteries last longer and are capable of a deeper discharge than lead acid alternatives. However, they are more sensitive to temperature and cost more to purchase. Lead-acid batteries are less expensive for people on a tighter budget. They are, however, harder to maintain and are less effective in terms of efficiency, energy storage capacity and lifespan than lithium-ion batteries. Nickel-cadmium batteries are effective and long-lasting; however, the cadmium content make them unsuitable for residential properties.

Know what your power and voltage needs are

The best solar batteries for any system are the ones that match the solar panel’s voltage requirements. Photovoltaic panels produce electricity in DC form, so need a battery around 12 or 24 volts. This is both reasons of performance and safety. Most smaller solar energy systems with one or two panels installed only need one solar battery, or maybe two. You could consider connecting one battery for each panel to prevent overloading a single unit with too much power. For solar panels that produce 24 volts of power, you will need to connect a storage battery capable of at least 60 amp hours for optimum energy storage capacity.

Choose Solar Batteries with an in-built charge controller

Solar batters come with an inverter to convert DC electricity that comes in from the solar panels into AC electricity that can be used to power a home. By having a charge controller system integrated, there is no risk of the inverters malfunctioning or overcharging. This could cause serious damage to your home’s electrical wiring and require costly repairs. Again, investing a little more into solar battery storage options with charge controller systems may cost more in the beginning, but can reap financial rewards later on. It is also a far safer option.

Height, width, looks and where to keep your solar battery

Working out where to keep your solar battery can be a challenge, as some models can be quite large and cumbersome. If you don’t have a utility room, outbuilding, large cupboard or dedicated area, the battery will need to take up valuable room elsewhere. This may not be a problem if you have a sizeable home and can find somewhere unobtrusive. However, for smaller properties, this can be a problem. Character and period buildings can lose some of their aesthetic appeal with a massive battery stuck in the middle of an otherwise rustic or charming room. You will also need to ensure that the battery is kept in suitable conditions – not too damp and not in very cold or very hot temperatures. Some of the best solar battery options performance-wise may not be quite so visually appealing.