Solar panels generate electricity, but they cannot store it. Having solar battery storage in the UK is essential for storing excess and unused energy from the solar panels.
When the daylight hours have disappeared and the solar panels no longer generate electricity. It is at this point that the batteries come in handy to power your home or office.
Types of Solar Batteries
Not all batteries in the market are ideal for solar applications. The next time you are looking for solar battery storage in the UK, consider only those designed for solar systems applications.
We classify the batteries based on their chemical composition and the type of power they can supply to the electrical load.
Here are the two major classifications;
1. Lithium-ion or Lead Acid Batteries
Lead-acid batteries are further categorised as flooded or sealed solar batteries. The flooded lead-acid battery has a better lifespan compared to the sealed lead-acid battery. It will last for 5 to 7 years versus 3 to 5 of what you get with a sealed lead-acid battery.
The flooded lead-acid battery will require more maintenance but can keep going for years, giving you dependable power. If you are looking for a cheaper solar battery, consider the lead-acid batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are a popular choice for being compact and having more capacity. Good brands will last for a minimum of 10 years compared to 5 years for lead-acid batteries. Having a better performance means paying a little more for them, however, they will provide a better return on your investment over the long term.
Although lithium-ion batteries are the more expensive option, they still offer excellent value for the money. Once a lithium battery system is set up in a house, you can be sure of dependable performance.
2. AC or DC Batteries
For solar applications, Direct Current (DC) batteries are the best. They do not need an additional inverter to connect them to the solar panels. All you need is a charge controller for charging the batteries at the recommended current.
The charge controller is based on the current that the solar panel array generates. The charge controller capacity needs to be more than the solar panel array charging current.
The Alternating Current (AC) batteries can still be useful in a solar battery storage system in the UK, but you will need an additional inverter to retrofit them.
It is best to seek professional help to understand which battery type would be ideal for your home application.
Top Solar Battery Brands
Before investing in solar battery storage in the UK, there is a need to learn more about the top brands. The top brands have a reputation for producing reliable and high-performance batteries which will serve you well for years to come.
Here are some of the top solar battery brands in the market currently:
- Tesla Powerwall
- Varta Pulse
- LG Chem
- Samsung SDI
There are many more, but these are the top brands to consider if you are looking for reliability and good performance.
How Solar Battery Storage UK Can Benefit Your Home
Solar battery storage in the UK comes with many benefits that a homeowner can enjoy for many years. Here are some worthwhile reasons for considering solar battery storage:
- Less reliance on grid supply: It is possible to use more battery and solar power than grid-connected power depending on the inverter settings. It is easy to see that your energy bill will drop significantly.
- Power backup for the home: When you live in an area that experiences power blackouts more often, consider opting for a solar battery storage system. It acts as a power backup for the home anytime the grid supply is unavailable.
- Independence from the grid power: It is common to find grid companies increasing their prices from time to time. If there is a sufficient solar battery storage system, then you can have a lot more independence from the utility company’s tariffs.
- Ease of setting up: It is worth mentioning that the setup process is easy. So long as you get high-quality solar batteries, the rest becomes easy. If you have no experience in connecting batteries, then consider hiring a professional.
- Years of dependable power: High-quality batteries will give you years of reliable power. Over time, your battery capacity may drop slightly. Nevertheless, the return on your investment will be worth it, to say nothing of the positive impact that you are having on your environment.
A homeowner’s biggest concern regarding solar battery storage is the cost. A solar battery storage system can cost anywhere between £1,200 and £10,000 depending on the battery capacity, brand, chemical composition, and life cycle.
Do not let the initial investment deter you as the benefits outweigh the possible disadvantages of a solar battery storage system.
Properties of the Best Solar Battery Storage
When looking to buy a solar battery storage system in the UK, you will likely come across many options. Sometimes it can be confusing to decide which battery storage system is best suited for you. Below are some of the factors you should keep in mind.
- Ongoing maintenance: Depending on the battery type that you choose, some will have more ongoing maintenance needs than others. Take the time to understand the kind of maintenance the solar battery storage system will require. The maintenance costs are expected to be more when you are using a flooded lead-acid battery. It will require the addition of distilled water and other types of maintenance to keep it working efficiently. Do not worry as this does not happen frequently.
- The brand: When you are choosing solar battery storage, the brand is important. There are top brands in the market known for making high-quality batteries that last longer. Some of the top brands are Tesla Powerwall, Samsung SDI, LG Chem, Duracell Energy Bank, Lux and more.
- Capacity: The capacity is the biggest factor you will have to consider. Its unit of measure is kilowatt-hours (kWh). Remember that if you want to run more electronics and appliances for longer, you need a bigger capacity battery. The size of your solar array will of course play a part in deciding. Capacity can be misleading sometimes. You cannot use the entire battery capacity. When the battery gets to a certain capacity, then a recharge is necessary. Always look at the “usable capacity” of the battery before investing in one.
- Depth of discharge: The depth of discharge (DoD) will dictate how much battery capacity is available before you need to recharge the battery. The DoD will vary from one battery to another. If it is lithium-ion, then the DoD is 80% to 100% and 50% for most lead-acid batteries.
- Warranty: The warranty can offer peace of mind for your investment in solar battery storage in the UK. A solar battery warranty is generally based on the number of cycles the battery will go through in its lifetime. A cycle is one complete discharge then a complete recharge. Depending on the battery type, sometimes the discharge can only get to 50%, then a recharge is necessary. So, it would take two of these processes to form a complete cycle. Looking at the available batteries in the UK market, most have a 10-year warranty. This should be enough time to utilise the battery to suit your power needs. Always read the warranty policy as it varies from one brand to another.
If you find that a solar battery storage system would be a viable option for your home or office, then contact professional and qualified installers to help with the process.
Professional installers will also calculate the battery capacity required to handle your electrical load without straining the system. Once all the information is available, it is easier to decide, knowing you chose the best solar battery storage in the UK.
Contact us today to get a free and informative quotation including all the professional help you need.