Are Solar Batteries Worth It?
Solar batteries can take up to half of the total cost of a solar system. Here are three things you should know before making this investment.
1. Do you need batteries?
Most suppliers and installers would say yes. It’s a sound investment that will pay you back in less than ten years. However, batteries are not cheap. You should get batteries if:
You don’t already have an existing connection to the electric power grid and getting connected costs more. Examples of this would be a newly built home or a home in a remote area. For these, you would need batteries in an off-grid system.
You need a backup power supply in case of a blackout.
You want to save on your power bill by reducing how much grid-supplied electricity you use.
2. Are there other options?
There are alternatives to getting a solar battery. You can either get a solar system WITHOUT batteries or get a backup generator. It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re trying to cut down your electricity costs, then a solar system without batteries will work. This is a grid-tie solar system. Grid-tie solar is cheaper since there’s no battery. The disadvantage is, without batteries, your system provides electricity in the daytime only. When the sun sets, you switch over to the utility.
If you need backup power, you could just get a generator. They’re cheaper upfront and they provide more energy than batteries. You could get a solar system and a generator instead of batteries but this is far more expensive and not practical in the long run.
Generators need refueling and maintenance while batteries recharge using solar and they need little to no maintenance. Additionally, batteries have a 50% longer lifespan (5-10 years) than generators. So long-term, getting solar and a generator is expensive and impractical.
3. The type of battery
The type of battery is important because it determines how your solar system will perform and how much the system will cost.
Lithium batteries are unbeatable. These are the batteries used in electric vehicles. They have the biggest energy capacity, they’re smaller and they weigh less.
Sealed lead-acid batteries are the second-best option. They have less energy capacity than lithium. Flooded lead-acid batteries perform almost as well as sealed lead acid, but have one disadvantage. They require maintenance.
Flooded lead acid is the cheapest solar battery. Then comes sealed lead acid, and lithium batteries are the most expensive.
Solar batteries can save you money and give you peace of mind of having power when you need it. If you would like to learn more, contact Sunshine City Solar today.