Pros And Cons Of Solar Batteries - Why Should You Invest?
Solar energy has become much more widespread in Irish homes throughout recent years as electricity bills rise alongside the planet’s dire need for sustainability.
Many homeowners have switched to renewable energy by installing solar panels - technology that is gradually becoming much more affordable and attainable as their popularity continues to grow.
If you have decided to purchase a solar panel system, you may now face the dilemma of whether to invest in solar batteries. While they are a high added cost to your system, they do present some attractive benefits that make them worth the price.
What Are Solar Batteries?
Solar panels constantly produce energy for your home during the day - even when you’re not there to use it! Instead of allowing this energy to go to waste, solar batteries provide a storage solution, allowing you to save any excess energy produced during the day to use when you actually need it.
Solar batteries allow you to use renewable solar energy from the sun, even when the sun is no longer shining. Your solar panels won’t produce electricity at night, so you would need to draw power from the National Grid to use electricity during those hours. This can cost you money and increase your environmental impact, especially if your home is more active at night.
With a solar battery, you can tap into the solar energy supply generated earlier in the day to use at night or on cloudy days, helping your home run entirely on clean, renewable energy.
Solar batteries can limit your need to rely on electricity companies, or you can take your home off-grid completely. This flexibility is highly desirable to many people, helping you save significantly on energy bills.
How To Choose The Right Solar Battery
There are two main types of solar batteries that are most used residentially. They include lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries. Each type has its own pros and cons, so it is important to understand their differences before purchasing.
Lithium-ion batteries are a much more modern innovation than other solar battery types. They are the most cost-effective option, setting them apart from other batteries. This is due to their longer lifespan, higher storage capacity, and high depth of discharge (DoD).
Depth of discharge refers to how much energy you can access before the battery needs to be recharged. A high DoD means your battery can run more efficiently with a long time between charging. The more you recharge the battery, the shorter its lifespan, so a high DoD is essential in terms of cost-effectiveness.
Lithium-ion batteries are also more efficient in comparison to other types, with an efficiency of around 90- 95%. Higher battery efficiency means that lithium-ion batteries lose a very low percentage of energy during storage. In comparison, lead-acid batteries have efficiencies of around 75%.
Lead-acid batteries are a common type of solar battery. They are a more affordable option, with their prices starting significantly lower than their modern counterparts. However, there are some sacrifices for their cheaper cost. Lead-acid batteries have a much lower capacity, DoD, and lifespan, making them less cost-effective in the long run.
Lead-acid batteries typically deteriorate quicker than lithium-ion batteries and don’t run as efficiently. Despite this, they are a viable option for homeowners looking for an affordable way to store their solar energy and are well-suited to homes with lower electricity demand.
Pros And Cons- Are Solar Batteries Right For You?
Considering all the above information, you might be wondering what are the pros and cons of solar batteries? To make an informed decision, it is essential to consider both the benefits and drawbacks of these units.
Solar Battery Pros:
Reduced Energy Bills
The advantage that draws many people toward purchasing solar batteries is their ability to help you reduce your energy bills. With a solar battery, you can store excess energy to use in times when your energy demand is greater than what your solar panels are generating - typically during the night or in bad weather.
By relying entirely on solar energy to power your home, you will not need to use electricity supplied by the Grid, vastly reducing your electricity bills. You could see real money-saving benefits with this system as electricity prices continue to rise.
Without a solar battery, your solar panels will only generate electricity during the day. At night time, you will draw power from the National Grid. A solar battery allows you to be self-sufficient, giving you greater independence from the Grid and eliminating the impact of rising energy costs.
You also gain more control and flexibility over how you use your energy, choosing whether to use solar energy or draw power from the Grid. Your own electricity storage can come in handy, especially during power outages when electricity from the Grid is temporarily unavailable.
Reduce Environmental Impact
Most of the power from the Grid is generated and supplied using harmful fossil fuels that cause damage to our environment. Although solar panels allow you to reduce your carbon emissions, solar batteries can help you cut them altogether! With constant storage of green renewable energy, you can limit your environmental impact and reduce your carbon footprint.
Solar Battery Cons:
High Upfront Costs
The main concern people have about solar batteries is their high upfront costs. While pricing can vary depending on the type of battery you choose, solar batteries can cost anywhere between €1,500 to €4,000 in Ireland. Solar batteries are undoubtedly a significant investment, especially when considering installation costs.
While solar batteries are relatively easy to maintain, this doesn’t mean you can completely forget about them after installation. Frequent maintenance can lengthen your solar battery’s lifespan and ensure it continues operating efficiently. Many solar batteries have a 10-year warranty, so you are covered if there is ever a major malfunction in your system.
Solar batteries have many tempting advantages that can justify their steep costs. Consider your options before committing to such a large investment, as well as your household’s energy needs. Weigh up the various pros and cons of solar batteries and make the best choice for your home!