How do home batteries work?

Energy Storage Solutions for Residential Homes: How do home batteries work?

With the increasing cost of energy and the growing demand for renewable energy resources, more and more homeowners are turning to energy storage solutions to power their homes. Energy storage solutions are systems that store energy generated by renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines, which can be used when needed. One popular energy storage solution for residential homes is the use of batteries. In this blog article, we will take a closer look at how energy storage solutions work for residential homes, specifically regarding batteries installed at a home.

What is a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)?

A Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a system that stores energy in batteries for later use. A BESS is composed of three main components: the batteries, the battery management system (BMS), and the inverter. The batteries store the energy, the BMS monitors and manages the battery performance, and the inverter converts the stored DC energy into AC energy that can be used to power a home’s electrical appliances.

How do Batteries Work in an Energy Storage System?

Batteries in an energy storage system work by storing energy produced by a renewable energy source. When the renewable energy source, such as solar panels or wind turbines, produces energy that is not needed immediately, the excess energy is sent to the batteries for storage. When energy is needed, the batteries release the stored energy to the inverter, which converts it into AC energy that can be used to power a home’s electrical appliances.

Types of Batteries Used in Energy Storage Systems

There are several types of batteries used in energy storage systems, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular types of batteries used in energy storage systems include:

  1. Lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are the oldest and most widely used type of battery in energy storage systems. They are relatively inexpensive and have a long lifespan of up to 10 years. However, they are heavy, require maintenance, and are not as efficient as other types of batteries.

  1. Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular type of battery used in energy storage systems today. They are lightweight, have a high energy density, and are very efficient. They also have a long lifespan of up to 20 years. However, they are more expensive than lead-acid batteries.

  1. Flow Batteries

Flow batteries are a relatively new type of battery used in energy storage systems. They are similar to fuel cells in that they use a chemical reaction to produce electricity. They are very efficient and have a long lifespan of up to 25 years. However, they are still relatively expensive and are not as widely available as other types of batteries.

  1. Sodium-Sulfur Batteries

Sodium-sulfur batteries are another type of battery used in energy storage systems. They are very efficient and have a high energy density. However, they are also very expensive and are not as widely available as other types of batteries.

Benefits of Battery Energy Storage Systems for Residential Homes

There are several benefits of using a Battery Energy Storage System for residential homes. These benefits include:

  1. Energy Independence

Using a Battery Energy Storage System allows homeowners to generate and store their own energy, reducing their dependence on the grid. This can lead to lower energy bills and increased energy independence.

  1. Backup Power

A Battery Energy Storage System can provide backup power during power outages. This can be particularly useful in areas with frequent power outages or in emergency situations.

  1. Environmental Benefits

Using a Battery Energy Storage System can reduce a homeowner’s carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy they need to draw from the grid. This can help to mitigate the effects of climate change and promote a more sustainable future.

  1. Energy Savings

Using a Battery Energy Storage System can help homeowners save money on their energy bills by allowing them to store excess energy generated by their renewable energy source for later use. This can help to offset the initial cost of installing the energy storage system.

  1. Grid Stabilization

The use of Battery Energy Storage Systems can also help to stabilize the grid by providing a source of backup power during times of peak demand. This can help to reduce the strain on the grid and prevent blackouts.

Challenges and Considerations for Battery Energy Storage Systems

While Battery Energy Storage Systems offer many benefits, there are also several challenges and considerations that homeowners should be aware of before installing an energy storage system. These include:

  1. Cost

Battery Energy Storage Systems can be expensive to install and will require additional equipment and labor. The average battery installation will cost a homeowner approximately $13500 which is the starter battery configuration and can go up to over $50000 depending on the size of the battery needed to meet your back up needs. Due to this additional cost the majority of solar customers are electing to wait to purchase batteries. The reasons to wait are because like solar, the price of batteries will go down and the technology of the batteries will improve. Fortunately the ITC is going to be active for the next decade so it allows you time to make the decision to add a battery to your solar system or not. The beautiful thing is that you can add a battery to your solar system later on, you do not need to do it at the same time that you go solar. 

  1. Maintenance

Battery Energy Storage Systems require regular maintenance to ensure that they are operating at peak performance. This can include tasks such as cleaning the batteries and monitoring the battery performance.

  1. Capacity

Battery Energy Storage Systems have a limited capacity and may not be able to store enough energy to power a home for an extended period of time. This can be a concern during long power outages or in areas with limited renewable energy sources. This is the main reason why customers are electing to wait in combination with cost. The cost to backup a few loads for a short period of time at the current price points just does not show a favorable return on investment. 

  1. Safety

Battery Energy Storage Systems can be potentially hazardous if not installed or maintained properly. Homeowners should ensure that their energy storage system is installed by a qualified professional and that they follow all safety guidelines. Our team is certified to install Tesla Powerwall, the Enphase IQ battery system, and the FranklinWH battery system

In Conclusion

Battery Energy Storage Systems offer many benefits for residential homes, including energy independence, backup power, environmental benefits, energy savings, and grid stabilization. However, homeowners should also be aware of the challenges and considerations associated with installing an energy storage system, including cost, maintenance, capacity, and safety. By weighing these factors carefully, homeowners can make an informed decision about whether a Battery Energy Storage System is right for their home. Our Design Professionals are well versed on these topics and can help you better understand if adding a battery is right for you. 

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