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Solar When the Power Is Out

Feb 19, 2021Renewables, Solar

As naturally as the day/night cycle itself, you may find yourself wondering how energy-based from the sun handles night-time. Luckily, excess solar energy gathered during the day can be put away and stored in batteries for use when the sun is down. Doing this means you don’t have to worry about totally losing out on power during night-time hours, but depending on your battery, you might have to sacrifice a few less-important appliances to better budget your limited sunlight. For this reason, it’s recommended to familiarize yourself with your choices when it comes to batteries.
By far the most important elements to keep in mind when picking out a battery are its rating & capacity. While capacity is fairly straightforward, referring to the maximum amount of charge a battery can hold, its rating is what tells you specifically how much power it can output at any given time. A battery with high capacity can hold a lot of energy, and a battery with a high rating can output a lot of energy. If you’re looking to power many appliances in your home, you’ll want to go for a high rating, whereas if you’re looking to keep a few things on for a long time, you’ll find the capacity to be what you need.
With batteries, however, comes a bit of additional maintenance. Most batteries have a lifespan between five to fifteen years, meaning you’ll be switching them out much more often than solar panels or many inverters. Additionally, it’s worth noting that most batteries have what is known as a “depth of discharge”, essentially limiting the percentage amount of energy you can drain from a battery without permanently harming its efficiency. It’s recommended to leave around ten to twenty percent battery life at all times as a result.
More than anything, the type of battery you choose for your home should be determined by what you’d like your night to look like. A single, standard battery should be enough to power the bare minimum essentials at night, and if you’d like more energy than that, most batteries are “stackable,” allowing for as much storage as you need. If you’re inclined, you can even store enough energy to power your entire home until morning. As always, a bit of independent research into which battery type is best for your household will go a long way towards ensuring you reach an optimal setup.