Not all solar batteries are created equal

June 24, 2024
P4B Solar

Solar energy is a popular choice for homeowners and business owners who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint, and lower their electricity bills.

A combination of falling solar feed-in credits and significant increases in the safety and capability of solar batteries over time have led to them becoming an increasingly popular addition to a solar system installation. But not all solar batteries are created equal.

When selecting a solar battery to either retrofit to your existing system, or to complement the system you are about to install, it’s important that you are aware of the different capabilities and limitations so that you can make an informed decision.

Different solar batteries have different capabilities

Solar batteries come in a variety of brands, types, and sizes, each with their own distinct features and performance levels. Some solar batteries are designed for general, slow-use power, so they’ll be great for providing a steady supply of electricity for relatively low-demand applications. These types of batteries are great for powering small appliances and lights in your home or business.

However, low-capacity batteries may struggle with powering larger, more energy-intense applicants like air conditioners, commercial refrigeration, ovens, large pumping loads, and the like.

A comprehensive review of your energy consumption can help us to determine the correct battery for your needs. Factors to consider include how you wish to use the battery, how long it has to last, the volume of power needed at any given moment, what level of back-up support you might want or need, and more.

    51.2Kwh Solar Battery System For A Retail Outlet In Prospect, South Australia
    51.2kWh Solar Battery System for a retail outlet in Prospect, South Australia

    Backup power: Not always guaranteed

    The driving force behind solar battery installation for a lot of people is the provision for backup power in the case of a blackout or power outage. Unfortunately this is a common misconception.

    While some high-capacity batteries are indeed equipped to offer backup power, not all batteries can offer ‘blackout protection’. Not only does it depend on the type of battery, but enabling this feature can also require additional electrical works on the property during installation.

    How long a solar battery will last during a complete power failure is also variable.

    The importance of programming your solar battery

    The performance of a solar battery also comes down to how it is programmed during the install. Proper programming of your solar battery can ensure that the battery will charge and discharge efficiently, in line with your power usage across the full day/night. Some battery systems are not capable of complex programming, which reinforces the need to choose your battery well.

    Incorrect battery programming can lead to inefficient energy usage, reduced battery life, and even potential damage to the battery and solar system.

    When going through a needs analysis of your energy consumption, we work with you to understand when we need to prioritise charging, and ensure that sufficient energy is reserved for critical loads during a blackout if this is of concern to you.

    Rear View Of A 100Kwh Solar Battery System For Never Never Distilling In Mclaren Vale, South Australia
    Rear view of a 100kWh Solar Battery System for Never Never Distilling in McLaren Vale, South Australia

    Consulting a solar expert

    Given the complexities of solar power in commercial environments such as distilleries, consulting with an expert who understands the nuances of solar batteries and your industry is imperative.

    When working with an expert, you can expect:

    • Customised solutions: We can design a solar battery system that fits your unique operating profile, working around your commercial requirements.
    • Proper installation: Our teams of expert installers will ensure that your battery is integrated correctly with your solar panels and electrical setup, minimising the risk of issues and maximising the efficiency.
    • Optimal programming: We’ll make sure that your battery is programmed to operate at peak efficiency, taking into account factors such as your energy consumption patterns, grid interactions and backup power needs.
    • Ongoing support: We partner with our clients for the long-term meaning that we’re here to provide maintenance and support. We monitor our client’s solar systems regularly, so often we’re aware of any issues before they are!

    If you’d like to explore adding a solar battery to your existing solar system, or you want to look at installing a solar system with battery from scratch – P4B Solar is here to help you find the perfect solution to future proof your energy needs.

    We’ve worked with a number of distillers and wine makers around South Australia, providing solar and/or storage solutions to help their businesses slash costs and carbon emissions.