You can now dismiss your concerns about switching to solar power and feeling it might not match your household’s power usage. Master electrician and managing director of Solar Power Direct, Paul Maiolo, says the simple answer is to install a solar power battery storage system with your PV solar panels. “This way, whenever you’re not using all your energy, the battery storage will store it for later use,” he says.
“The battery storage systems work by storing the solar energy as a chemical and then releasing this energy when needed for electricity, via an electrochemical reaction,” he says. You can choose from lead-acid or lithium batteries and both types release electrons differently. “However, they all pass electrons through a battery circuit, charging and discharging from the battery,” Paul says. And you don’t have to worry about a battery storage system looking unsightly in your home, it simply resembles a hot water system.
Paul says battery storage is a great way to use solar panel energy and is becoming popular. “If your solar panels are producing a lot of energy and your battery is getting full quickly, you can even join together multiple batteries to store extra energy,” he says. Advantages of storing the solar energy for later use include maximising your energy savings, having a continuing supply and offsetting feed-in tariffs.
Paul says if you look after your solar power battery storage properly, it is safe. “As with any energy appliance, you need to be careful when using it,” he says. Just don’t store the batteries near anything flammable and ensure you check it frequently for chemical leaks.
Paul says lead-acid batteries are similar to car batteries and are often used for rural properties where grid connections can be expensive. “They need regular checks and maintenance but are quite cheap and easy to recycle,” he says. Lithium batteries are the more common battery used for household solar panels. They are getting cheaper and more efficient, making them well-suited for solar power storage, Paul says.
“It’s currently difficult go entirely off grid while using battery storage as you may not be able to generate enough energy to cover all of your power needs,” he says. “However, it is possible to install additional equipment to meet your power usage.”
Solar Power Direct staff can help with any query about solar battery storage systems and their benefit as well as solar power systems.
Solar Power Direct, 0411 773 934, solarpowerdirect.org