It is popular consensus by governments all over the world, agencies/bodies in the energy industry, and even private individuals that our world could benefit from the usage of renewable energy otherwise known as green energy and as a result, more energy companies are researching and investing millions of dollars into developing renewable energy solutions to enable them to tap into this trend and generate profit and make our planet safer for future generations.
Also, as a result of the green energy movement/trend, the use of renewable energy solutions like solar energy systems are becoming increasingly popular as businesses, homeowners, and green energy enthusiast are relying less on the power grid and investing in renewable energy solutions to power their homes, offices, and even public facilities thereby significantly reducing the cost of utility bills and their carbon footprints.
America Loves Solar Energy…
Just as we have briefly discussed above, solar energy systems are being used in thousands if not millions of homes around the country because the technology is becoming more accessible and more affordable as there are cheaper and more efficient solar energy products available in the market.
If you own a solar energy system or you are thinking of installing one in your home or you are a green energy enthusiast and you are curious about how these systems work or more specifically how the solar panels store energy? In this post, we shall be answering this question and give you a better insight into how this technology which is reliant on sunlight to work, can power homes even at night or on cloudy days.
A Quick Review on How Solar Panels Work
Let’s take a quick trip back to your science class in high-school and take a look at the 1st law of thermodynamics also known as the law of conservation of energy. For those of you that paid attention, you might remember that this law states that- the energy of an isolated system remains constant or in simpler terms, the law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be changed or transferred from one form to another.
If this is too sciency for you, just think about it this way; this law simply explains why you feel hot when your skin or clothing is exposed to sunlight or why beach sand remains warm for a while even after the sunset. This law is one of the basic theories behind solar energy technologies and how they help us produce electricity.
The solar panel is an integral component of a solar energy system and just like we previously mentioned in the article on- How Long Do Solar Panels Last? They are made with silicon or thin-film cells which works by absorbing the energy/radiation from the sun (sunlight) and transform the energy into electrical energy which is then transferred as direct current (dc) from the panel to an inverter where it is converted to alternating current which can power the home and appliances.
This means that the solar panels don’t store energy and at night and they won’t be able to generate energy to power your home. However, unlike regular solar energy systems, solar-plus-storage systems can store enough electric power to power a home for many hours.
How Solar Plus Energy Systems Work
Most homes are connected to the power grids all across the country and so they only use their home solar PV systems to cut down on utility costs and only use their systems when there is sunlight. But there is no doubt about the fact that solar-plus-energy systems are better than regular solar energy systems.
How do they work though?…
Well, a solar-plus-energy system includes a solar rechargeable battery in addition to the other components. These batteries help to store excess energy that is produced by the panel during the day so it can be used at night or on less sunny days. These batteries are made either lead-acid or lithium batteries.
Which Type Solar Battery Should You Use?
Both lead-acid and Li-ion batteries can be installed with a home PV system as a battery bank to store energy that can be used when the solar panels don’t work. They are important for homes with PV systems that aren’t grid-tied or for homeowners that want to power their homes in the event of a blackout or power outage. How long these batteries can last depends on their capacity measured in kWh (kilowatt-hours). While lead-acid batteries are more common and have been used over the years Li-ion batteries are a more recent technology are becoming increasingly popular.
Companies like Tesla and LG amongst many other companies make these Li-ion batteries and this is the reason why the price of this type of battery is dropping in the market and more people are opting for this option because they offer more features that make them more efficient.
Homes that are grid-tied though can send excess energy produced by their systems to the power grid and they are given credit in exchange or can get power from the grid when their homes need more electricity. This can be considered as a way of storing energy produce by the home solar energy system.
We expect that in the future, solar battery technologies will continue to improve and become more mainstream and more affordable. We hope, you have enjoyed reading this article, remember to always save energy by turning off lights and home appliances that aren’t in use and o your bit to keep our planet healthier.