According to a recent survey on solar energy, roughly a third of all solar-powered homes come with a battery backup system. It is not a requirement because the process of generating electricity by solar panels is completely independent of the solar battery. However, many homeowners choose to have it installed because of the many benefits that it can give.
A solar battery backup is essentially a storage space for all the excess electricity that your system is able to generate. If you do not have a battery system installed, all the produced electricity that you are not able to use is transmitted back to the grid. From here, it will be distributed to other homes or businesses in the community. Of course, your utility company will compensate you for this contribution but the downside is that you will not have backup power in case of an outage.
Another important use of battery backup is that you will always have power even at night or if the weather suddenly becomes cloudy. Shifting between the regular solar power supply and the battery backup is not noticeable at all. It is a seamless transfer that does not require manual switching and will not affect any of the operations in your home.
There are four types of solar batteries to choose from. They have the same basic function which is to store excess solar energy but all of them do have their own pros and cons.
Lead acid batteries are the most common traditional choice because of their reliability and affordability. However, they do need frequent checks to ensure that they work properly.
Lithium ion batteries, on the other hand, do not require any maintenance. Because of this, they are quickly becoming the top choice for solar-powered homes. Lithium ion batteries also last for a very long time and while the cost is still high, prices have been rapidly going down in the last couple of years.
For larger commercial properties, nickel cadmium batteries are the preferred type. This is because of their ability to work in extreme temperatures and the relative simplicity of the battery system.
Finally, massive scale storage would require a very powerful storage system and this can be provided by flow batteries. The technology is still fairly new and the costs are high but flow batteries do have a very large capacity compared to the other types.