Solar battery storage​

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Solar battery storage

What is solar battery storage, a question many of you are asking to be answered. McNally Renewables are here to help educate you in all the renewable energy sources and guide you through whether Solar battery storage is right for you and the benefits they can provide.

This article aims to give you an understanding of everything you need to know about solar battery storage, from the cost to brands and which households can benefit from the use of the battery storage systems.

Whats in this post

What is solar battery storage?

A solar battery storage system is where the energy generated in solar panels can then be stored in a battery for later use. The most common scenario when you would store the energy generated from the solar panels would be built up through the day and stored and then used to power your home on an evening/overnight.

Here at McNally Renewables, we supply and install solar battery storage systems that can help homeowners like you to become less dependent on the energy supply from the National Grid. This can also support the balance of peak grid demand and lower carbon emissions by reducing the energy production for customer demand.

A further benefit of the battery storage is that you can also charge your electric vehicle with the extra electricity that you generate by diverting it into your EV charge point. Another option could be to sell the unused energy back to the national grid. Putting money back into your pocket.

But you don’t need solar panels to benefit from a battery storage system an alternative solution would be to charge your battery storage when you receive a cheaper tariff on your electricity supply. Cheaper tariffs usually apply overnight and charging your battery storage this way will also help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Battery technology is continuously being developed and has already made significant improvements and savings to homeowners. If you are already generating your own solar power, then battery storage could be right for you.

Continue reading to find out more about solar battery storage systems and how McNally Renewables can help you install solar panels, battery storage systems or other renewable energy systems.

Is solar battery storage right for me and my home?

If you are thinking about installing solar panels or have them already, then installing a solar battery storage system to complement your existing set up would maximise the amount of renewable energy you use.

Increasing the amount of renewable energy, you use will in turn reduce the amount of electricity you require from the National Grid meaning an increase in savings due to a reduction in your cost for electricity bills.

Some energy companies also offer off-peak tariffs, this is where you can use the cheaper energy to charge the battery storage system and then power your home when the grid demand is higher.

Did you know McNally Renewables can install solar panels, battery storage systems and electric vehicle chargers.

You could save money by installing a solar storage system paired up with the solar panels on your roof, even if you’re at home during the daytime you could still benefit from a battery storage system.

Is your home already energy efficient?

energy efficient lightbulb

One of the main ways you can reduce your energy consumption is to make your home as energy efficient as possible, this could be anything from using energy saving lightbulbs to installing draft excluders along with cavity wall and loft insulation. If your home isn’t energy efficient then battery storage will not benefit you.

Can I save money with a solar battery?

Installing a solar battery storage system will cost anything from £3,000 to £10,000 depending on the type of installation you require and more if you want solar panels installed alongside.

Installing a home-energy storage system is a long-term investment to help reduce your energy bills, although this may not be your main motivation.

Investing in a solar battery storage system will reduce your energy bills in the long term and decrease your overall carbon footprint.

The way a battery storage system will save you money will also depend on:

  • the cost of installation
  • the type of system installed (DC or AC, chemistry of the battery, connections)
  • how it’s used (including the effectiveness of the control algorithm)
  • the price of electricity (and how it changes during the lifetime of your system)
  • the battery’s lifetime.

McNally Renewables only install batteries with a 10-year warranty, ensuring that you get the most out of your battery storage system as possible. But if you are planning on using it alongside solar you may have to replace the battery once during the lifetime of the solar panel system. 

While the cost of a battery is high, it’ll take a long time for the battery to pay for itself. But if battery prices drop in future (as with solar panel prices), and electricity prices increase, then payback times would significantly reduce.

As battery technology is advancing the overall cost of production is declining, in turn the ROI will become greater as the current energy prices are increasing.

Some storage companies offer financial benefits – for example, payments or reduced tariffs for providing services to the grid, for example letting spare electricity from the grid be stored in your battery. If you have an electric vehicle, being able to store cheap electricity to charge it could help to cut your costs.

In the future batteries will play a huge roll in the supply and demand for energy throughout the globe, the grid will be able to access energy stored in batteries and to balance power fluctuations at peak times. Some energy companies are offering smart grid services like B2GH2G, and V2G.

If you haven’t done so already check out which energy tariff you are on and whether your price changes depending on the time of day. You could also check if you generate your own electricity how much of this you are using already.

smart meter check

Renewable Energy Tariffs

 

If you are looking to install solar panels and a solar battery then Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariffs allow customers to get paid for any electricity they export to the grid via home solar generation, smart batteries, wind turbines, biogas, biomass, CCGT, CHP, crop, hydro and more.

Capitalise your energy storage

Whichever way you look at a solar battery storage system the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Yes the cost of the initial installation is high, however, it’s still a significant investment, you just have to make sure that the gains made from storage would outweigh this.

McNally Renewables supply battery storage systems from 5 kWh to 10 kWh; a 10 kWh battery would store enough energy to boil your kettle 92 times.

These storage systems are wall-mounted and look appealing and modern attached to the side of your home.

Take a look at the table below to compare battery prices, capacities and key features.

Battery With Solar Installation kWh Cost
PureDrive
Yes
5 kWh
From £5000

Home battery storage systems are like mobile phone batteries in the respect that gradually over time they decrease in efficiency because of the amount they are charged and discharged, the only difference being is home battery storage systems do not like to be fully discharged on a regular basis. 

The products featured in the table above are designed to work with the grid. If you’re off-grid, speak with us directly to get an appropriate system for your situation.

mcnally-puredrive-installation

Before you install a solar battery storage system

Consider whether you’re generating enough extra electricity that you don’t use to then charge the solar battery system. Also, if you are wanting to protect yourself against power cuts with a battery storage system we can help you decide which product suits you.

If you would like to request a free quote covering the cost of installation and a rundown of all the estimated savings, please get in touch here.

McNally Electrical (Yorkshire) Ltd are accredited to the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC), which now covers storage. This means we are signed up to a high standard of conduct, including providing good information about your installation.

Do I need solar panels to install a battery?

You don’t need solar panels to use a battery storage system, you can charge the battery during off peak times and then power your home using the cheap energy during peak times when energy prices are higher. If you own an electric vehicle, you can also charge your electric vehicle using off peak energy to store in the vehicle’s battery.

puredrive-battery-installation

Types of battery storage installation systems

There are two types of battery installation: DC and AC systems.

DC BATTERY SYSTEMS

A DC system is connected directly to the generation source eg: solar panels, before the electricity generation meter. This isn’t usually recommended if you’re retrofitting a battery to an existing PV system. Most DC systems can’t be charged from the grid

AC BATTERY SYSTEMS

These are connected after the electricity generation meter so, you’ll need an AC-to-DC power unit to convert the electricity you generate into AC you can use in your home and then converted back again to store it in your battery.

Battery installation tips

McNally Renewables will work with you and make sure the local Distribution Network Operator is notified of any changes made to your supply along with any necessary fuse upgrades you may require. If you would like any more information regarding renewable energy and how to utilise it in your home, please get in touch.

mcnally-renewables-installation

Solar panel battery storage: pros and cons

Pros:

  • Helps you use more of the electricity you generate.
  • Some firms pay you for allowing your battery to be used to store excess grid electricity.
  • Enables you to take advantage of cheap-rate electricity.
  • Require little maintenance: ‘Fit and forget’, said one owner.

Cons:

  • ROI is for the long run
  • Likely battery needs replacing during the lifetime of a solar panel system.
  • If retro-fitted to existing solar panels, you may need a new inverter.
  • Batteries added to existing solar panel systems are subject to 20% VAT. Batteries installed at the same time as solar panels are subject to 5% VAT.
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