If you hung around in solar circles back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, you may remember “off grid” being the big buzzword. Most solar panels then were made to run off batteries — which in those days were huge, short-lived, expensive and required regular maintenance.
By the 2000s, most solar technicians recommended against going off grid, except for remote properties. Grid-tied solar, they explained, has its advantages: you’ll never run out of power even in a cloudy spell, you can sell your extra power to the grid, and you could dispense with the batteries.
Now, however, solar batteries have become far more durable, cost-effective and user-friendly. Increasingly, homeowners are opting to have the best of both worlds: grid-tied solar with battery backup.
Solar Battery Backup: What’s the Big Deal?
With solar backup storage, your solar system is connected to the power grid, so you can still take advantage of the benefits of grid-tie. However, you also have solar power storage that will provide power if the grid goes down — as it did in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy left over 8 million households without power, some of them for weeks.
Some of the benefits of solar panel battery backup include:
- Peace of mind: Having your critical electric loads backed up with your own power storage banks means you’ll never be without your basic necessities in the event of a power failure.
- Self-sufficiency: With solar batteries, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re operating more fully under power you generated yourself.
- Maximum ROI from your solar panels: In many areas, electric rates vary by time of day. At times, your solar energy may be cheaper to use than to sell. With battery backup, you can bypass high electricity rates even when the sun is not shining.
- Affordability: Solar battery storage is more cost-effective now than at any time in history. Most homeowners are pleasantly surprised at how affordable grid-tied solar with battery backup is. This is especially true because unlike off-grid systems, you don’t need a huge battery bank — just enough to run your most critical devices and appliances in case of emergency. This keeps the cost down while still providing the power security you want.
Considering Battery Backup?
It is possible to add batteries to an existing grid-tied system, but the two types of solar installations require substantially different wiring. Adding batteries later is much more complicated than installing the system with batteries to begin with. This can add substantially to the cost. Therefore, if you are considering solar, it’s best to decide up front which way you want to go.
If you would like personalized assistance in your solar battery decision, call 410-560-9032 or contact us online. We will be happy to answer your questions. In fact, we will even give you a free estimate for both types of solar system, so you can choose the one that best fits your budget and lifestyle.