Can solar energy be stored?

Most homeowners choose to store their solar energy by using a solar battery. Technically, you can store solar energy using mechanical or thermal energy storage, such as pumped hydroelectric systems or molten salt energy storage technologies, but these storage options require a lot of space, materials, and moving parts. Electricity from solar panels can also be stored in a battery bank. Depending on the size, a battery backup system can store photovoltaic energy for several days or more.

So where do solar batteries come into play? Well, it turns out that homeowners with solar systems don't have to send that extra electricity back to the grid. They can use solar batteries to store that excess electricity and use it later. In fact, just as you can get special financial incentives from federal or state programs to install solar panels, you can also get additional rebates for installing solar batteries. Available reimbursements vary by utility provider.

It's time for rooftop solar-powered homes to take their energy systems to the next level with household batteries. With this type of system, you are still connected to the grid, but you can rely on your own solar energy storage to overcome a power outage and reduce energy use during peak periods. This is a market benefit that goes beyond the obvious environmental benefits of solar energy (documented in studies such as Maine's own Value of Solar Energy). When you need more electricity than your solar energy system produces, your home can use the energy stored in your home battery.

As you go through the process of getting a new solar energy system for your home, your Vivint Solar representative can help you decide how much you could benefit from adding a battery. The battery will automatically discharge every time your home consumes more energy than your solar panels produce; this delays the need to extract energy from the grid. The rapid growth of grid-connected solar energy has been driven by staggering drops in the cost of equipment, roughly 75% over the past 10 years. Home batteries are great because they help you take advantage of the electricity that your solar energy system produces when you need it.

While a generator can provide power for everything, for a limited period of time, a solar+battery solution can provide power for the essentials, for an almost unlimited period of time. The point is that solar panels often pump more than enough energy during those off-peak hours when the sun shines to meet peak demand later in the day. This type of solar energy system is a good idea if you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages or if you want to prepare for the worst case scenario. This eases the workload of power plants, reduces carbon emissions and, at the same time, saves money for solar-powered households.