How does a Battery Backup System work?

Battery Backup System Explained

Energy storage has been a novelty for people trying to live off the grid. While the market continues to grow, new technological developments in energy storage offer one of the best ways to secure your electricity supply.

But how does a battery based, energy storage system actually work?

a battery backup system is considered energy storage for homeowners

When there is electricity available to charge the batteries, the battery management system (BMS) will keep the batteries fully charged. Energy to charge the batteries can be from a solar electric system or from the utility grid or both. When there is a power outage, the BMS discharges the batteries through an inverter/charger that converts the energy in the batteries to electricity you can use in your home.

A battery backup system will typically not be designed to supply electricity to the entire home. Instead, carefully chosen circuits such as the refrigerator, computer, security systems and other selected loads are included in the system.

Although a battery based back up system can satisfy large appliances, the cost, space needed and complexity increase exponentially.  For large loads, such as air conditioners, deep well pumps, welders, gas powered generators are much more cost effective.

For most its life, a battery backup system will be in what’s called “float” mode. The BMS keeps the battery charging in float level which is what many call a “trickle charge”. That’s when a low current level is applied to the batteries. This keeps them charged and ready to deploy immediately upon sensing a black out.

How can it help you?

Although most black outs last only a few hours in a natural disaster such as an earthquake or major wildfire, the utility grid could be down for days, weeks or even longer. That’s where a battery based back up system becomes priceless. Your neighbor who bought a generator, is going to run out of fuel in a few days at most. If the natural gas lines are cut, generators piped with NG will not operate.

Gas stations without electricity cannot pump gas, so those gas powered generators will not have fuel. But for folks who invested in a solar powered, battery backup system, their back up energy should keep operating if the Sun is shining.

With the support of the industry, battery based, energy storage technologies can continue to develop and expand. They will aid in the increasing deployment of renewable energy sources, helping store and ever-growing amount of clean, renewable energy in the future.

If you're interested in learning more about energy storage or want to get a quote to purchase a battery backup system, visit our full web page.