Battery Backup

Battery Backup for your home

Battery backup is one of two types of backup power systems most popular with today's homeowners (the other being generators). It provides continuous electricity for your home during a blackout due to earthquakes, winter storms, or other catastrophic utility power failure. Batteries are usually mounted behind your home's electrical meter, and they can be charged from any source of electricity. That means, you can charge your batteries with electricity supplied from the grid. However, homeowners with solar panels can also charge their batteries with electricity from their solar panels.

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How Does Battery Backup Work?

how battery backup works from day to night

When there is electricity available, either from a solar electric system, the utility grid or both to charge the batteries, the battery management system (BMS) will keep the batteries fully charged. When a power outage occurs, 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 is typically not 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 battery backup 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.

Battery attributes to consider:

  • Capacity - this tells you how much power the battery can store.
  • Depth of discharge - this determines exactly how much of the capacity can be discharged at a time.
  • Cycle life - You will want a battery with a guaranteed warranty or lifespan.
  • Round trip efficiency - this is a measure of how much energy you can get out of a battery compared to how much energy you put into the battery.

Benefits of Battery Backup:

  • Cost reductions - energy consumption peaks at night, with battery backup, you can use stored energy when utility prices are high.
  • Blackout support - even when the power is out, you will be able to keep your most important appliances running for several hours.
  • Incentives - battery backup may allow you to take advantage of incentives offered by the government.
  • Environmental effects -  Combined with solar, battery backup decreases your reliance on the local electricity grid and lowering your monthly bills

Battery Backup vs. Generator Backup

Tying your solar array to the electrical grid makes sense. But figuring out if battery backup or a generator will work best with your system can be confusing.

Protect yourself when the grid gets interrupted

Although, battery backup is used if the grid goes down, an additional benefit of battery backup is the ability to reduce expensive time-of-use utility charges. Battery backup can save money and earn you incentives while the sun is still out. With the support of the industry, battery backup continues to develop and expand. They will aid in the increasing deployment of renewable energy sources, helping store an ever-growing amount of clean, renewable energy for your energy autonomy.