A battery storage system will help you maximise your self-consumption by storing the excess energy your solar PV system produces.
However, the best batteries, such as Tesla Powerwall, can offer you so much more. Advances in battery technology mean that you can take control of your energy like never before, with your own home energy system powered by sunlight.
A battery can be retrofitted to an existing solar PV system or you can have both solar and a battery installed together. Either way, a battery will help you make the most of your solar PV system.
Choosing the right battery from the right installer is important as there are a range options available.
The overall end-to-end process was very good, from the original design, the quote… The way the team turned up and implemented it through the week… Overall I am very, very impressed.
While your solar panels are generating energy during the day, the energy they produce will first meet the household’s current energy demands. So, if you’re at home using appliances when your panels are generating, this will be powered by your solar PV system as usual.
If you have a battery, excess solar energy will then be diverted to the battery, instead of being sent back to the grid (the UK network for delivering electricity from producers to users). Once the battery is fully charged, any further excess energy is then fed into the grid. This is one reason why battery capacity (i.e. how much energy the battery holds) is important.
When your solar system produces less energy than your home is using, such as in the evening, the stored energy in the battery will then supply the energy required. This means you’re not buying in energy in from the grid when you otherwise would be, reducing your energy bills.
Battery storage has now gone way beyond just storing solar energy for later use. It can completely revolutionise your relationship with energy. We’ve set out some basics below.
Time of use tariffs
With certain types of battery you can take advantage of time-of-use tariffs. These are cheaper tariffs your supplier may offer at times of low energy demand.
For instance suppliers typically offer cheaper tariffs during the night. Your battery can be set to charge up during this cheaper period and can then provide this stored energy to your house when required. This means that you import less energy from the grid during peak times.
During the night, renewable energy generally makes up more of the UK’s energy mix, so using this energy is more environmentally friendly too.
You can use a battery in this way whether or not you have a solar PV system linked to the battery. Many of our customers use overnight electricity to charge up their electric vehicle very cheaply.
Some batteries, including Tesla Powerwall, will power your house during a power cut. This is likely to become more and more useful as the energy grid comes under increasing strain.
So, your battery can create an extra income stream. Be aware that this only works with the more sophisticated batteries. You’ll also need a battery with enough storage capacity to be able to have some spare or you could limit the usability of your battery.
A well designed and installed solar panel and battery system should get you a good way to being self-sufficient. How far depends on a number of factors, including whether the system has been designed with your needs in mind.
Some batteries, such as Tesla Powerwall, have even more innovative uses. They are capable of allowing a small portion of the battery to be kept for use by the grid, so that the grid can call on that energy when it needs to. The supplier will pay you for allowing this.
Which battery storage system should you choose?
There are loads of home battery storage systems available and comparing these can be confusing.
When it comes to choosing the right battery, its important to match the capacity to your energy needs. It probably isn’t worth investing in a battery than can only store a small proportion of the energy you use each day.
However, size isn’t the only factor. For instance, you could have a battery which is able to store plenty, but unable to allow much power to be drawn at one time. In this case, you might find that although there is enough energy stored, if you turn on more than one appliance at the same time, you’re still buying in from the grid. This is because your battery simply can’t let out enough energy at once.
It’s also important to be aware of product warranties and what additional features your chosen battery can offer.
To read more about key features of battery systems to be aware of, see our blog.
At SunGift, we only work with the best battery storage manufacturers, such as Tesla, so that we can offer you the best options. We meticulously research and test the systems we offer to make sure we know them back to front. So, we’ll help you make the right choices.
Tesla Powerwall tends to be our most popular battery but where this doesn’t match your needs, we can recommend other options.
We’ve been at the forefront of clean energy since 2005 and our sole focus is on making sure you get the best possible experience of renewable energy. That’s why we’ve won so many awards, and why for years our customer feedback has kept us in the nationwide top spot on independent energy site YouGen. To find out more about us take a look at our about us page.
To chat to us about batteries, please contact our design team.
How much will a battery storage system cost me?
There are a range of batteries available with differing upfront costs. The most important thing is to make sure your battery size and consumption are well-matched, while also taking into consideration future changes in your energy needs. For instance, if you intend to increase your demand through electric vehicles or heat pumps this will make a difference.
Depending on your energy needs, it may be that a smaller battery won’t store enough energy, or allow enough energy to be drawn at any one time to be effective for you. Do also bear in mind the additional features your battery can offer.
Costs can vary hugely. But, as is often the case, you tend to get what you pay for.
A larger capacity battery will have a higher upfront cost. But, it may well present better value for money, with a lower cost per kWh; offering you more storage capacity when it comes to powering your home.
A premium battery option is Tesla Powerwall. Despite being premium, Tesla Powerwall remains the cheapest available battery per kilowatt-hour. Exact costs are site specific but we can generally give you an initial idea of likely cost over the phone if you are able to provide a few details. Tesla Powerwall boasts many additional features as well as an impressive 13.5 kilowatt-hour usable capacity. For these reasons it’s by far the most popular battery that we offer.
At SunGift, we offer a range of batteries to suit different energy needs and budgets and our team can advise on the best option for you.