What is Solar Energy Storage?
With the growth of Solar Energy for homes and businesses, there is also a need to store the excess energy produced. There are two main Solar Energy Storage methods for a Photovaltic Solar Power System. They are Battery Banks and Net Metering, each with their own pluses and minuses.
One of the methods of solar power storage is to utilize batteries for storing energy. This is done by using a Battery Bank to store the electricity that is generated by the Solar Energy System during the day. This stored energy can be used with a grid tied solar system or with an off grid solar system. The main components of a battery solar system area cluster of batteries that are all tied (wired) together. These batteries are somewhat like a battery for your car, however they are specially designed for charging and discharging the power from a solar energy system.
The most common type of battery used for energy storage is the Lithium Ion battery. These batteries have been used in a wide array of energy storage applications. They have been successful in small storage usage, as in residential rooftop solar, as well as large scale megawatt storage for utility scale energy. A charge controller prevents the battery bank from becoming overcharged. It interrupts the electricity flow from the solar panels when the battery is done charging. The main DC Disconnect is a DC rated breaker that is between the inverter and the batteries. If the inverter needs servicing, it can be easily disconnected from the batteries.
A Grid Tied Solar System can use the grid to store energy. This is done through Net Metering. When energy is produced from a solar system, the excess is sent to the grid and the electric meter will roll backwards. Later, that day or night, when the system is not generating electricity, you can pull energy from the grid and the meter will move forward. Basically, the grid is your Solar Energy Storage System.
If you are considering a solar energy system for your business, and your utility does not offer net metering, it might be beneficial to install battery storage for your system.