Going solar is one of the most financially savvy decisions a Texas homeowner can make.
Fitting your home with a solar array has never been more profitable thanks to the Lone Star State’s abundant sunshine, minimal upfront expenses, and generous incentives. Furthermore, you can expand your savings—and get even more out of your system—by adding a solar battery backup.
But how much solar battery storage do you need? Here’s what you need to know.
How Solar Batteries Work
A solar battery works similarly to any other battery—it stores electrical energy for future use. But unlike other batteries, it recharges by collecting the excess power generated by your solar panels, usually when the sun is out.
When your solar power system doesn’t produce electricity (typically at night or on cloudy days), you can use the stored energy rather than draw from the public grid.
So, how much solar battery storage do you need for your home? The answer depends on what your battery setup should ultimately accomplish.
How Much Battery Storage Do I Need for Solar in Texas?
Solar arrays are not a one-size-fits-all solution for your home energy needs; neither is a battery storage system. However, this shouldn’t deter Texas homeowners from implementing a correctly sized setup. Here’s how to sort this out.
1. Decide What Matters Most
Your battery system’s storage capacity should be based on your household’s usage patterns and ultimate energy goals. Which of the following do you want to accomplish most?
Go Off-Grid: Establish a Self-Sufficient Power System
Self-sufficient battery systems require a larger capacity than those used for emergency backup or cost savings, because the energy demand is greater. As such, consider fitting your property with a solar-plus-storage system. Doing so ensures you have enough ongoing power, period. This is particularly true for homes with higher energy loads.
Be Prepared: Maintain Backup Power During Outages
Like other states plagued by aging electricity grids, Texas isn’t spared from occasional outages. Severe weather conditions can also create blackouts. You can stay resilient—no matter the situation—and continue powering the essentials in your home amidst emergencies with a medium-sized solar backup system.
Save Money: Reduce Ongoing Energy Expenses
If you simply want to bring down utility costs by drawing power from your solar batteries instead of the grid during peak hours, a compact battery system can suffice. Just make sure your battery setup has enough capacity to power your home for half a day or so, and consistent savings are bound to accrue in the long run.
After determining your goal, estimate the optimum system size depending on your energy use. For example, if you want to save the most money on energy bills instead of using net metering, match your peak power consumption to the desired capacity of your battery storage solution.
2. Understand Different Capacities
The size of your solar storage depends on the number of batteries it has. For example, a 24 kilowatt-hours (kWh) system will consist of two 12 kWh or three 8 kWh solar batteries. So if someone says you’ll need a certain number of batteries, you must know the storage capacity per unit.
Most solar battery specifications express energy capacities in kWh—the bigger the number, the more stored energy it can provide to power appliances. However, there are instances you’ll encounter amp-hour (Ah) and volts (V) when researching battery capacity.
Remember that amp-hour is the amount of electricity or amps a solar battery can deliver in an hour, and voltage is the energy given to a device. Power is measured in watts and calculated by multiplying volts by amps. For example, a 100 Ah solar battery operating at 12V can store 1,200 watt-hours or 1.2 kWh. The higher the Ah and V, the larger the solar battery capacity.
3. Speak to an Expert
Sometimes, estimating the exact size of your solar backup system requires help from a professional.
Solar installers will advise you on the ideal number of batteries according to your required electricity loads, the solar array’s production capacity, and target from your energy storage setup. This is to prevent system underutilization and unnecessary costs—after all, solar batteries are investments, and you want to get your money’s worth.
Augmenting the solar panels in your Texas home with a battery bank is an excellent, cost-effective alternative regardless of the situation.
Understand Solar and Storage with Current Home
How much solar storage do you need? It can be difficult to answer that question on your own, so consult a professional from Current Home.
We know the answer, and it starts by installing the right system with us. Reach out today.