solar battery guide
General

Solar Battery Guide: How Big of a Battery Do You Need?

Large-scale power outages like we’ve seen in Texas and California are becoming common. More people are seeing solar as an alternative to traditional home energy options.

Adding a solar battery gives you a layer of protection from unforeseen power outages. It provides energy to your home when no other source is available.

You can also put in a battery before your system’s installation. But batteries come in different shapes and sizes, so it can be hard to know which is right for you.

Before you invest in a battery, you should understand some basic things about them. Keep reading and we’ll show you the types and sizes of solar batteries so you can make the best decision.

Lead Acid or Lithium-Ion?

Before you think about how big of a battery pack you need, you have to decide between the two main types that exist. And those are lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries cost more to install compared to lead-acid batteries. But, they have a bigger capacity for energy storage. They’re also more energy-efficient and last longer.

Lead-acid batteries see more use as a small, reliable storage system that’s off-grid. Some common uses for these are in boats and RVs rather than as a part of residential home solar systems.

Capacity and Power

A battery’s capacity is how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) it can store. A lead-acid battery can store up to 5 kWh while a residential lithium-ion battery can hold up to 20 kWh.

Batteries range in their capacity. You can put them in before or after your home solar installation. A good installer should help you understand what size battery you need.

A battery’s power is how many kWh it can send to your home at once. A high capacity/low power battery holds more energy but discharges it at a slower rate. The opposite is true for a low capacity/high power battery.

Depth of Discharge

Depth of discharge (DoD) is how many kWh a battery can send to your home without needing a recharge. Batteries measure DoD as a percentage of their capacity.

Completely draining a home battery can damage it and be expensive to repair or replace. Knowing a battery’s DoD can help you know how big your battery needs to be.

Say a battery has a 15 kWh capacity and an 85% DoD rating. This means it can send 12.75 kWh to your home before it needs a recharge.

Take Charge With a Solar Battery

You can add a solar battery to the system already in place in your home, or you can request it when you first install it. Either way, knowing the size of the battery you need protects you from power outages.

Do you want to know more about the benefits of home solar energy? Make sure to check out the rest of the home section in our blog for more solar guides!