How Solar + Storage Systems Work
In the world of solar energy for your home, you need a system that’s designed to easily and cost effectively meet your energy needs. Solar energy is more complex than just putting solar panels on your roof and powering your home or office. For reliable power during a grid outage, you need to be able to harness the energy from the sun, store it and convert it into usable electricity. HomeGrid, a battery manufacturer, makes energy storage systems for your home or business. HomeGrid’s solar battery needs to be coupled with an inverter to convert the sun’s DC energy to AC energy which can be used to power your home or office. Sol-Ark manufactures hybrid solar inverters.
So how do these PIECES AND PARTS work together?
Hybrid solar inverters have the ability to send power to electrical loads, surplus power to the grid, and easily tie into batteries for energy storage. These systems reduce your reliance on the utility and provide backup power when the grid is down. To further explain, we’ll use an example of a typical day in a solar powered home.
When your family wakes up in the moring there is a spike in energy usage. Solar production cannot meet all the demands of their needs because sunlight is low early in the day. The shortfall is supplemented by the power from the HomeGrid battery if it is still charged after its overnight usage. If the battery is flat, the home’s power will be imported from the utility grid.
At midday, when the sun is high in the sky, solar panels reach maximum output. Meanwhile, energy needs are low because people are usually out of the house during this time. Surplus power can be generated during these hours which in turn is used to charge your HomeGrid solar battery. This allows for the home to avoid importing power from the grid which tends to be expensive from midday onwards under time of usage electricity plans. In the afternoon your family's energy needs are still pretty low, solar panel output can meet power demand as well as completely charge your HomeGrid battery. If the battery is already full the surplus power can be exported to the electrical grid.
In the evening when everyone returns home energy usage spikes for most households. This time period accounts for over half of all energy usage in your home. Evenings are when solar battery storage is most valuable. Instead of buying power at evening peak rates, your home can draw from your HomeGrid battery to meet your high electricity demand. At night, the home will continue to be supplied by power from the battery. If the battery runs low, grid power can be imported to meet your home's needs. If the utility's off-peak electric rates are low enough it might be more economic to charge the batteries with grid power as well.
Wait, so why do I need a solar inverter?
Our homes use alternating current (AC) electricity to power our appliances. The electricity from your solar panels comes out as direct current (DC) power, therefore requiring electrical inversion for use.
To make this solar energy usable within your home or business, you need an inverter to convert DC electricity to AC power in real time. Sol-Ark’s Inverter Systems simultaneously manage power to/from solar, battery, grid, loads, and generator. The Sol-Ark inverter is simple to install and can be used in grid-tied, off-grid, or battery backup solar applications. It is expandable, and can grow as your power needs grow.
In summary, a solar power system with a hybrid inverter can intelligently switch between using solar power, battery storage, and grid power. It allows you to avoid using grid power at peak prices which leadings to energy bill savings. Hybrid inverters are most viable in areas with time of use electric rates, however, there is strong demand for hybrid solar systems across the country because they can provide backup power when the grid is down. There are also significant rebates in some states that make battery storage a compelling addition to a home solar system. If a battery does not fit into your current budget but you would like to have the option to add storage in the future, hybrid inverters are “battery ready”, as opposed to other inverters on the market.