Battery storage: What you need for off-grid living
Going off the grid: from living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle to developing effective strategies for improving quality of life in remote locations, there’s an increasing interest in this lifestyle. One of the core challenges for families moving off the grid is sustainable energy storage. How can you ensure you’ll have energy at night or during bad weather?
Solar battery storage provides one option for moving toward a fully independent electrical system or having reliable, round-the-clock electricity in case of emergency. Learn more about residential solar energy storage and how it can move you closer toward energy independence.
Understanding Battery Storage Solutions
When you invest in a standard solar solution, it typically includes the panels and core operating unit. High-end solar panels produce an abundance of electricity while the sun shines, and that can help you meet your energy demands throughout the day. But what happens after the sun goes down — or during inclement weather? That’s when a battery storage system comes into play.
An intelligent battery storage system collects and saves the excess energy your panels generate during the day. Using a battery storage system, it’s possible to store solar power for when you need it most — whether that’s powering your home in the evenings or providing reliable power during an emergency. A solar battery solution is an integrated device that works with your solar system, and can even be scaled up if your energy demands increase.
Choosing the Battery Storage That’s Right for You
A solar battery is a separate component that connects to your solar system. Today, lithium-ion battery cells, such as those used in Panasonic’s EverVolt™ battery storage system, are among the most popular on the market. Lithium ions tend to be more compact, reliable, and scalable than other solutions. For homeowners considering solar-plus-storage solutions, here are questions to ask when choosing the solution that’s right for you:
- What is the battery’s power capacity?
- Is it “stackable” – i.e. can you add additional batteries to your system to scale capacity and power if your needs increase over time?
- What’s the depth of discharge – or degree that the battery should be charged at all times – needed to maintain performance and lifespan?
- What’s the anticipated battery life? Today’s leading batteries should last 10 years.
- What’s the warranty coverage?
Support During Emergencies
If you’ve ever experienced an extended power outage due to a natural disaster or winter storm, it’s easy to remember how vulnerable you felt. When you live off the grid, having a solution in place is especially critical, as it may take time for help to reach you during challenging times. Battery storage helps you stay online during a grid failure or emergency. Energy is stored in your battery system, and then can be used to power your whole house, support your secure loads or prioritize critical appliances. For example, if someone in your house requires a medical device or you need environmentally critical heating or cooling solutions, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your power needs will be covered.
Solutions for Smart Battery Storage
Today’s solar storage solutions are powered by intelligent software to help off-the-grid homeowners — or those moving toward energy independence — get the most out of their solar systems. Increasingly, a number of solutions on the market today require an app to operate.
When the grid goes down, so does internet access; and households that are off the grid may not have reliable access. Choose a storage solution that leverages a touchpad so you can always access the battery or your solar system without internet access. Intelligent software allows you to rapidly charge your battery before inclement weather, prioritize when to store energy based on peak times and pricing, and generally consume more local energy and move toward independence.
There's an increasing trend among homeowners to head off-grid, whether it’s due to wanting to live in a remote location or to be energy independent. Investing in a solar system takes homeowners toward those goals. Solar power can help you get the independence you want, without sacrificing your security or comfort. Pairing your solar system with a battery storage solution increases your independence without increasing your electricity bill or environmental footprint — and powers the dream of off-the-grid living. To explore the possibilities of solar + storage or standalone battery storage for your home, the best place to start is by contacting a trusted local solar installer.
Interested in battery storage solutions for your home? Learn more about EverVolt™, Panasonic's battery storage solution. For more insights on battery storage and renewable energy options, check out Panasonic's Green Living blog.