Thinking about going solar? We offer complete guides on our website for solar and battery storage. Today, let’s talk about how solar works. You can read all about it in our book, Battery Storage with Your Solar System: A Homeowner’s Guide  Before we talk about batteries, let’s talk about how solar works.

Home Solar System

In this illustration, we see the main components of a home solar system. To better understand how the entire system functions, let’s break down the roles of each element:

  • Solar Panels: They are made of photovoltaic cells and installed at the top of your roof. Mainly, they convert sunlight energy into DC (direct current) electricity. This conversion happens even if it’s cloudy or raining, although more electricity is produced on a clear day.
  • Utility Power Grid: Most residential solar energy systems are “grid-tied,” which means it’s connected to the utility company’s power grid. Essentially, if the solar panels produce more electricity than your home can use, the excess will be fed back into the power grid. With this, you’d be able to receive credit towards your monthly electric bill. This concept is also true conversely, especially when your home consumes more power than your home solar system can produce; it would automatically draw electricity from the grid.
  • Meter: This is a device that tracks and monitors your solar system’s electricity production at all times. It also takes note of how much you’re using and how much you’re sending to the grid.
  • Inverter: This component is responsible for converting the DC electricity produced by your solar panels into AC (alternating current) electricity, which is the type of electricity your home uses. Usually, they’re installed on an exterior wall or in the garage.
  • Main Electric Service Panel: This device distributes electricity from the utility grid and from your solar inverter to all circuits in your home. It’s commonly known as a breaker box or load center. It distributes all electricity to various lights, outlets, appliances, and other devices throughout your home or the utility grid if your home does not use all of it.

In typical home solar systems, you’re only able to produce electricity when the sun’s rays make contact with the solar panels. With this in mind, energy production from your solar system drops as soon as the sun goes down. At that time, you draw energy from the grid. Additionally, most homes cannot use up all the electricity they produce each day, so a good portion of it gets sent to the grid. Unless you have a battery.

Home Solar System With a Battery

In addition to the main components explained in the previous section, you may add battery storage to your solar system. With this, you’re able to control how much energy is saved and when it’s used. You can have more significant savings and independence from the utility company in this way, as well. Families that opt to add this to breathe easy, knowing that their family is protected in case of a power outage.

  • Battery: With battery storage installed, your home solar system gains the capability to store the excess solar electricity gained by the solar panels instead of sending them directly back into the grid. Simply, the extra energy goes towards charging the battery. Later, when your solar panels aren’t producing as much electricity, you may use this stored energy, especially during nighttime or when there is a blackout. By doing this, you can also beat the utility company’s high peak rates, which are often three to five times higher than your solar energy costs or off-peak utility rates.

Getting battery storage installed for your home solar system helps you gain independence from the utility company, save money and protect your family during a power outage. With battery and solar, you can create your own clean energy and store it to use it when you want.

If you want to read more about the benefits and advantages of solar battery storage, download our book, Battery Storage with Your Solar System: A Homeowner’s Guide.