Understanding Solar Power and Batteries

RED group logo element

Are batteries included? Do I need batteries if I have solar panels? These are common questions we get when speaking with North Carolinians interested in solar power. If Duke Energy is knocked out and you do not have batteries, your solar panels will not produce power. Solar with battery backup allows users to keep the power on even during outages. 

Here we dive into power outages, how battery backups work on solar panel systems, the benefits of battery backups with solar panel systems, and why many clients choose to have a battery backup in addition to their standard grid-tied solar installation. 

Do Solar Panels Without Battery Backup Provide Electricity When There is a Power Outage? 

For all standard grid-tied solar installations when there is a power outage, your system goes into standby mode. That is because if left on, then your solar panel system will send power back into the grid even when it is down. When the utility goes down lineworkers will be working on the grid to reestablish power. If a solar energy system sends power back into the grid it creates an extremely dangerous situation for those line workers. Therefore, all grid-tied solar installations are required to go into standby and no longer produce power until the grid is fully restored…unless you have batteries.

How Do Battery Backups Work with a Solar Panel System? 

Be sure to first read through this past blog on how solar panel systems work. For the majority of solar systems, excess energy generated by the sun is sent back to the grid. Once that energy is sent back to the grid, most utility companies* use net metering, which means that they’ll give a 1:1 credit for that extra power in monthly Duke Energy bills. 

*Please note certain utility companies, including Union Power, Energy United, Blue Ridge Energy, do not have various rate plans for customers with solar energy. 

In contrast, solar systems that have a battery backup the excess power from your solar panels is delivered to a solar battery. The battery sends energy to the grid when it’s full, and in those instances, you will still receive the benefits of net metering. Best of all during power outages, your home or business will draw power from the battery so you won’t be left powerless. Make sure a load analysis is performed to ensure the items you want backed up do not draw too much power and will have power for your desired period of time. 

Want to see what a battery backup looks like for a solar panel installation? Check out this video for a first-hand look at one…this was installed in 2013, contact us to learn how this technology has changed and the new options we offer.

When Should I Use My Battery Backup?

In North Carolina the batteries act as a backup generator when the grid goes out. Some people think they should use panels during the day and batteries at night but batteries have a fixed life based on cycles of depletion. This type of use would reduce the batteries’ useful life. We recommend keeping them fully charged and ready for an outage. 

Who Should Consider a Battery Backup for Their Solar Panel Installation? 

You might be wondering if a battery backup system is something you would need for your solar panel installation. Depending on your solar energy goals, we will help you evaluate the efficacy of a battery backup system. We typically recommend battery backups for the following situations:

  • Frequent power outages
  • Long term power outages
  • Medical needs requiring ongoing power
  • Work-from-home individuals
  • Significant refrigeration needs

Find Out More About the Benefits of Battery Backups Systems!

There are many instances where clients prefer to install a battery backup with their solar panels. It provides a comforting peace-of-mind that you will not be stuck without power when you need it most. We find clients love the low Duke Energy bills and tax benefits of a solarsystem. With this rapidly changing industry, batteries help you add the benefit of back up power. RED Group specializes in grid-tied solar systems with battery backup. We would be happy to answer any questions you have or provide a free, obligation consultation for your unique energy needs. Simply, give us a call at 877-432-0857 and we are happy to help. 

Check out our google reviews and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest solar energy information, tips, and news.