You may not use all of the electricity that your Solar PV panels generate electricity throughout the day. At the moment, it is not possible to receive payment for exporting excess electricity to the national grid. So, what can you do with the excess energy?
An ideal solution is to install a storage battery. These compact battery systems store excess electricity produced throughout the day, for use at night.
What can I power with a storage battery?
The capacity of a storage battery is expressed in kWh. 1kWh battery storage could power an appliance with an output of 1,000 watts for one hour. Storage batteries for domestic use are normally around 1kWh to 7kWh.
Battery storage allows you to make even more savings on your electricity bill.
Are batteries expensive?
If you are claiming the SEAI grant, the grant conditions stipulate that any installation above 2kWp should also install a battery. There is €1,000 grant aid specifically for battery storage. This will cover most of the cost of your battery.
What is the life expectancy of a storage battery?
A battery’s efficient lifetime depends on the technology and the way the battery is used. Manufacturers generally give an expected lifetime in years and/or in ‘charge-discharge cycles. We work with manufacturers such as Pylontech, Solarwatt, Sonnen and LG Chem.
There are two ways of linking a battery storage system into a Solar PV system – DC coupling, and AC coupling.
DC coupled batteries take power directly from the solar PV panels, and then feed the power to the inverter to be converted to AC when it is ready to be used.
AC coupled batteries are installed on the grid-side, where the solar PV’s DC has already been converted to AC. A separate inverter converts the AC back to DC for storing in the battery. When the battery discharges, the same separate inverter converts the DC back to AC. This type of battery may allow other functions besides storing solar PV excess electricity, such as storing cheaper night rate electricity to use during the day.
Solar iBoost diverter
Another way of using excess power is with a diverter that will heat your water, reducing the use of your boiler and making the most of your free solar energy. The Solar iBoost water heater automatically diverts excess power to an immersion heater saving money on water heating costs. This is a very low cost solution, and will allow for further savings, especially if you have a well-insulated cylinder.
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