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Solar Battery Storage: A Complete Guide

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Solar Battery Storage: Benefits, Considerations, and More

Do you often experience power interruptions? Do you wish to save money by using clean and naturally-sourced energy throughout the night?

Regardless of your electrical concerns, we have a sustainable, long-term solution for you – a solar battery storage system!

It is no secret that solar battery storage can store electricity generated by solar panels, allowing you to harness surplus energy when weather or power conditions may be unfavourable.

To help you understand every detail of solar battery storage, we have all you need to know in this article, from its benefits, types, and installation process. We've even answered some of your frequently asked questions. 

Let's get started!

Benefits of Solar Battery Storage

A solar panel battery storage system is known for storing electricity, particularly excess energy generated from the sun through the solar panels installed on your roof or open area.

To gain a more in-depth look into everything these systems offer, here is a list of benefits you can receive from your solar battery storage system.

Stores Excess Power

The first on this list is something we have repeatedly mentioned: its ability to store excess energy already generated by your solar PV system.

Solar panel battery storage works like this:

  1. Direct sunlight hits the solar panels
  2. The solar power passes from the panels through a solar charge controller
  3. The solar charge controller regulates how much energy is transferred to the battery storage 
  4. The battery storage system welcomes surplus electricity and stores it as direct current (DC)

After the four steps above, the DC electricity passes through a compatible inverter. Then, it is converted into alternating current (AC) for different uses, such as:

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    • to act as a solar panel battery charger and provide electricity during the night;
    • to provide electricity during an unscheduled power cut; and
    • to provide electricity during unfavourable weather conditions affecting sunlight and solar power generation

    Reduces Carbon Footprint

    Another benefit of including solar battery storage in your solar PV (photovoltaic) system is the reduced carbon footprint and lower emission level due to lower reliance on fossil fuel-powered electricity.

    Power stations that produce electricity contribute 15.8% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom.

    With the help of energy storage through solar batteries installed in your solar system, you can diverge from using non-renewable energy and, in turn, help the environment by reducing greenhouse gases.

    Save Money

    Since your primary renewable energy source will be the sun as opposed to the traditional grid, you can significantly decrease your monthly electricity bill(by approximately £300) and save money each month.

    Integrating a reliable home battery system in your existing solar PV systems will also help you earn money through financial benefits and grants in the UK, like the following:

    • Energy Company Obligation (ECO)4 Scheme - The ECO4 scheme provides financial grants for heating and insulation equipment and solar panels for home installation in the UK.
      However, you need to qualify first, as the ECO4 scheme only applies to homeowners with the following:
      • Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefits, Income Support 
      • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
      • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
      • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, Pension Credit Savings Credit
      • Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit 
    • Vat Relief - The UK's value-added tax or VAT relief provides 0% VAT for installing solar panels and other energy-efficient materials.
      This massive reduction in VAT is beneficial, especially if you are still weighing the pros and cons of installing solar systems because of its seemingly-expensive upfront cost.
    • Green Deal - The Green Deal is a government financing program that helps you install solar panel systems in your home without paying in full all at once.
      The Green Deal works like a loan, but at the same time, you can get cash back depending on the energy-saving improvements you have made to your home and how much they cost.
    • Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) - The SEG program was created to pay you a certain amount once you export some of the stored energy from your solar battery storage system to the National Grid (grid trading).
      The SEG partners with SEG licensees or electricity suppliers, and they are the ones who will pay you the exact amount that your exported power supply costs.
      You must negotiate only with licensed SEG suppliers, specifically those with SEG tariffs. This allows you to prevent transferring your stored energy to scammers who won't compensate you.

    Types of Solar Battery Storage

    Knowing what a solar battery can do is one thing. It is equally essential to know the different types of solar batteries to help you know what you are dealing with. 

    Here are the three types of solar batteries you can use and how they work!

    Lithium-ion Solar Batteries

    A lithium-ion battery for solar panels is one of the market's most popular solar batteries, known for its energy density and high solar electricity generation.

    Lithium-ion batteries have these characteristics because of their capacity for a more efficient power transfer. They can store more solar power and discharge a useable capacity of 70% to 90%.

    Aside from the benefits mentioned above, lithium-ion batteries are also known for their durability and resilience, mainly when there is an imbalance in the electric battery supply.

    Lead-acid Solar Batteries

    Another type that the public chooses aside from lithium batteries is the lead-acid battery, which is known for being highly tolerant to extreme temperature changes, as well as being quite affordable.

    Based on our research and experience, battery storage systems like this can survive every temperature change, making them reliable, durable, and efficient at a low cost.

    More importantly, it has excellent energy density, similar to lithium-ion batteries. However, it only discharges 50% of its useable capacity in exchange for its long life cycle.

    Flow Solar Batteries

    The third type of solar battery that completes a solar panel system is the flow battery, known in the market for discharging a usable power capacity of up to 100%.

    You should also know that storage systems utilising a flow battery can perform a full discharge consistently for its entire life cycle (20 years at most).

    Aside from its deep discharge, its larger battery capacity at a relatively low cost for an average household, not to mention its long life cycle, makes it a dependable solar battery.

    However, it is mainly used to store solar energy in industrial settings and not in a household solar panel system. 

    Installation Process for Solar Battery Storage

    Based on our experience, most households with an existing solar panel system want to understand the installation process of solar batteries, and rightfully so. 

    We know that one way or another, you will also need this awareness of the solar panel and battery installation process for present or future use. 

    So, here is a step-by-step guide on installing a solar battery. Read through!

    Step 1. Assessing Your Home's Solar Power Needs

    First, you must assess your home's power needs. You can do this by determining the following:

    • The number of appliances you will power with solar panels
    • Identify the individual loads
    • The approximate hourly energy requirement 

    After that, you can divide the number determined above by the minimum and maximum power wattage available on the market. It is vital that you do both to determine the range of your solar energy needs.

    Once you have determined it, you can choose the design and number of solar panels and the types of solar charge controllers and solar batteries that will best meet your needs.

    Step 2. Solar Battery System Design

    Next, after identifying your power needs, you can proceed with the other solar battery systems' design requisites, such as:

    • Storage capacity and power - The battery system must have batteries that are large enough in storage capacity and power to accommodate the solar panels' work efficiency.
      The size of the solar battery (lithium-ion battery or otherwise) will greatly depend on your energy needs.
    • Type of battery - Choose a type that best suits your solar energy storage system needs (e.g., lithium-ion, lead-acid, and flow).
    • Life cycle - Consider the life cycle of the home battery solar storage and ensure that it matches at least half of the life span of your solar PV panels.
    • Location - You must also determine where the battery storage products will be placed.
      The best solar battery location for generating electricity is near the solar installation to minimise the loss caused during the transfer of electric loads. It can be installed in your garage or a customised loft.

    Step 3. Installing the Solar Battery Storage System

    After considering everything, you can now continue installing the battery systems. Here are the steps you must follow moving forward:

    • Wear your protective equipment (e.g., glasses, gloves, and shoes)
    • Prepare your tools and materials.
    • Connect the lithium-ion, flow, or lead acid batteries to the charge controller by linking the battery cables to the solar controller battery terminals (negative to negative, positive to positive)
    • Plot the solar controller to tailor-fit the battery systems.
    • Connect the charge controller to the solar panels by linking the solar panel adaptor cable to their respective positive and negative counterparts.
    • You can also connect the battery and panel inverters, especially with separate inverters (rather than built-in). This same inverter contains DC battery systems where direct current is converted to alternating current (AC coupling).

    Once all these steps are carried out, you can install solar panels in their proper location to check if the solar energy storage system works appropriately. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Solar Battery Storage

    Your home battery storage system can help you save on energy bills, provide clean energy, satisfy electricity needs during a power cut, and more.

    To better understand the PV system and its battery storage systems, we answered some of the most common questions on energy storage in this section.

    What Type of Solar Battery Storage Is Best for My Home?

    The best solar battery energy storage system for your home is one which utilises lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries because they are equipped with these features:

    • enough usable capacity for self-consumption (i.e., to power the house, electric vehicle, and other appliances);
    • large capacity for stored energy;
    • able to withstand temperature changes (e.g., warmer or cooler temperatures)

    Moreover, it would also be best if the energy storage you install has the following characteristics:

    • Is from a reliable energy supplier;
    • Has enough discharge of usable capacity for self-consumption depending on your energy usage at home; and 
    • Has an average lifespan of at least half of the solar array

    How Much Does Solar Battery Storage Cost?

    The solar battery storage systems cost around £2,000 to £7,500, depending on the following factors:

    • The quality, type, and location of solar panels
    • The battery's quality, brand, and capacity 
    • AC coupling or DC coupling
    • The labour expenses
    • How many cycles are the batteries warrantied

    However, the solar panel battery price can still go lower or higher as it will still be based on the factors mentioned.

    It will depend on how much energy you need for your household consumption (more energy or less) and how much of your electricity costs you want to deduct from your monthly bills.

    How Long Does Solar Battery Storage Last?

    Solar batteries can last for at least 5 years, though the highest quality among them will last a quarter of a century. 

    Of course, this approximation will still depend on whether you buy batteries with characteristics such as:

    • High-quality
    • Durable
    • Longer life cycle
    • Standard warranty

    Always remember that it is not the expensive price of solar batteries that matters, as you also need to consider its capacity and how it will work with your household load and solar panels.

    Are There Disadvantages When Using Solar Batteries?

    Yes, there are disadvantages when using solar batteries, like:

    • Having to deal with a more expensive investment and maintenance costs
    • There is additional equipment to install, maintain, and replace 

    However, these disadvantages can be offset by the perks solar batteries offer, such as:

    • saving money from monthly electric bills;
    • earning money through electrical grid trading;
    • using renewable electricity; and
    • having a backup power source during power cuts and extreme weather

    Can I Connect the Solar Panels Directly to the Battery?

    Yes, you can connect the panels directly to the battery using a car's battery and low-voltage panels. 

    However, you must be wary of the following risks that can occur with this setup:

    • Overcharging
    • Overheating
    • The damaged internal circuitry of the system
    • Damaged battery (useless)
    • Damaged appliances

    For these reasons, you should connect the solar panels to a battery with the help of charge controllers for a more regulated and efficient energy transfer.


    A solar battery as storage for your power is an essential aspect of solar panel systems. It provides several benefits, particularly when it comes to reducing bills and ensuring more consistent energy usage.

    So, the best option to take when you frequently experience power cuts or if you want to save bills by using clean energy is to use an efficient solar battery.

    We hope that by reading this article, you can become more equipped and capable of addressing your solar battery needs!

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    Mark McShane
    Content Writer
    Mark McShane is a seasoned professional in the solar industry and the owner of Skills Training Group, a leading provider of solar training and education. With years of experience in the field, Mark has developed a deep understanding of the latest trends, technologies and best practices in the industry. His expertise and passion for solar energy have helped countless professionals develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the fast-growing field of solar energy. Whether you’re an aspiring solar professional or an experienced industry veteran, Mark is an excellent resource for anyone looking to enhance their skills and knowledge of the solar industry.
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