Energy Storage and Solar Panels: The Next Big Thing?

On dark, chilly days, generating electricity using solar panels is probably something that you don’t even think about. However, there is a growing development where people are linking solar panels to portable home batteries to store energy for later. The likes of Nissan and Tesla have both now launched slim home batteries that are small enough to hide away; however, it is worth noting that these batteries are coming with a huge price tag. However, there are claims that IKEA is offering solar and storage options that could save average households up to 70 percent on annual electricity bills.

Energy Storage and Solar Panels: The Next Big Thing?

At the same time, energy companies like EDF Energy and Eon have decided to join the bandwagon. Both companies are now selling solar panels that come paired with a home battery. Here, we will be looking at some the brands available and what they have to offer, plus how slim home batteries work, and the things to consider when thinking of installing one, including in your 3D floor plans in the case of new homes in development.

Storing Electricity for Later Use

Home batteries or portable energy storage systems allow you to store electricity for use at a later time. This energy could be from electricity generated using a wind turbine, solar panels, or even electricity from your local power grid when it is cheaper (that is if you enjoy time-of-use tariff.)

Powerwall by Tesla is an excellent example of this somewhat new tech, and this can be attributed to the fact that Tesla is a company known for its electric car technology. Powerwall links with Tesla app which allows you to check how much energy/electricity you have stored, car charge percentage, and solar panel general – that is if you use solar. According to Tesla, the home battery, which costs about £5,000, is maintenance free and virtually makes no noise.

XStorage is another excellent example. The home battery system made by Nissan reuses electric batteries from their cars to store electricity at home. The company claims that its battery system is the most affordable and reliable home energy storage option on the market. While it costs well over £4,800, xStorage has a much smaller capacity than Powerwall.

Varta, which has been in the business of making batteries for over 130-years, is another player in this fairly new niche. As such, it is no surprise that it is one of the earlier entrants into the home energy storage business. Currently, Varta manufactures home batteries about the size of a standard washing machine. According to them, this offers consumers “energy autonomy.”

Should I consider getting solar panels together energy storage?

If you are generating your own power at home, or are considering starting to do so, then this relatively-new tech is something worth considering. Installing batteries alongside solar PVs can help maximise the quantity of renewable energy you can use. At the same time, this could reduce your dependency on the grid – you should notice a steep drop in your overall energy bill.

If you are already off-grid, this option will help lower use of backup generators that require fossil fuel to operate. However, it is worth noting that home energy storage units will cost nothing less than £2,000, with most costing over £5,000. As such, you will need to ensure that the investment you make is worthwhile. Before starting, ensure that your home is energy efficient. To know if your home energy storage will save you money, consider:

Installation Cost: what type of system do you want to be installed? (AC or DC, how is it connected, what’s the battery’s chemistry?). Battery’s Lifetime: what is the battery’s purported lifespan? Get something that offers several years of service. Though home batteries can be expensive, the service they offer will, over time, pay the money spent on energy bill savings. If the cost of these batteries drops, like the price of solar prices, payback periods will be more tempting. If you are thinking of installing a home battery to store energy from a renewable generation option, then you will have to consider how often you use the option and how much electricity it can offer for storage. For instance, if you’re at home during the day, and use most of the energy created by your solar panels, then storage won’t benefit you much as you will have little power left for storage.