In a solar power system, the power battery is an essential part of the installation because it ensures uninterrupted power supply in case of a grid failure. In this article, we will break down the complex operation of these storage devices into several easy-to-understand processes. Our discussion will revolve around batteries that have been matched with solar systems, rather than standalone solar power panels that store power.
When sunlight hits the panels, visible light is converted into electric energy. Current flows into the battery and is stored as DC power. It is important to note that solar power panels come in two types: AC-coupled and DC-coupled. The latter has a built-in inverter that can convert the current into DC or AC. Thus, DC solar will flow from the panels to an external power inverter, which will convert it into AC power that can be used by your appliances or stored in an AC battery. The built-in inverter will convert AC power back to DC power for storage in this scenario.
In contrast to DC coupling systems, batteries have no built-in inverter. So, DC power from the solar power panels is routed into the battery via a charging controller. Unlike AC installations, the power inverter in this system only connects to your home wiring. Therefore, energy generated from the solar panel or battery will be converted from DC to AC before flowing to your appliances.
The energy flowing out from the battery panel of the solar energy equipment inverter will be prioritized for your home's power. Thus, electricity directly powers your appliances such as refrigerators, TVs, and lights. Typically, the energy generated by solar power panels will exceed your requirements. For instance, a lot of electricity may be produced on a hot afternoon, but your house may not consume much electricity. In this case, net metering occurs, where excess energy flows back into the grid. However, you can use this overflow to charge the battery.
The amount of energy stored in the battery depends on its charging rate. For example, if your home doesn't consume much electricity, the charging process will be fast. Additionally, if you connect to larger panels, a lot of energy will flow into your home, and the battery will charge faster. Once the battery is full, the charging controller will prevent it from overcharging.
If you're connected to the grid, there will always be a period when the transmission system fails or is shut down for maintenance. In this case, the system will isolate your house from the grid and activate the backup power. The battery will operate like a backup generator in such situations.
In this type of plan, you will be charged based on the amount of electricity you use and the time you use it. Energy obtained from the grid at night costs more than the excess energy produced during the day. Therefore, by storing excess energy and using it at night, you can reduce your overall electricity cost.