Many Americans are increasingly using solar energy batteries to power their homes during a power outage. Solar batteries collect excess energy generated during the day and store it, ready for use when needed. Initially, people would use solar batteries in order to power their homes at night. These days, it is becoming clear that solar batteries are also a great alternative to grid power when the latter goes off. This then raises an important question, how long can my solar battery backup power my house? The answer to this question can be a tad complicated as it depends on many different factors.
In this article, we shall try to answer this question
How Home Solar Batteries Work
Before we dive into the details of powering your home, we need to understand how home solar batteries work. These are energy storage systems that are designed to store excess power and store it for later use. Home solar batteries take any excess power generated from the solar panels and convert it to direct current for storage. When the backup system is activated, the power is converted to alternating current which is then used to power the house.
Your Energy Needs
The first step to answering the question is to understand your own power needs in the first place. Energy use differs across different homes depending on usage patterns and appliances used. Even in the same home, power usage levels fluctuate across the day. In some homes, power usage is low during the day when everyone is away and spikes up at night. Understanding your usage patterns helps you to understand how much solar energy you need at any given time. If you are considering using your solar battery as a backup power source, it is best to match its output to your energy needs.
The next important thing to understand is the power rating of the solar battery you want. Power rating measures the highest amount of energy that a battery can put out at the same time. This in turn dictates how many appliances or lights your solar battery is capable of powering at the same time. Depending on your usage, a power rating that is high will keep your energy going for longer across different devices.
You can also extend the usage of your solar battery by switching off appliances that are not needed when using power from your battery. Most people are concerned about lighting and refrigeration when it comes to emergency power usage.
Overall Battery Capacity
Here, we look at the total amount of energy that your solar battery can hold. The duration that your solar battery will power your house also depends on this parameter. You must remember that batteries do not discharge all their stored energy (a factor measured by Depth of Discharge ). This means that you should go for a total battery capacity that is higher than your energy needs.
Getting expert advice from your solar energy system contractor will help you get the right battery for your needs. Such experts will assist in performing energy audits to establish your energy usage patterns.