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Store the unused energy you generate during the day and use it at night

With the changes in the tariff, customers are going to be looking at ways to reap extra returns from their PV System. The obvious answer, for both existing system owners, and for new customers, is maximise self-consumption.

It’s not easy or practical to ensure that you use energy exactly as it is being generated so the answer is to store any excess electricity in batteries so you can use the power in the evening or on dull days.

What is Solar Battery Storage?

Battery storage enables you to store up surplus solar electricity. It lets you use more of your Solar PV system’s output, increasing self-consumption. The higher your self-consumption is, the lower your electricity bill and the greater the returns from your investment.

As the Solar PV system generates electricity the battery storage system checks if all the generation is being used. If you’re not using all of it, then the system will ensure that any surplus energy is used to charge the battery. Once the battery is fully charged and there is still more solar electricity being generated, this will be exported to the grid or in some systems will be diverted to other uses such as an immersion heater.

Benefits of Solar Battery Storage

  • Use every bit of solar you generate
  • Minimise your electricity bill
  • Gain independence from utility companies
  • Protect against power cuts – on specifically designed systems
  • Have total visibility of your electricity use

 

Types of storage solutions

    • AC Coupled – The batteries are installed between the incoming supply and the inverter and energy is stored. In the event of a power cut, the power backed up in the batteries will continue to power your property.
    • DC Coupled – The batteries are installed between the panels and the inverter. Solar power is stored so it can be used at night or when solar generation is low. Power is needed from the grid to energise the system. (This will not work in the event of a power cut).
    • Off Grid – Usually in an area where there is no grid to connect to electricity supply. This is a bespoke system available on request.

 

Installing a battery will allow you to monitor, optimise and manage exactly how you use the power you have generated.  Solar battery storage can be designed to offer a unique feature that enables it to supply backup power in the event of a grid failure, giving you even greater independence from the grid.

How viable is battery storage?

Norcroft are positioning themselves in the market to provide this service to our customers but at the moment, we’re advising everyone to hang fire until it becomes more economical. At the moment, the return on investment isn’t there on solar battery storage systems but new research* suggests rapid cost reductions will make battery storage more attractive to energy generating households by 2017.

For more information on solar battery storage, please contact us on 01226 763127.

Related articles:
Battery storage will be economic for households with rooftop solar by 2017

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is a battery Storage System Easy to install?

The system is easy to install and normally only takes a day.

How long will the solar battery last?

The battery will need replacing at least once in the lifetime of the PV panels.

Will using battery storage affect my FIT payments?

The amount of surplus energy you have available to sell to an energy provider will decrease. Most households using battery storage still have some surplus to sell back to the grid. Your FIT export tariff is paid on the ‘deemed’ 50% of your solar PV system’s output, regardless of how much electricity you actually export. This may change in the future as smart meters are being rolled out to every home in the next few years. These meters will be able to measure how much you actually export so export payments could instead be paid on that, rather than a ‘deemed’ amount. However the savings available through buying less electricity will still be significantly greater than the loss of export tariff.

What factors Influence the cost of storage?

The cost of battery storage reflects the complexity of storing the energy. The electrical energy is converted to another form of energy and then back to electricity when required. It follows a cycle of charge, store, discharge.

Where can I install a solar battery?

The battery will need to be installed in an indoor storage area with adequate ventilation. Ideally it should be situated close to your electricity distribution board.