The use of solar energy is an amazing development that helps protect the environment and allows you to save on electricity bills. It makes sense that you also want to keep some of the energy generated for other uses. You may also need emergency power at times, such as during a power outage.
Perhaps, you need to understand how household batteries work
Home batteries are essentially just what their name implies, batteries that store electrical energy for a home or house, which can later be used optimally during times of particular need. In other words, with a home battery, you have a stand-alone power storage system in your home that plugs into your home’s electrical grid (whether it’s from an outside source or your production systems such as home solar panels) and stores electricity from this grid for optimized later use during things like power outages, electrical shortages or possibly even grid failures.
Home batteries are nothing new. They’ve existed for decades and have been used in many contexts, especially for off-the-grid living and exploration. However, with modern solar generating technologies, electrical storage systems, and compact electronic hardware developments, these powerful batteries have become much smaller and more practical for everyday use.
The internal power cell mechanisms of home batteries can vary but in most cases, these compact devices use the same lithium-ion battery cell technology found in many electric cars such as those from Tesla. This makes them exceptionally capable of storing large amounts of electrical power for long use during emergencies or off-grid situations.
With a home battery, your home’s grid changes slightly from how it would be organized in a house that has no battery working with it:
If your home is attached to the wider electrical utility grid, the electrical line running from the grid then connects to a distribution panel that runs electricity directly to certain high-load devices such as washing machines or HVAC systems. The rest of the current for your household devices is then run through the home battery, which sits in the way as a buffer.
If you have a solar panel system or some other source of domestic power production, it too can run directly to the home battery and either be shut off or left on as needed. The battery can then be configured to work in any one of several ways:
It can be left on standby to store electrical power and only provide it to your home’s devices as needed when there are power outages or unique occasions.
It can be allowed to disconnect you from the wider grid during certain hours and provide electricity to certain devices for certain periods.
It can be hooked only to your electrical generating system, such as a home solar array, and provide reserve power for when that home electrical system isn’t generating a current (such as at night for solar panels). This last option is standard in off-grid situations.
When you have a home battery installed, the electrician who does the work will also likely install what’s commonly called a critical loads panel, from which it’s possible to calibrate the battery for how it powers which devices in your home during specific situations like power outages.
Some power companies allow you to send excess energy back to the grid to save on electricity bills. Another option for homeowners, however, is to store this energy for later use.
Here are ten ways to store solar energy if you don’t have access to other power sources
- Solar Generator
First and foremost, one of your best portable and at-home options is a solar generator. Most solar generators come with some kind of pre-installed battery which allows them to store excess energy that you aren’t currently using.
Some higher-end models can hold electricity for up to one year, which makes them a great option for emergency backup power. Make sure to purchase one with many outputs so you can divert power to all of your important appliances.
- Thermal Storage
Thermal storage refers to storing solar energy in the form of heat. For example, molten sand or water can be heated by the sun and stored in an insulated tank until that energy is needed.
In most cases, that energy is used to boil water for energy generation. Boiled water turns into steam which drives a turbine. The turbine produces electrical power using conventional electricity generation equipment.
A flywheel is a heavy wheel that turns when you expend energy. Although it takes energy to start the rotation, a flywheel maintains inertia without much additional input.
An electrical generator extracts that energy when the wheel is attached. The generator slows the wheel down, transferring the energy into itself.
Flywheels are a great option to quickly provide power, but they don’t store a lot of energy on their own.
- Pumped Hydro
Hydroelectricity isn’t a new concept. Many cities power themselves using hydro, though it requires a significant source of water to do so.
Pumped-storage hydropower lets you similarly store solar energy. Electrical energy provides power to pump water uphill, and that water is then allowed to flow back down to produce energy. The water turns a turbine to generate electricity.
- Compressed Air
Compressed air storage works much like pumped-storage hydropower. A compressor system pumps large tanks full of pressurized air. When energy is needed, that air is released and used to drive a turbine.
Some storage systems then use the released air as part of a natural gas power cycle. The air is usually stored in sealed underground caverns.
- LiFePO4 Batteries
Many types of solar energy storage you’ll see for home use involve batteries. LiFePO4 batteries are widely used in your everyday appliances, and they also find use in certain energy storage devices. This type can be recharged and have a high storage capacity.
For example, the SOUOP 1800 Portable Power Station provides 1,488Wh of power and can power ten devices simultaneously with its LiFePO4 lithium battery. This solar energy power station also only takes 3.5 hours to fully recharge.
- Saltwater Batteries
Saltwater batteries differ from your lithium-ion variety in how they collect energy. These batteries use a liquid sodium solution to capture, store, and discharge energy.
A lithium-ion battery has a higher energy density and holds higher charges. However, saltwater batteries are completely resistant to fire and are not hazardous to use. As such, saltwater batteries are much more reliable for solar-powered homes due to their low risk.
One thing to keep in mind is that lithium-ion batteries are more affordable due to their overall popularity.
- Lead-Acid Batteries
The lead-acid battery is the very first type of rechargeable battery ever invented. Despite their age, they’re still used in backup power supplies for devices like smaller computer systems, electric scooters, and marine applications.
Although other types of solar energy storage are much more efficient and safer, lead-acid batteries are easily the most affordable. If you’re planning a small off-grid storage system, this may be a good option.
- Solar Fuels
Solar power can be used to create alternative forms of fuel like combustibles or consumables. In that case, the chemical bonds that are created contain the stored energy.
For example, researchers currently study the use of oxygen and methane as a type of solar fuel. If utilized properly, they could store energy in solar fuels for months and transport them anywhere around the world.
- Use Your Accumulated Energy
One way to store solar energy without a power station or some other form of storage device is to use it up at the moment.
Keep your devices topped up on energy when you’re not using them. That includes recharging a power bank or any other portable device.
You can also heat or cool a building before a shift in weather occurs. If a snowstorm is about to blow through during the night, make your home warmer than it needs to in advance. It’s easier for a system to work full-throttle for an extended period than for it to turn on and off automatically throughout the day.
Store solar energy and avoid waste
In the long run, solar energy is the most abundant resource on earth. Most of the energy is not collected and used. By investing in storage options, you have the opportunity to make better use of solar energy and reduce your carbon footprint.
SOUOP was established to meet your solar energy needs on the go. Our team is constantly striving to innovate our products and provide a better user experience.
Get Your Home Batteries and Accessories Now
Buying a home battery system and installing it is something you can do now to prevent future problems for you and your family. For more information, please contact SOUOP portable outdoor power. We also offer a wide range of fully portable, solar, and grid rechargeable outdoor power stations and units in different sizes and capacities to meet various outdoor and off-grid needs.
If you want to store solar energy, check out our solar generators and portable power stations online. And contact us to learn more about our supply.