A Quick Look Into 4 Types of Solar Storage Systems
Solar panel systems have become one of the fastest-growing sources of energy around the world. CSUN saw the potential in solar energy back in 1990 and has been contributed to the industry since then. Solar+Storage is one of the most advanced technologies that CSUN has been developing.
Why Solar + Storage?
Solar and storage create business opportunities for each other. As solar penetration increases, states and solar companies are turning to storage. Energy storage can smooth electricity prices through arbitrage, manage evening energy ramps, mitigate the risk of curtailment, provide black start capability, provide backup power and more.
Increased storage deployment can reduce grid management concerns such as the so-called “duck curve,” creating additional opportunities for solar deployment. While there are many strategies for approaching the integration of solar at the levels of penetration seen in states like Hawaii and California (increased flexibility of other generators, demand response, etc.), storage puts the power to facilitate integration directly into the hands of solar developers.
4 Types of Solar Storage Systems
1) On-Grid System
On-grid or grid-tie solar systems are by far the most common and widely used by homes and businesses. These systems do not need batteries and use either solar inverters or micro-inverters and are connected to the public electricity grid. Any excess solar power that you generate is exported to the electricity grid and you usually get paid a feed-in-tariff (FiT) or credits for the energy you export.
Unlike hybrid systems, on-grid solar systems are not able to function or generate electricity during a blackout due to safety reasons. Since blackouts usually occur when the electricity grid is damaged; If the solar inverter was still feeding electricity into a damaged grid it would risk the safety of the people repairing the fault/s in the network. Most hybrid solar systems with battery storage are able to automatically isolate from the grid (known as islanding) and continue to supply some power during a blackout.
2) Off-Grid System
An off-grid system is not connected to the electricity grid and therefore requires battery storage. Off-grid solar systems must be designed appropriately so that they will generate enough power throughout the year and have enough battery capacity to meet the home’s requirements, even in the depths of winter when there is generally much less sunlight.
The high cost of batteries and off-grid inverters means off-grid systems are much more expensive than on-grid systems and so are usually only needed in more remote areas that are far from the electricity grid. However battery costs are reducing rapidly, so there is now a growing market for off-grid solar battery systems even in cities and towns.
3) Hybrid System
Modern hybrid systems combine solar and battery storage in one and are now available in many different forms and configurations. Due to the decreasing cost of battery storage, systems that are already connected to the electricity grid can start taking advantage of battery storage as well. This means being able to store solar energy that is generated during the day and using it at night. When the stored energy is depleted, the grid is there as a backup, allowing consumers to have the best of both worlds. Hybrid systems are also able to charge the batteries using cheap off-peak electricity (usually after midnight to 6 am).
4) Solar Batteries
The four main types of solar batteries are lead acid, lithium ion, nickel cadmium, and flow batteries.
- Lead acid batteries have been around for the longest and are known for their low prices and reliability, but they require regular maintenance.
- Despite being expensive, lithium ion batteries are becoming the most popular choice for residential solar batteries because they have a long lifespan and require no maintenance.
- Nickel cadmium batteries are more popular for commercial-scale projects because they can operate at extreme temperatures and don’t require complex battery management systems.
- Flow batteries are large in size and very expensive, which is why this emerging battery technology is mostly used for large-scale battery storage.
Start With A Plan
Nothing can be taken into the best use until there is a plan. Not an expert in solar power yourself? No need to worry, CSUN can help.
CSUN has been a trustworthy solar power supplier for individuals and over 100 countries worldwide. We can help you decide which type of solar storage system suits you most. Subscribe to our website or call our staff to learn more.