Solar energy is a renewable alternative energy obtained from sunlight. It’s highly popular nowadays because it’s green and reduces your dependence on the conventional electricity grid. Besides, tax credits and other incentives are put in place by governments to encourage homeowners to install solar panels.
How solar power works? How solar power batteries work? Read below to find out.
What Makes A Solar System
A solar energy system consists of solar panels, equipment to mount the solar panels on the roof, an inverter, solar battery, and an electricity production performance tracking and monitoring system.
How Does a Solar Power System Work?
The main function of the solar panels is to collect the sun’s energy. The charged cells turn the energy of the sun into electricity. The energy is passed through the inverter and converted into electricity for home use.
Here’s are the good-to-know things about solar energy conversion:
- Solar energy systems are “grid-tied”, which means connected to an electricity grid.
- If the solar panels produce more electricity than what the home needs, excess electricity returns to the power grid.
- If a household needs more electricity than what the solar panels can produce, power can be drawn from the electricity grid (provided by our electricity provider company).
- If a household is generating more electricity, credits are earned from the unused energy returned to the grid. The credits earned can be used instead of paying more for utility. This process is called net metering.
How Does A Solar Battery Work?
Solar batteries are a vital part of every household’s solar power system for energy independence. They work by converting the direct current or DC energy produced by the solar panels. The energy is stored and converted for use as alternating current or AC power later.
Here’s what you need to know about how a solar battery works:
1. Solar Battery Charging
Once the solar panels produce electricity by using solar energy, it will be fed directly in the main electrical panel of a house. It powers everything at home, including lights, appliances, air conditioning, and even electric vehicle charging points.
The solar battery receives extra energy to avoid electricity from flowing back to the electrical grid through net metering. The credit applies when a household sends back energy to the grid as already discussed above.
With a solar battery, the extra electricity that the solar system produces doesn’t go back to the grid. Instead, the energy flows into the solar battery, charging it up. The duration of time the battery charges depends on the amount of extra solar energy produced.
The solar system size and the current home electricity demand are also some of the factors that affect the amount of energy the household consumes and the solar battery charges.
2. Direct Current (DC) vs Alternating Current (AC) Charging
Homes run on alternating current or AC and all batteries need direct current or DC to charge. It works like a laptop adapter that converts AC power that comes from the wall socket into DC power to charge the laptop battery.
An alternating current or AC battery accepts incoming AC power. AC batteries are easy to retrofit to already existing solar systems. It has a built-in inverter, converting AC power to DC power and then charging the AC battery. Most solar batteries are AC batteries, and any solar inverter, including microinverters, can be paired with them. This makes AC batteries very flexible.
DC batteries, on the other hand, don’t have a built-in inverter, so they should be charged directly from a DC power source. It requires a specialized inverter so that the DC power produced charges the battery directly. In that way, DC power doesn’t need to be converted to AC power. The home is supplied with electricity as the DC power is fed into the solar inverter and converted into AC power.
Here are the advantages of DC solar batteries:
- It prevents wastage of energy produced by the solar panels.
- DC batteries have higher efficiency than AC batteries because power is not inverted many times.
- DC batteries are cheaper because of no additional inverter hardware required.
3. Solar Battery Discharging
When the solar battery is fully charged, extra energy is sent back to the electrical grid. On the other hand, your household only draws energy from the electrical grid when your solar battery is depleted.
Now you have a better understanding of how solar power and batteries work. Solar panels installed in your roof generate direct current or DC energy which is fed into an inverter to convert it to alternating current or AC. Solar batteries are charged up when extra energy is produced if the home energy demand is low. This avoids the surplus from going to the power grid.