Very similar to the grid-connected system, this system adds a “battery bank” to collect the power generated from the solar panels. Power stored in the batteries can be used during power outages. The battery bank collects power produced by the solar panels, sends it through an emergency breaker box, and then into the home’s power system.
The components of this type of system consist of the following:
- Solar panels mounted on the roof or ground
- An inverter to convert solar electricity from DC energy into AC energy
- A battery bank for power storage
- A charge controller to prevent overcharging the battery
- A junction box that connects the solar panel wiring to the breaker panel on the home
- A utility meter that displays the amount of power used, produced, and stored in the battery bank
- A disconnect switch to prevent islanding during power outages
- An interconnection agreement with the utility to ensure the consumer’s safety and that of others
Solar is not generated in the evening when the sun goes down. If a consumer would like to continue using solar energy at night, they may want to purchase a battery that can be charged by solar energy during the day and used when it gets dark. There are many battery systems on the market for solar energy storage. Consult the solar installer about the best battery options available.
More information on solar with battery storage can be found on the US Department of Energy’s (USDOE) website.