Energy storage is essential to an efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) system; stored electricity can be used to power a building during the winter, at night, during brownouts, and on cloudy days. This energy is stored because PV or solar systems generally produce excess energy, and excess energy is a valuable commodity that should be stored efficiently. The most efficient way to ‘store’ this energy is via net metering or grid storage, but battery storage and electric vehicle storage are two other ways. Here’s a look at all three methods of storage:
Battery Backup Storage
Although battery backup storage is the top alternative to net metering, it’s still not that common because battery storage systems are expensive and they still do not make economic sense in most places. Also, solar batteries are only able to store a few days worth of energy. Despite this, battery storage does offer several benefits, including:
- It can be used in conjunction with electric vehicle storage
- It stores enough energy to protect high voltage electronics
- If you live in a smart city, energy stored in your battery can be sold to the grid or your peers
Electric Vehicle Storage
Storing excess energy by charging an electric vehicle is convenient and efficient. In fact, electric vehicle storage is more efficient than battery storage. Some vehicles have a storage capacity of 100kWh, which is more than most solar system batteries. How is solar energy used or, rather, stored with electric vehicles? The vehicle stores and then gives back the excess electricity generated by your system. The downside is that this storage solution can be expensive to set up.
Net Metering or On Grid Storage
Solar systems designed by companies like MiEnergy are ideally set up on a net metering program. Not only is this on grid storage popular, it’s also convenient and reliable. In net metering, excess energy is sent back to the electrical grid and stored as energy credits. Energy credits can be later used to power your home or commercial building, and credit from this storage will also be applied to your utility bills. This functions much like battery backup storage, but because your excess electricity is sent back to the grid, a battery isn’t needed.
Have questions about energy storage? Ready to start realizing all the rewards that solar energy has to offer? Contact us today for more information.