Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Can I Add More Batteries To My Solar System

Connecting Batteries Together For 48 Volt Wiring

Can You Add Batteries to an Existing Solar Energy System?

Finally, these combinations of series and parallel battery connections will produce an array of 48 volts.

In off-grid stand-alone alternative energy systems, the electrical energy produced by the generating device can not always be used when it is produced. Because the demand for energy does not always coincide with its production, electrical storage batteries are commonly used in many off-grid and grid-tied systems.

The battery bank voltage selection, either 12, 24 or 48 volts often depends on the load voltage requirements of the system, the storage capacity required and the type of batteries available. For larger loads it is sometimes better to connect deep cycle batteries together to produce higher voltages in order to lower the system currents.

For example, a 240 watt DC load operating from a 12 volt battery draws about 20 amps, where as a 240 watt DC load operating from a 48 volt battery only draws 5 amperes, a quarter of the current. This lower system current has many advantages by reducing the size of the cabling, isolation switches and fuses used thereby saving you money.

Top Selling Battery Related Products

Types Of Battery Backup

Are you considering adding a battery backup option to your solar system? If you want solar installed on your home or business, there are some different battery backup systems to consider based on your specific needs. The expected return on investment and what loads you want to backup both play a critical decision in the type of system you want to install. Here, well discuss the main types of solar battery backup systems and provide a comparison between them.

The majority of todays solar systems installed are grid-tied. They are meant to offset electrical usage and send excess production back to the utility grid, where your power company will credit the surplus energy. The credits earned can be used at night or during periods of no sun. Throughout the year, this process of sending electricity back to the grid for credits is called net-metering.

Sized correctly, a net-metered system should zero out a customers utility bill. When temperatures are cooler and HVAC usage is minimal in the spring and fall months, solar systems will overproduce and send much of the energy to the power company for credits. So for these months, the electricity bill is zero. Then during the summer, when HVAC usage soars, the solar system will underproducebut you will use those credits that have been banked during the cooler months, effectively zeroing out your electric bill in those months too.

Adding Solar Panels To An Existing System

We are asked fairly often: Can I add more panels to my system down the road? How difficult is it to upgrade?

There are many factors to consider in upgrading a system. Panel size, inverter capacity, and space are going to be the biggest deciders.

As far as possible, stick with the same manufacturer. But since brands come and go, it isnt unheard of to mix and match components as long as the voltage is compatible and can be balanced it can generally work. Not the best scenario, but if options are limited as far as whats available, it is possible. However, if the panels are too unbalanced, they will only perform as good as the lowest wattage panels.

For example: Say you had a system installed 5 years ago comprised of 200W panels and you are looking to now increase the size of the array. If you connected 330W panels to the 200W panels string, your 330W panels would only produce up to 200W.

Also, inverters can only handle so much power. Since your system was sized accordingly when it was designed, the inverter may be limited in the amount it can process. Sometimes inverters are installed that can handle additional panels , so take a look at the size of the inverter you have installed already to see whether or not it can handle more power.

So, what to do?

If you have not had a system installed yet and are just trying to plan ahead for the future, there are a few key things to make note of as far as adding solar panels:

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Batteries Connected Together In Parallel

Battery banks made from deep cycle batteries that are connected in parallel have the same voltage as the individual batteries, but the current capacity is multiplied by the number of batteries. In a parallel connected battery bank the positive terminal of one battery is connected to the positive terminal of the next with the negative terminal connected to the negative terminal. Connecting batteries together in parallel branches means a higher current for the same terminal voltage.

Series and parallel combinations of batteries within a battery bank increase both the voltage based on the numbers of batteries in the series strings and the current capacity based on the number of series strings connected in parallel. Connecting batteries together in both series and parallel combinations allows for more battery storage at a higher voltage.

Lets look at some of the ways we can connect batteries together to produce higher voltages and current configurations.

Deep Cycle Solar Battery Faq

Can I add batteries to my existing solar system?
  • We’ve helped thousands of people with off-grid battery systems since 1978
  • We provide tech support for the life of the battery

It depends on what is most important to you. If lowest cost is the highest priority, flooded lead acid batteries are for you. If long life and no maintenance are what you want, lithium batteries are the best way to go.

Lithium batteries are quickly proving to be the best and longest-lasting type of deep-cycle battery. Most have cycle lifespans in the thousands!

Lithium ferro phosphate . LFP batteries are non-toxic, non-flammable, and so safe that you can use them indoors.

Think of batteries in terms of their storage capacity in kilowatt-hours . To estimate how many kWh of storage you need, watch the video to the right or use our Solar Load Calculator.

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What Does The Process Of Adding Additional Panels To Your Home Look Like

If youre eligible, youll go through almost the exact same process as you did when you first signed up for your Vivint solar system. It also means that youll have two solar energy systems on your roof for which we will bill you separately.

  • Youll Contact Us and well assess your solar energy needs over the phone.
  • Youll receive a customized system design that youll review.
  • Once youve approved the design, well schedule an appointment for our technicians, go visit your home and instal the additional panels. Again, this will be a separate system that works in conjunction with your existing solar energy system, which means youll receive two bills one for each system.
  • Well arrange for the system to be permitted and inspected by your local municipality.
  • Well work with your utility company until they give you permission to operate your additional panels.
  • How Many Batteries Are Needed To Supply 1000 Watts

    Another way to put this question is, how many batteries do I need to provide my solar system with 1000 watts? Solar panels rely on solar power of course, but if the sky is cloudy and you want to run it, how many batteries would it take?

    A 200ah lead acid battery can supply 1000 watts for one hour, and large batteries can provide even more power for longer periods. If the battery is 12V that is 2400 watts, but with a 50% depth discharge only 1200 watts can be tapped. A 24V battery can also be used if your solar panel has the right voltage.

    A 12V 100ah lithium battery, including the Weize LiFePO4 can supply1200 watts if fully discharged . Here are the watt equivalent for various 12V batteries.

    • 100ah 1200
    • 400ah 4800
    • 500ah 6000

    Any of these batteries can supply 1000 watts to a solar system. The difference is the duration. A 300ah battery with a 50% DOD has 1800 usable watts, good for an hour and half, maybe an hour and 45 minutes.

    If you have two 250ah batteries, that is 500ah or 6000 watts. Even if only 3000 watts are available, the battery can carry a 1000 watt load for 3 hours. Use the guide above and you can see how many watts they can provide.

    With a lithium battery it is a different story. You can fully discharge the battery, or close to a full discharge. No need to cut the usable watts in half. Though the cost is at a premium, lithium batteries are worth considering for heavy loads.

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    Solar Panels And Solar Batteries Make A Great Pair

    Installing a solar battery storage system can be a great way to get the most value out of your solar panels.

    Batteries are an excellent source of backup power, they increase your energy independence, and in some cases can even save you more money on your electric bill because youll be drawing power from the battery instead of the grid.

    However, solar battery systems do come at a price. If youre looking to save money on your electricity bill, installing a solar battery might not be right for you, especially if your utility offers net metering. However, if you live in an area that experiences widespread blackouts, like the ones in California and Texas, or somewhere with Time-of-Use utility rates, having a battery backup to store energy for when you need it will be beneficial.

    The upside is that the price of solar battery technology continues to fall, so much so that someday in the near future, solar batteries will come standard with all solar energy systems.

    If youre looking to pair your solar panels with storage, make sure you contact multiple reputable battery storage installers to ensure that you get the highest quality installation at the best possible price.

    See what local installers are charging for solar + battery storage installations

    Does Installing Batteries Make Sense For You

    Can I just add more solar panels on to my roof to upgrade my existing solar system?

    One benefit of installing batteries is your ability to access electricity when there is a power outage in your area. Though this could be an important benefit to you, there are a few other things to consider when deciding whether or not adding batteries to your solar system is the right choice.

    Some utilities charge time-of-use rates. These rates fluctuate depending on the time of day. When electricity demand is higher , you pay more per kWh than what you would when fewer people are using electricity . If you have batteries on your solar system, you can help avoid paying these increased rates by drawing on the stored energy in your batteries.

    Similarly, demand charges are fees levied on the customer based on the period they use the most electricity or their usage during a peak period. It is based on the highest amount of power reached during a specific time interval. That fee is added to the customers bill. These are typically associated with commercial and industrial facilities, not residences.

    These extra costs can add up, and a battery can help mitigate these fees. By drawing on power stored in your battery during times of high demand, you can reduce these extra fees.

    Most generators can also be transported and used at your location of choice. This makes it easy to supply power wherever you need it. Youre just limited to the amount of fuel youre able to store and transport.

    Also Check: How To Apply For Federal Solar Tax Credit

    Adding Panels To A Ground Mount

    Because off-grid living is usually synonymous with wide-open spaces, many off-grid customers install a ground-mount system. Since you dont have to climb on your roof to make adjustments, its very easy to bolt on new panels whenever you need.

    This could work to your advantage if you plan to build your system over time. If you have the space, go with a ground-mount racking solution. Youll have easy access to the system any time you need to make an addition or perform maintenance.

    Why Add Solar Battery Storage

    Batteries offer various benefits, including:

    • Increased return on investment for your solar power system – Rather than selling the excess energy your home generates during the day while everyone’s at work , you can store it and use it at night which saves you around 30-cents per kWh by reducing your reliance on the grid.
    • Freedom to use power as needed – The efficiency and usefulness of your solar power system is lower if there’s no one around to use the energy generated throughout the day. Batteries help to negate this issue by storing that energy to use it when you need it.
    • Backup power – Certain battery systems can be configured to provide power in the event of a grid outage, keeping the lights on when it matters most.
    • Energy arbitrage – If youre on a time of use tariff, you can purchase power during off peak times and then use it during peak times to reduce how much you’re charged for energy from the grid. Youll need to be on a time of use tariff to do this.

    While adding a battery to store excess energy is fairly easy, advanced features like backup power might not work with certain types of battery systems. Be sure to mention this to your supplier or consultant if backup power is going to be a key consideration for you.

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    Are Solar Batteries Expensive

    The solar battery has actually been around for decades but it was expensive, and so out of reach for most of the population. But thanks to recent leaps in technology, batteries are fast becoming a more viable option for solar consumers. Battery costs fell by 14% each year from 2007 to 2014, and even more dramatic cost reductions are expected in the not-so-distant future. Analysts predict that half of all Australian households will adopt a solar storage system in the next 10 years.

    True Battery Backup Based Solar System

    My (tentative) 24V Solar Wiring Diagram : vandwellers

    The second type of backup system is a true battery-based solar system. These systems use Hybrid inverters because they are both inverters AND chargers: they invert the DC voltage to AC and power your loads and can also take AC voltage from the grid and invert to DC voltage to charge the batteries. The Hybrid systems can also isolate the backed-up loads from the grid to create the necessary island to enable the solar to power the loads while the grid is down.

    The brands of Hybrid systems that weve installed include Schneider Electric, Outback, and Sol-Ark. Weve also worked on many others since we are the off-grid battery experts in our area. These systems are also grid-tied when utility power is available. They can use grid power to keep the batteries charged. Because they are connected to the utility grid, they can also sell excess production to the power company.

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    How Many Additional Solar Panels Will You Need

    That will depend on how much power you need and how much power your existing panels generate. When you add panels to your system, youll want to use the same panels your system currently has. If those exact panels arent available, then youll want to use panels that are rated to produce the same amount of power that your existing panels generate.

    In The Future Can I Add More Lg Solar Panels To My Renewable Energy System

    Yes, you can add more panels to your original system, as long as the new panels are a close match in output to the original panels and as long as your inverter still has capacity to accommodate more panels.

    You can also add a new, larger multi-string inverter to an older system, without breaking the bank as inverters over the past 5 years have dropped over 60% in price. You can then add more panels up to the capacity of the new inverter. As solar panel prices have reduced by over 500% since 2008 most people nowadays buy the best suited solar power system for their needs outright.

    If you think of increasing the size of your existing system please contact your local LG solar dealer, so he/she can advise you of the most cost effective way to increase your system size.

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    Can I Add More Solar Panels To Produce More Power

    Yes you can, though there are some things youll want to keep in mind when thinking about adding more solar panels on your roof. To ensure youre making the right decision for your household, consider the following:

    • A bigger system doesnt necessarily equal more savings. If you monitor your bill and have a clear understanding of when and how much your utility charges you for energy, its possible that paying for a larger system may actually negate the cost savings brought in by your solar energy system. For more information, check out What are Time of Use Rates?
    • You may be consuming more energy than you realize. There are a lot of factors that influence solar savings . Be sure to carefully consider all of them before deciding to add more panels to your solar energy system. Some of the big ones are: time of use rates, seasonality the time of year, the size of your household, etc.
    • Adding more panels may impact your tax rebate. If you signed a Loan or Cash Purchase Agreement, you may be eligible for Federal solar tax credits or incentives. In some areas, adding additional panels could mean forfeiting your rebate. Be sure to check out the website for your State Energy Office to determine whether or not more panels will impact your tax rebate and how.

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