Solar Beats Out Batteries For going Green In The Home
There are a lot of people that will tell you that batteries are the best way to infuse the idea of going green in your home. That includes people that are using elements of solar, but have a battery back up instead of having the solar element take over most of the power in a home. With that in mind, you’re going to find that a lot of the renewable energy in a home could be wasted. How does this occur? Well you’ll need to factor in a few things before you can fully grasp why solar beats out battery power for efficient energy.
Batteries and Renewable Energy
The first thing that you should know is that batteries do work with renewable energy, but they are finite. In fact, you’re going to find that grid-scale solutions are easy to employ, but they are not going to end up getting traction compared to other options. This comes in light of Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Sonnen’s getting into the United States with their solar roof and energy elements that were featured in Los Angeles recently.
What’s So Bad About Batteries?
Well, even though there’s a lot of praise for battery solutions, you’ll find that scientists aren’t so quick to jump on board. The reason why is simple, battery elements that are tied to the grid could actually cause consumption of energy to rise. The reason why is because of regional elements, and the necessity to recharge batteries to a certain level. The increase has been stated to be as high as 324-591 kWh. This research is conducted by scientists that published their findings in Nature Energy from University of Texas. The researchers were Robert L. Fares and Michael E. Webber and they discussed that reducing emissions in the home requires solar panels that were off the gird, that brought power back to the grid through sales.
Batteries Aren’t Terrible
Before jumping to the conclusion that all battery elements are not good, you should know that the research did indicate that there are some need for battery elements. People that buy battery powered solutions do not just isolate it to reducing emissions, but rather, think of working with a backup module in case the grid is tied up, or there’s a power outage.
The researchers here published that there are two distinct styles of operation that homeowners focus on. The idea is that one battery utilizes interactions with the overall grid, to minimize power consumption using battery elements when the demand for grid level electricity is high. This could drop the power consumption during peak times because a battery element kicks on.
The second option is the solution that focuses on charging through solar energy and kicking on when full, eliminating the need to use grid energy whenever possible. The aim here is to be independent of the grid, and help the homeowners reduce overall consumption through the charging and recharging of batteries that are connected to solar panels, alone.
Energy Use Rises With Batteries
After completing several studied, it was found that the initial option, a “target zero” battery that switches to off-grid options during peak hours actually increased energy use annually. This measurement went up by at least 8% overall. Meanwhile, those that were tied to a battery that was only working after solar power increased, saw a drop in energy demand. This finding really showcased the power of using solar energy to charge battery elements, rather than having a battery backup to help isolate over use and infrequent shifts. Inefficiencies are to blame for power loss that go directly to battery systems.
To further understand the bigger picture here, it should be noted that the researchers looked at solar energy, battery systems, and grid electricity in 99 homes throughout the state of Texas. The goal was to look at average family living around Austin, Texas, and the outside area to figure out which option translated best to saving money, and not relying heavily on power consumption.
The researchers were able to show that models that focused on solar paneling to harness power to a battery system and then switch off to battery only, saved money, time, and was more efficient than any other system. While battery systems are nice, if they rely on the grid to turn on and off, based on peak performance, the power consumption is not efficient at all. Even though the study isolated differences, the researchers found that both models still led to less strain on the electrical grid of the community, so there’s an upside to home energy storage, solar paneling, and battery elements overall.