Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular as more people become conscious of their carbon footprint and the environmental impact of traditional energy sources. But what exactly happens to the excess energy created by solar panels? This is where solar batteries come in.
This article will explore the basics of solar batteries using an “Explain Like I’m 5” (ELI5) approach. We’ll cover what solar batteries are, how they work, and their benefits.
What Are Solar Batteries?
Solar batteries are devices that store excess energy generated by solar panels. When your solar panels produce more energy than your home needs, the excess energy is stored in the battery. The stored energy can be used later when your home consumes more electricity than the solar panels can provide.
Solar batteries are designed to be sturdy and can be charged countless times. They generally have a long lifespan, making them a reliable backup power source.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
To understand how solar batteries work, let’s use an analogy of two buckets, one full of water and the other empty. Connecting the two buckets would cause the water level in the full bucket to decrease until both buckets have roughly the same amount of water. In a solar battery, buckets contain electrons and chemicals instead of water.
The negative side of the battery contains chemicals that are rich in electrons. Since electrons are negative charge carriers, their majority causes that side to become negative, while their minority causes the other side to become positive. When both sides are connected, a flow of electrons, known as electricity, is created. This flow of electrons is used to transfer electricity from the solar panels to the battery and then to your home.
What Makes Solar Batteries Different From Regular Batteries?
Solar batteries are typically larger than regular batteries. This is because they are used to power energy-hungry appliances and devices like refrigerators and TVs. Solar batteries resemble high-tech rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles or smartphones. They can be recharged many times without losing significant power or capacity.
Another difference between regular and solar batteries is that your home needs AC (alternating current) electricity, where electrons move back and forth. However, solar batteries generate electricity in DC (direct current), where electrons move in only one direction. The battery is connected to an inverter that converts the current to convert this DC electricity to AC.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Solar Battery?
There are many benefits to getting a solar battery. Some of the main reasons to consider getting a solar battery include the following:
Helping the Environment: Solar energy is renewable and generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional energy sources. By using solar batteries, you can decrease your reliance on fossil fuels and do your part in helping the environment.
Lower Electricity Bills: Using a solar battery can reduce your dependence on the utility grid and lower your electricity bills.
Using More Solar Energy: With a solar battery, you can use more of the electricity your solar energy system creates. This means you can rely less on the utility grid and more on renewable solar energy.
Backup Power: In a power outage, excess power can be diverted to the solar battery for backup power.
Solar batteries are an essential component of any solar energy system. They help store excess energy generated by solar panels and provide backup power in case of an outage. By understanding how solar batteries work, you can make informed decisions about incorporating them into your home's energy system.