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Energy Storage 101




What is Home Energy Storage?

Home energy storage, also commonly known as ‘home battery storage’ or ‘energy storage’ for short, is the ability to collect renewable and non-renewable energy sources and store them in batteries for later use. Although solar is not needed for an energy storage system to operate, many homeowners would like to store their solar power for later use, which helps save on their electricity bill and provide additional backup power. 

To describe how this works in greater detail, energy storage captures electricity from multiple renewable or non-renewable sources (i.e. solar, wind, generators, electrical grid, etc.), an inverter converts that energy into a format that is then stored into a battery. To break this down even further, a power inverter, or inverters, are power electronics that convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Inverters come in many different formats but all function similarly. The most common battery chemistries are Lithium-Ion (NMC), Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), Lead-Acid, and many others.

When an inverter and battery are paired together, it unlocks the ability for home or business owners to be self-sufficient with their energy, which effectively makes them their own utility company allowing them the freedom and dependability of controlling their own energy. 

Rate hikes and power outages have frustrated and even endangered utility customers over the years, but now options exist for homeowners to take control of their energy. Many users simply want to lower their energy bills and do not mind if they are on or off-the-grid. The software that is included in products like the PowerPod 2 allows for users to set different modes, such as Time-of-Use (TOU), to maximize their energy savings. Throughout any given day, a utility company sets a price on the energy that is sent out based on the current supply and demand. When demand for energy is low (off-peak rates), a user will pay a much lower price than they would if the demand was high (peak rates).

For those with solar, the savings can be even greater. The energy that is produced during the day can be stored and used during peak rates. Energy storage is not only benefiting the user but also alleviates the demand on the utility — and it’s better for the environment!

Understanding Home Battery Specifications

While you’re considering the best home battery storage solutions for your household or small business, you may discover a few varying (and complicated) product specifications. Don’t worry, here are some of the key specs to look out for and understand.  

Home Battery Capacity & Output Power

Capacity is the total amount of energy a home battery can store, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The PowerPod 2 is a ‘stackable’ battery, allowing the capability to pair multiple batteries in your energy storage system, which gives you additional storage. 

The capacity explains the size of the battery, but you still need to understand how much electricity a battery can provide at any moment. The output power rating determines just how much this is. A high-capacity rating with low output power will run a low amount of electricity for a prolonged period, covering the essential appliances. A low-capacity with high power could be enough to power your entire home, for a short period of time. 

Usable Capacity

Home batteries are required to retain some of their charge due to the chemical composition. This helps to prolong the life of your battery and maintain peak performance. The usable capacity refers to the amount of a battery’s capacity you can optimally utilize. 

Round-Trip Efficiency

The battery round-trip efficiency explains the amount of energy that can be used and the amount of energy it took to store it. 

For example, if you feed 10kWh of electricity into your battery and get 9 kWh of useable electricity back, your battery has a 90% round-trip efficiency (9 kWh/10 kWh = 90%). 

In more general terms, the higher a round-trip efficiency rating, the more economic value you receive from your home battery system. Ultimately, the best specs for you will depend on your home energy needs you can discover our full range of PowerPod specs here.

Off-grid Solar Storage Solutions

Off-grid battery backup systems are the first step toward dependable energy resilience and safety. Unforeseen electrical blackouts and extreme weather emergencies require a reliable energy backup solution that keeps power running to a home in the direst of situations. 

Noisy, smelly, carbon-emitting gas generators that require a manual start and fuel to run are no longer the best option for backup power. A smart home battery backup system is quiet, odorless, reliable and automatic. As soon as the system detects grid power loss, the home battery backup is triggered and seamlessly restores power without interruption. It is this speed, reliability and automation that has elevated smart home battery backup systems far beyond gas-powered generators.

Why You Should Purchase a Battery Backup System Now

Home battery systems are quickly becoming more sought after and necessary in households across America. Energy self-sufficiency along with increased control of your energy consumption are the tip of the iceberg, your safety, security, and peace of mind

Energy self-sufficiency, reliable home power backup in the event of black outs, and complete control of energy consumption is highly sought after.

With home battery system prices coming down, solar tax incentives slowly diminishing, and our environmental impact more critical than ever before, the time to invest is now. 

Regulatory Changes

The tax credits and state incentives, such as the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), that initially attracted homeowners to solar panels are diminishing. Each year the numbers benefit the homeowner a little less, and with those perks disappearing, many are realizing it makes more sense to store their energy and use it themselves. 

Battery Chemistry Advancements

Thanks to a kickstart by the electric vehicle industry, batteries are getting smaller, lighter, and more powerful. This means more and more batteries can be fit into smaller and smaller spaces. They are also safer, longer-lasting, and being produced at a lower cost which all bodes well for the home battery backup industry.

Environmental Conditions

As we hear about Global warming edging closer to a tipping point, reducing our dependance on carbon emitting fossil fuels becomes ever more critical. 

Natural disasters can, and do knock electrical grids out leaving thousands of people without electricity for hours or even days. 

Homeowners are seeking that extra layer of safety and dependability a home battery backup system provides. 

The PowerPod 1 & 2 System Modes of Operation

Giving you even more control of your home energy, our PowerPods have four distinct modes of operation. 

Backup

In backup mode, this will keep your battery always charged at 100% to maximize coverage during the event of a power outage.

Self-Supply

In this mode, minimize your grid usage and store excess solar during the day and use your battery after the sun goes down.

Time-of-Use (TOU)

Minimize grid usage during high-tariff periods (peak, partial peak) to maximize your savings.

Custom Mode

This mode is meant for those who want to fine-tune their system to fit their energy needs.

What Home Battery Backup System is Right for Me?

This is dependent on your home energy consumption and what you want to be backed up. Once you can determine the average amount of energy used in your home (e.g. as reported by a recent electricity bill), then you can begin to properly size a system that will work best for your needs. Need help sizing your system? Contact our sales team here at [email protected].

Solar + Storage

Are you looking to couple your solar array with energy storage? This is commonly referred to as solar + storage. For the maximum amount of savings, we recommend that you purchase a new solar system with an energy storage system to receive the maximum amount of savings from different Federal and State incentives.

Can a Home Battery Power My Entire House?

Yes, a home battery system can be used to power your house. However, it is important to understand your energy usage to properly size a system that matches your needs. A typical-sized energy storage system will only power the essential appliances in your home for a few hours. In many cases, it makes sense to stay connected to the electric grid even if you have a solar-plus-storage system.

Have additional questions, contact us at electriqpower.com/contact.