Solar Panels: Guide to Proper Battery Sizing
If you are setting up a battery system for your solar panels, one important thing that you have to consider is proper battery sizing. Oversized batteries, solar panels and inverters will only cost you more money, while undersizing your system could potentially compromise battery life or risk running out of power.
JMB Renewables offers some tips to help ensure that the right battery size is used for your system.
Reduce Electrical Demand
When sizing a system, you should also lower your power needs. This way, you can opt for smaller batteries and fewer solar panels. You can start with something small — like swapping out incandescent lighting for a more energy-efficient option. Check your appliances as well and find out how much electricity they are consuming. Ideally, you’d want appliances with good ENERGY STAR ratings.
Calculate Your Energy Requirements
You can calculate your battery needs by determining the kilowatt-hours (kWh) that you need to store. If you have a grid-tied system, you can simply refer to your utility bills for the past 12 months in order to get an estimate of your power requirements. Meanwhile, off-grid users can track appliance energy consumption with the help of plug-in power meters. It’s best to work closely with your solar installers to ensure the correct computation of your power requirements.
Make Sure You Have a Safety Buffer
Remember that the sun isn’t always shining. You’ll need reserves so as to avoid running out of electricity. With a solar-plus-storage system, you should consider surge capacity and depth of discharge. Surge capacity refers to a battery’s capacity for handling high-draw loads. For example, appliances like air conditioning and refrigerators can draw two to seven times more electricity during startup. If there is insufficient surge capacity, these appliances won’t work. Depth of discharge (DOD), on the other hand, refers to how deeply a battery can discharge without compromising longevity.
JMB Renewables is one of the most trusted solar panel experts in the area. We offer our services to residential and commercial clients, so you can count on us to deliver quality workmanship regardless of project size. Call us at Phoenix: 480-616-0777, Bay Area: 510-227-6640, Denver: 720-419-2883, Colorado Springs: 720-419-2883, or Castle Rock: 720-419-2883. You can also fill out our contact form to request a quote.