Solar energy is enjoying tremendous growth in the United States and globally. From giant farms to small rooftop installations, businesses and consumers alike are embracing the sun as a way to deliver power.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory projects that rooftop solar panels have the potential to generate 40% of the total energy needed in the U.S.
This growth is largely attributable to many factors, including local and state regulations, declining prices, and energy storage technology.
Problems with solar power
As with any new(er) product, there are challenges that will be met. One obvious disadvantage is shading. Shading can be a problem when things such as trees or buildings block sunlight from reaching the solar panels. If they are not in direct sunlight, power production will dwindle. This is easily remedied by strategically placing your solar panels.
Another issue with solar power is that sunlight is intermittent. Sometimes you are going to generate more energy than you need (and it may be wasted) and sometimes you are going to generate less energy than you need (and you will have to rely on the grid to supplement).
For example, a peak demand time in your household may be from 6:00-9:00pm. You get home from work, dinner needs cooked, homework needs researched, lights and the television are on in multiple rooms. Energy demand is high. However, depending on the time of year, this is also right around the time that the sun is starting to set or has already gone down. It isn’t there to power your solar panels to generate the electricity you need.
The sun was high in the sky and your electricity generation was at a maximum around lunchtime, but you were at work and your kids were at school. No one was home to utilize that energy generation efficiently.
The solution to this problem is energy storage. Setting up a battery system, much like the uninterruptible power supply systems used in data centers and other applications, allows you to charge and discharge batteries as your energy needs change.
Energy storage technologies do not actually generate electricity. They deliver stored electricity to the grid or end user. This helps to manage the challenges of fluctuating inputs and outputs while taking full advantage of renewable sources. When the sun is high in the afternoon, it will charge up your batteries. When the sun has set and you need to power your home in the evening, you can pull from the energy reserves stored in the batteries.
As with all battery systems, maintenance is a must. Contact one of our sales managers to find out how we can help you ensure the state-of-health for your energy storage batteries.