Does my home qualify for battery backups?
All residential properties can have backup batteries installed. However, some properties may require additional electrical upgrades. Meeting with an energy consultant can help install questions specific to your home. An expert will also help determine the right battery for your home. As of 2023, there are hundreds of home battery companies, each one with a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Meeting with a professional will help prevent any future headaches.
How many batteries do I need to power my entire home?
In most cases, three or more batteries can power an entire two-story home for a few hours. It depends on how much energy you’re using. If you want to power your HVAC, refrigerator, pool pump, and all the outlets in your home then the power supply won’t last very long. However, if you just want to power your kitchen and no A/C, then your energy supply may last days, or even weeks.
Can my home be completely off-grid?
With the right mix of solar, battery power, and geography… yes. Solar and battery power are self-explanatory – solar panels produce electricity and batteries can store the excess for nighttime use. Geography refers less to the placement of panels (although that is a factor), and more to the jurisdiction of your property. Some regulated areas of Texas can not have their electric meter removed, including homes powered by CPS Energy. Property owners in these areas may be completely self-sufficient but will still need to pay a monthly fee for the “services” from their utility company.
Can I control when my battery is turned on?
Yes. Most batteries come with three different settings that can be programmed through a phone app: self-consumption, time-of-use rate structure, and emergency mode. Self-consumption means power gets used in the following order: (the solar panels), batteries, electric grid. Time-of-use rate structure allows the homeowner to schedule when power should be used from the batteries. This setting is extremely helpful for those with utility companies that charge more depending on the time of day and year. Lastly, emergency mode only turns on the batteries when the system detects a loss of power from the electric grid.
|💪Pro Tip: Home back batteries last longer when kept in a climate controlled area that stays around 70-90F. Out side that range, the temperature will make your batteries less reliable.
Are battery backups loud?
No. Batteries should not make noises, nor do they get crazy hot thanks to their internal cooling.
Which battery pairs well with solar panels?
Just about all home batteries are equipped with the necessary components to work with solar panels. Enphase produce great home batteries as well as Sol-Ark and Franklin. An energy consultant can help steer you to the right ones.
Do I need solar panels to use home batteries?
No. Most energy storage devices do not require a solar panel system to charge. They can be charged by the electric grid and some also offer standby generator charging capabilities.
How long do battery backups last?
Day-to-day it depends on what they’re powering. In terms of longevity, batteries can last decades but most manufacturers only warranty them for 10-15 years.
What effects the life span of a backup battery?
Temperature and charge-discharge cycles are the main factors. Batteries do not function as well as they should when internal temperature leaves a range of 40-86F. Fortunately, backup batteries have an internal temperature control system that keep it within that window under normal conditions.
Charge-discharge cycles refer to each time the power level changes in a battery, and each cycle sparks a chemical reaction using a finite amount of materials. Additionally, a complete discharge is more stressful on the battery than minimal cycles, meaning a greater decrease in longevity. A battery backup should far outlive its warranty so long as it rarely gets completely drained and stays at a reasonable internal temperature year round.
Can batteries be stored outside?
Yes, however we recommend they’re installed somewhere in the shade (e.g. a shed, covered structure, etc.). Too much heat will effect the longevity of the battery and may even void the warranty if it overheats.
Can I install battery backups myself?
Technically, yes. However, it will require permits with the city and the utility company as well as an inspection, and commissioning. All of which can take a few months, maybe over a year for a newbie. The representatives of the listed third-parties develop relationships with local installation companies – they know who does a good job and who doesn’t. If you’re a new installer, it will require special, additional attention on their part to make sure you’re qualified for the job. So unless you plan on starting up an installation company, it’s a lot faster and probably cheaper to hire a professional.