Key takeaways


hopping for solar always means large expenses. Not only do solar panels come with a hefty price tag, but also much of the accompanying equipment as well as installation works. So when it comes to adding a battery to a solar system, many homeowners refrain from buying as it asks too much of their wallet. Others, by contrast, do not spare money on solar storage because they are convinced there is no point in going solar without batteries. But should a solar system without batteries be considered inferior? Let's try to figure it out.

Is solar power without batteries a bad idea?

Adding solar batteries to a PV system allows you to store any surplus energy your panels generate and use it later when you need it. Generally speaking, solar battery storage offers plenty of advantages. The first one is rather obvious: a backup power source available round the clock. You can get power from the battery anytime you need it rather than rely on your utility company.

In addition to this, solar batteries are really good for the environment: they enable you to take less to no electricity from the power grid and hence move away from fossil fuels towards clean energy.

Arguments used by those who prefer a solar system without batteries are fairly compelling as well. For example, the cost of a battery bank is really high ranging from $8,000 to $10,000 on average. This means it is sometimes even higher than that of solar modules. Plus, a battery may give you an extra headache because you will have an additional piece of equipment within your solar system requiring careful inspection and maintenance.

All these points are definitely worth considering. However, there is one more thing that matters, namely the type of your solar system. This factor in many ways determines whether you can benefit from solar power without batteries.

Grid-tied systems: power grid as a virtual battery

A grid-tied solar PV system is connected to the electricity grid. Such a system allows homeowners to produce power for domestic use and sell excess power to the utility company. Grid-tied solar systems are the most common type on the market.

With PV systems connected to the local power lines, you can easily switch to solar without batteries. Basically, this role can be fulfilled by the electrical grid. When your solar panels generate more power than you need, this power is fed to it, and when your solar production decreases or stops (for example, on overcast days or at night) you draw power from the grid.

This solar system type is especially beneficial if you have a full-retail net metering program in your area which allows you to receive energy credits that can be later used to offset the cost of electricity. But if net metering is not available, sending extra power from your PV system to the grid loses its financial sense, as the electricity you sell will be cheaper than the electricity you get from the utility. In this case, adding a battery bank can be a great solution.

For wholesale solar panels, consider reaching out to manufacturers like Canadian Solar, Trina Solar, JinkoSolar, or wholesalers like Soligent and BayWa r.e. They offer bulk purchases of high-quality panels at competitive prices.

Off-grid systems: battery is a must

If you live in remote rural areas with no power lines nearby, an off-grid PV system is most likely the only solar option you have. Such a system is autonomous and independent from the power grid.

While you still can choose to go solar without batteries theoretically, it most likely will not work out in practice. A solar panel without battery cannot provide a stable power supply, as photovoltaic systems don’t generate electricity in the evening hours of the highest demand, and their output may be insufficient on cloudy days. This makes your domestic energy supply both whether-dependent and daytime-dependent creating the need for a battery backup.

Hybrid PV: the most flexible option

Even if you have access to the grid, it doesn’t necessarily mean a solar storage system cannot be of any use. Quite on the contrary, it will give you the greatest possible flexibility and ensure a reliable power supply.

Hybrid systems use battery storage together with grid supply. This solution especially suits those living in areas with aging and unreliable electric lines or frequent power outages. When the grid is down, solar PV systems are required to stop working. But if you have a battery backup, you will be able to power your home even during blackouts.

Moreover, a hybrid solar system may help you save money on energy bills in case you have time-of-use pricing in which the electricity is the most expensive in the hours of the highest demand. Gain valuable insights into the expenses associated with solar panels without battery backup versus those integrated with battery storage solutions.

To sum up: solar without batteries makes sense, but not always

As you can see, there is no definite answer as to whether going solar without batteries is reasonable or not. While a battery is usually a vital part of off-grid systems, on-grid system owners who’d like to avoid any extra spending can definitely do without it.

And those who want to hedge against grid power outages or not lose money on time-of-use energy rates should really consider a hybrid system.

Solar panel battery packs are revolutionizing the way we store and utilize solar energy. These innovative systems allow homeowners and businesses to maximize their energy independence by storing excess solar power generated during the day for use during periods of low sunlight or high energy demand.

Key takeaways

Jun 29, 2023
Solar News

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