Solar batteries: a year of the store-age
In 2017, Britain entered a distinctive new phase in the journey to decarbonised energy. It saw almost a month of coal-free electricity, carbon emissions briefly falling below the UK’s 2030 carbon target and solar power hitting record levels.
Beyond the headlines, two very ordinary looking British homes were enjoying their first full year using battery technology alongside their solar panels. The homes already had solar panels and wanted to install batteries to enable them to enjoy solar power for 24 hours a day.
How does battery storage work?
• Solarcentury’s engineers install a small and compact battery in the home.
• The battery automatically charges itself using solar energy.
• If the battery detects that power is needed in the home, it automatically discharges stored energy back into the house.
• When the battery has charge, solar energy is available and ready to power appliances both day and night.
The benefits of battery storage for our homeowners are striking, enabling them to use solar for more than half of their power needs over the year. Their investment has halved their energy bills and reduced their exposure to electricity price rises.
Some key statistics
The homes have provided great data for the team at Solarcentury who have used this to improve battery models to ensure that we offer the right battery for each customer. We also found that our homes reduced their carbon emissions by over 40 per cent with great results for the environment.
It also helped us to realise some other great benefits of battery storage, including helping customers identify further energy savings. One of our customers realised how inefficient their lighting was, replacing them with LEDs, while another replaced an old fridge with a modern energy-efficient one after seeing how much energy they were using.
Furthermore, our battery storage customers loved not having to think about only using appliances during sunny periods as the battery enables solar energy to be used day or night.
As one homeowner in our trial said: “We have had solar for years and love the results. I was always careful to do my washing when it was sunny. Now with a battery, I don’t worry so much as I know I can do the washing day or night using solar power.”
At Solarcentury we believe that batteries guarantee the greater energy independence that generating your own electricity brings. For the right customers, we see batteries as a good investment alongside new solar PV in reducing energy bills and sustainable carbon emissions.