Solar batteries – A new use. Old technology
Solar Batteries are a relatively new application for an old technology. Batteries were the earliest method of generating electricity, and the earliest battery was constructed in 1836 by John Daniell who discovered he could generate electricity from a copper pot filled with a copper sulfate solution.
Over the years battery technology has advanced in leaps and bounds to the state of the art Lithium Ion batteries used in most portable electronics today. Solar batteries typically use lithium batteries as well – the Tesla power wall and Enphase Solar Battery systems use lithium ion battery technology.
Solar Batteries – Power when there’s no sunlight
The need for solar storage evolves from a simple fact – solar power can only be generated using daylight – when the sun is out. Further, the typical household consumes more power in the evening – when there is no sunlight and hence no opportunity to generate solar power – as illustrated by the enPhase diagram:
The modern family are at work and school returning to the home late afternoon early evening. Power for lighting, cooking and entertainment starts to be consumed. even with a solar power system installed, the household doesn’t gain the full benefit of the free solar power, and so mains power will be consumed.
Solar batteries – shifting the solar power to peak usage hours
A Solar battery system literally time-shifts the power from the peak solar power generation period 9am-3pm to the peak power consumption period 5pm-10pm. The end result is not only a more efficient and eco-friendly use of the solar power installation, but properly tuned, this arrangement will save the household money because of a significantly reduced mains power consumption.