With global climate change and load shedding, solar power is a viable energy option for many South Africans. Solar suppliers are also able to offer solar batteries to keep you constantly connected.
What does a solar power system include?
Solar power is a clean, safe and free power source which – on a sunny day – is able to provide about 1 000 watts of power per square metre. This powerful energy source is stored in a solar power system which typically includes:
- Solar panels
- Panel-mounting equipment
- Performance monitoring system
How does a solar power system work?
Basically, solar panels attached to the roof will collect the sun’s energy. This is passed through the inverter which converts solar energy into a form of power that is usable throughout the home. Many solar suppliers can connect the solar energy system to the electricity grid, which means when there is insufficient solar energy, you can still use power for the grid. However, solar suppliers are also able to install solar batteries as a way to reserve solar energy when the sun isn’t shining. This means you are much less reliant on Eskom’s electricity supply.
How do solar batteries work?
Once solar panels have captured the sun’s energy, the excess (AC energy) can charge the solar batteries for use (as DC power) later on. Obviously, the bigger the solar battery’s capacity, the more solar energy stored. If your solar energy system is connected to your electricity grid, the only time you will use this is when the solar batteries are depleted. Solar batteries do not need to be hooked up to the solar system when used.
Types of solar batteries
- Lead-Acid Solar Battery – one of the older solar battery models, they have a lifespan of about five years and you would need quite a few to power the home.
- Lithium-Ion Solar Battery – originally developed for the electric car and electronics’ industry (laptops and cellphones), these have a longer lifespan of about 15 years.
- Flow Solar Battery – a new addition to solar power, these batteries have a 100% depth of discharge but a lower lifespan than lithium-ion.
- Sodium Nickel Chloride Solar Battery – another newcomer, these are environmentally-friendly and rechargeable. They have a lower lifespan than lithium-ion and are still comparatively expensive.
Benefits of solar batteries
If you’re considering installing solar batteries to supplement your solar power system, then here are a few reasons to convince you.
Clean energy source
Solar power is a clean energy source and the installation of solar batteries means you are even less reliant on the national grid. This results in less burning of coal and other fossil fuels. Using Sodium Nickel Chloride Solar Batteries makes your solar system even more environmentally friendly.
Once you’ve paid the initial cost of installation, you will be benefitting from free solar energy that will save you huge amounts in the long run – particularly in light of Eskom’s escalating prices.
Rather than relying on incredibly noisy generators – and their dangerous fuels – the solar batteries are completely silent.
Load shedding is a sad reality South Africa is going to continue experiencing and while solar panels are a fantastic alternative, they are limited in that electricity is only produced when there is sunshine. Solar batteries allow you to reserve energy for days when there is less sunlight – and no power on the grid.
There are many reputable solar suppliers who can discuss the various solar battery options which will suit your specific power-saving requirements.
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