Battery Storage and Solar – How does it work?

August 16, 2019 | By Rebecca David

When starting to research home energy storage systems, your first question may be, what are the batteries, and what do they do? To answer that some background information is helpful. Colorado homes operate with Grid power, what this means is that your home is tied to the utility company’s power plant. Your energy comes from outdated power lines that are subject to the elements and when the power goes down, each home tied to that utility’s transformer loses it’s electrical feed for an unknown amount of time. You could be without power for three hours or three days! There are only three “grid systems” that run all electricity in America. While each state and utility company, they are all ultimately tied to one of only three systems for the millions of homes and businesses that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. This creates a delicate structure, and that structure is extremely old, some areas are over one hundred years old. Updating that grid structure will cost hundreds of million of dollars and if they are not completed, consumers will experience more blackouts and brownouts in the event of a grid failure.  A home equipped with a battery however, can switch over to using the stored energy!.

The next questions we hear are, why are batteries a good idea, and how can homeowners use them? Depending on the size and type of battery, a home can be completely powered for a short time, a long time, or you can have just a few breakers still operating in an emergency.

People also often ask how our batteries are connected to their home? The connection process is fairly straightforward, though very precise. EcoMark Solar will assess your main electrical panel and determine if it is structurally sound, if not they will do the upgrade based on need. Permits will be drawn and communication with the homeowners electrical provider will all be taken care of by EcoMark Solar. Our electrician and installation crew will then come out and set it all up. Depending on what your battery needs are, they will work with you to determine which breakers and therefore which rooms will continue to receive power during an outage.

One of the biggest benefits to having an EcoMark Solar System coupled with a Battery and Energy Management is that it will give the homeowner control of how they use their energy. More and more, the local utility companies are switching to time-of-use billing which charge more during “peak” usage hours. With the systems and options provide, our customers can avoid using grid energy during the most expensive hours.

Most people want to know how will their battery work with their Solar System. The benefits are really great! When you couple a battery storage system with your home’s Solar array, you are protecting yourself from rate hikes that utility company will be charging as they spend millions on grid infrastructure upgrade. If you already have Solar, you probably know that in a power outage, your solar will shut down as well, cutting you off from any electrical energy usage for the duration of the outage. What you may not know, is that the shut down is a law and is required nationwide. The reason is for safety to protect utilities workers from any potential power surges that could cost serious harm. Installing a battery will essentially circumvent that law by acting as a buffer between your Solar and the grid. When your power goes out, your battery will allow you to create a closed loop of energy flow from your Solar array to your home for the duration of the grid outage. This allows workers to safely work and your home with solar and storage to continue to operate. You can have a battery without Solar, however you will be subject to only the available power stored and when it runs out, you will have to wait for the grid power to back and up and running before you recharge that battery.

The last question we get is how do I pay for them? We offer several types and sizes of batteries and every home has unique needs, that is why our EcoMark Solar Consultants are highly trained to work with our homeowners in order to determine the best system for each home. EcoMark Solar has several financing and cash options available and can help our customers determine the best option for them and their home. The best part is that our battery solutions qualify for the 30% Tax Credit.

EcoMark Solar will help you develop a custom solution, all you need to do is give us a call to get started!