Seven tips for installing solar power storage in your home
When you own your home, you are independent of landlords. When you own an electricity storage system, you are less dependent on electricity suppliers. As a homeowner, what should you consider when you buy a solar power storage system?
1. Choose the correct battery size
The correct battery size depends on the size of your PV system and your electricity consumption. Do not oversize the capacity of the electricity storage unit but ensure it is sufficient to meet your needs. Choose a big storage unit if you intend to achieve the highest possible self-consumption rate. The German brand RCT Power offers different storage unit sizes with nominal capacities ranging from 3.8 kWh to 11.5 kWh. They can easily be retrofitted on a modular basis. Good to know: Always compare the unit net capacities.
2. Know the depth of discharge
An essential parameter that determines the optimal usage of your solar power storage unit is not only the capacity but also the depth of discharge. Discharging of storage units is limited, meaning solar power storage units must not be completely discharged. There is always a residual capacity. The limiting of discharging protects the storage unit from a complete discharge and prolongs its service life.
3. Select the correct place and location
Where in your home is the best location for your solar power storage unit? The units are sensitive to cold temperatures. If the solar power storage unit is set up in a reasonably warm but not too hot location, it will perform to its best capabilities. The optimal ambient temperature for the installation site is between 15 °C and 25 °C. The dimensions of solar power storage units vary in height and depth. Determine the available space in your chosen location before buying to avoid inconvenient surprises. The manufacturer specification datasheets will provide you with the exact external dimensions of their solar power storage units.
4. Use lithium-based batteries
Modern solar energy storage systems use lithium-based battery technology. Environmentally harmful lead batteries are obsolete and being phased out. The benefits of lithium batteries are convincing: lithium iron phosphate batteries, as used in RCT Power solar power storage systems, have an efficiency of well over 90 per cent. Lead-acid based batteries, by comparison, are only discharged to just under 50 per cent of their nominal capacity during an operational charging cycle. Storage systems with lead-acid batteries will therefore be designed to deliver a minimum of twice the required capacity. For an equivalent amount of power output from the storage system, your PV system has to generate almost twice as much electricity compared with an RCT Power storage system. Equally important, lithium iron phosphate batteries have a significantly longer service life.
5. Use a forecast-based charging strategy
There are two reasons why a solar power storage system for your home should have a forecast-based charging management system. The first one has a tangible financial background: Many subsidy programmes mandate grid-serving charging strategies for storage units, like the forecast-based one. The second one: You avoid regulation losses at peak PV power generation while at the same time feeding less electricity into the public grid. The forecast-based charging method computes the optimised charging times based on weather data and your previous consumption behaviour. In short: on a sunny day, the charging of the solar power storage unit is delayed, and it will reach its capacity limit at a later point.
6. Have a backup power function ready
Recommended for your home: the backup power function. If the power supply fails, for example, during a storm, a power switch connects over to the backup power supply from your storage unit within seconds. It means you are not cut off from the outside world (Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity, etc.)
7. Watch out for subsidies
Some countries provide subsidies for solar energy storage systems. The funds are usually available for a limited time. It is recommended that you investigate current or future funding schemes available in your country.
Get specialist advice
RCT Power offers high-quality solar power storage systems. Our qualified specialist partners will be happy to advise you on the ideal solar power storage system for your home.