5 FAQs About Solar Home Battery Storage

Has your neighborhood power gone out in recent months? Have you noticed a few houses on the block that still have their lights and TV’s on while you scramble to find candles and flashlights? You can now pair a home battery with your solar panel system to store the excess energy your panels produce. Solar alone will not continue to power your home if the electricity goes out, but your battery storage system will use that stored energy from your panels to keep the lights on in your home during outages, blackouts and Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

Before we dive into the top 5 FAQs about solar home batteries, let’s discuss what a home battery is.

What is a home battery?

A home battery stores excess energy produced by your solar panels for use at a later time. Energy storage provides many benefits, including big savings and peace of mind as a backup power source during grid outages. One advantage of a solar + home battery system is powering your home when the sun isn’t shining. Depending on the setting you select with your battery system, you will only draw and pay for energy from the grid when your battery runs out. A home with solar panels alone will send the excess energy generated from your panels back to the grid.

Now that we’ve established what a home battery is and how it benefits residents, here are 5 FAQs about solar home batteries:

1) What are the best home battery options?

Millions of Californians have recently experienced power outages, devastating wildfires and blackouts. Backup power alternatives like clean energy solar panels paired with a home battery can keep the lights on during these events. Solar Technologies offers two high-quality home batteries: SunPower’s SunVault Home Battery and Tesla’s Powerwall.

SunPower solar panels paired with a SunVault are the only home solar + battery storage solution designed by one company. This gives homeowners energy independence and protection from rising energy costs and outages.

The Tesla Powerwall is a compact home battery system that stores your excess energy and keeps the lights on when the power goes out. It also detects outages and recharges with sunlight to keep your fridge and appliances running for days.

2) What is the best place to install a home battery?

SunPower recommends an indoor installation for SunVault home batteries, ideally in the garage. Outdoor installations are possible, but it is recommended to install in a shaded area to protect the battery system from extreme weather conditions. The ideal temperature is between 15-110° F, so your location and climate can play a factor. 

Indoor and outdoor Powerwall installations are possible since they’re water-resistant and built for all weather conditions. The Powerwall can operate within a wide range of temperatures (from -4°F to 122°F). You should still avoid installing it in areas with direct sunlight or constant high/low temperatures.

3) Is there a warranty on the home battery?

SunVault Storage comes with a 10-year warranty, as part of SunPower’s Complete Confidence Warranty. With the leading solar warranty in the industry, SunPower offers that same great protection and peace of mind with your SunVault system. While the solar warranty will cover your system for 25 years, keep in mind that your home battery warranty offers coverage for 10 years. Replacements and repairs are also covered at no cost to you during the warranty period.

Tesla Powerwall batteries are also covered by a 10-year warranty and a four-year workmanship warranty to cover replacements and repairs. Tesla also provides an unlimited cycle warranty and 24/7 support for any Powerwall-related issues.

4) Will a home battery work on days when it’s not sunny outside?

Both SunVault Storage and Powerwalls charge when it’s sunny and discharge based on your settings. Each system has its own settings that will allow you to select how much stored energy to use daily and how much to reserve for use during an outage. SunVault has a “Cost Savings” mode in the app that will allow you to save more money by using your solar + battery during expensive energy peak rate hours. In “Reserve” mode, you are able to reserve 100% of your battery in case the electricity goes out.  

5) How much money can I save each month?

This depends on a variety of factors. Utility rates, the amount of energy you use, your rate structure, whether you have a pool or EV, your roof orientation and resulting system design, and a few additional variables that your energy consultant will review with you. Your proposal should always  include an annual savings estimate based on your current electricity use. You can speak to one of our solar representatives today for a free solar + home battery quote for your home.

Ready to find out how much you can save with solar and protect your home from power outages? Contact us today for a free customized quote.

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Shannon Hughes