Solar power, battery – vs no battery backup system

South Africa’s energy crisis has had an unintended positive development. The acceptance of solar power into mainstream culture. Load shedding is doing great harm to households and business and people are realising that, in order to protect themselves against its effects, matters will have to be taken into their own hands. In steps photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems.
More and more businesses and households are installing PV solar power systems to counter load shedding. The big question is whether or not to include a battery system.

How does a solar power installation without battery backup system work?

Such systems are attached to solar panels as well as the power grid and provide users with electricity from both.
Energy is produced by solar panels and are directed to the household. Solar panels do not need to produce electricity to run the entire household as electricity shortfalls can be made up by the power grid.

What are the Advantages?

  • Less costly to install
  • Less components to maintain
  • Saves on electricity bills
  • Environmentally friendly


What Are The Disadvantages?

It does not provide the house with electricity during load shedding

How does a solar power installation with battery backup system work?

PV systems with battery storage work pretty much the same way as systems without battery storage.
Electricity is produced by solar panels to power the house while electricity from the grid supplements power shortfalls when the solar panels aren’t producing enough.
The difference is that batteries are included in the system and allows for electricity to be stored. These battery banks range in size and are charged by both the power grid and solar panels.
This allows for a household or business to draw power from the battery systems during load shedding.

What are the advantages?

  • Household or businesses can keep their lights on during load shedding
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Save on electricity bills


What are the disadvantages?

  • It’s more costly to install
  • More components to maintain


The final verdict?

In areas where there is a constant reliable power grid the solar power installation system without a battery backup system is ideal. It is simpler and cheaper to install and easier to maintain. You can always be expand it to include battery storage at a later stage.
In South Africa however we have a very unreliable power grid with load shedding being implemented on an almost daily basis. Therefore the grid tied system with a battery backup system is ideal. These systems are perfect for power outages of between two to four hours, which is how long load shedding normally lasts anyway.
For more information about solar power systems contact us here.

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