Solar Panel Batteries UK Costs

Solar panel batteries are vital for effectively storing solar energy for later use when you need it.

Solar panel batteries allow you to make the most of the renewable electricity you generate and become more independent from the national grid.

Studies show that pairing a battery with a solar PV system can reduce annual electricity bills by up to 84%.

With solar panel batteries, surplus electricity generated during the day can be stored for use at other times, such as at night or during dull weather.

This guide explores solar panel batteries in the UK, including how they work, the cost, and what to consider when selecting solar batteries.

Key Takeaways:

  • Solar panel batteries can help you stay off the grid, save money on energy bills, or keep your home immune from power outages.
  • The most suitable solar panel batteries for UK homes are lithium-ion batteries.
  • Solar panel batteries can cost from less than £2,000 to £6,000
  • When buying solar panel batteries, consider the battery type, depth of discharge, and storage capacity.

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How Do Solar Panel Batteries Work?

Solar panel batteries work as overflow storage units.

Unless you or other household members are home and using electricity every minute of every day, you’ll have unused solar energy.

Without a place to send the energy produced by the solar panels, the system would be inefficient since your appliances would only work when the sun is shining and the panels are working.

With solar panel batteries, any unused solar energy gets rerouted to charge the battery.

Solar batteries can be an addition or an alternative to feeding energy back to the grid, and they can help your house stay immune from power outages and even take it off the grid entirely.

Once the sun stops shining and the panels stop producing energy, the battery kicks in and gives you all the stored power. The process is automatic, with the panels and batteries alternating.

Batteries help solve the problem where the time you use energy at home and when solar panels produce energy don’t align perfectly.

What are the Types Of Solar Panel Batteries?

The common types of batteries used in the world of solar power include:

Lithium Ion Solar Panel Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries have been around for a while but have only recently become top performers due to improvements in battery technology.

Advances spurred by portable devices and electric car technology improvements have made lithium-ion batteries more compact, efficient, and lightweight than other battery types. They also have a greater lifespan and depth of discharge.

Lithium-ion batteries also handle fast charging much better than other battery types and are easy to move without fear of acid spillage or damage.

Due to their higher density, they can store more energy and don’t require regular maintenance.

Lead Acid Solar Panel Batteries

Lead acid batteries are one of the oldest types of batteries available, as they’ve been around for over 100 years.

Although they can’t hold much energy per kg because of low energy density, they’re still reliable and cost-effective, making them a common choice for many home solar setups.

Lead-acid batteries come in sealed or flooded varieties. Depending on the depth of discharge and intended function, they can also be deep-cycle or shallow-cycle batteries.

Check out our review of the best solar panels in the UK:

Nickel Cadmium Solar Panel Batteries

Nickel-cadmium batteries are relatively old, but they’re rarely found in residential settings.

They’re more popular in industrial and airline applications due to their ability to function at extreme temperatures and high durability.

They also require low maintenance compared to other battery types. However, cadmium is highly toxic and almost impossible to recycle.

If not disposed of properly, it harms the environment, resulting in bans in most countries.

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What Should You Look for When Picking Solar Panel Batteries?

Ensure you consider various factors impacting performance when looking for a battery for your solar panel system. These include:

Battery Type

Each battery type offers different advantages, so weigh the pros and cons of each to decide which one is best suited for your needs depending on factors like budget, climate, or location.

Lithium-ion batteries are generally better suited to the needs of UK homes. They’re more efficient, have a longer cycle lifespan, and perform better in hotter environments, making them a more cost-effective option than lead-acid batteries.

Depth of Discharge

A depth of discharge refers to how much of the battery’s stored energy you can use before recharging. The deeper you discharge a battery, the shorter its lifespan will generally be.

Batteries usually come with a recommended maximum depth of discharge and a cycle life estimate. The cycle life indicates how many cycles it will last, given a particular depth of discharge.

For example, a 4kWh lithium-ion battery typically has a 4,000-cycle lifespan, while a 4kWh lead acid battery has a 1,800-cycle lifespan.

Storage Capacity

Storage capacity refers to how much energy the battery can store and is an important consideration when installing a solar system.

The solar battery’s capacity directly influences its ability to store the surplus energy your solar panels generate.

Batteries with a larger capacity will give you more power to use when solar production is down.

How Much Do Solar Panel Batteries Cost?

The cost of solar panel batteries usually ranges from less than £2,000 to £6,000 in the UK, depending on factors like brand, battery capacity, type, and lifespan.

Like solar panels, solar batteries will likely get cheaper as the technology becomes more widespread.

How Will You Benefit From Using Solar Panel Batteries?

Electric Bill Savings

The Energy Saving Trust points out that installing a battery can save you money on electricity bills since you’ll rely less on the grid. Ensure you weigh potential savings against the installation cost and battery lifespan.

Energy Independence

If you rely entirely on solar power, a solar battery is essential. It stores energy during the day and provides power at night, keeping your lights on for an entire evening. It can also act as an emergency backup during power outages.

Final Thoughts on Solar Panel Batteries

Solar panel batteries allow you to store power from solar panels and access clean, renewable energy that you’d otherwise have to source from somewhere else, like the electricity grid.

Batteries can offer savings on energy bills after sundown and are a critical component of off-grid energy systems.

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