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Understanding Energy Storage

It is solar’s time to shine. We are starting to tap into the plentiful power of the sun with greater efficiency. High-quality panels are 22% efficient (and improving), and the US generated 72 billion kWh of solar power in 2019 (and growing!) The industry is expanding by leaps and bounds, making solar more accessible – and affordable than ever. It’s exciting and rewarding to realize that you are powering your home with clean, renewable energy. At the same time, it is also important to understand how to harness that energy so you can use it when you need it most.

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ENERGY STORAGE TECHNOLOGY?

ENERGY STORAGE AND SELF-POWERED HOMES

Even if the technology behind energy storage is complex, the idea is simple: solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into power. Your system may produce more energy than you use in an average day. In this case, it is important that you leverage energy storage technology so you can access that excess when you need it.

For example, if you have a prolonged stretch of cloudy, rainy weather, you’re producing at a lower rate*. If needed, you can supplement your supply with stored energy. And, of course, you can rely on it during a power outage.

*Now is a great time to bust a common myth: the belief that solar panels only work on sunny days is false. They can produce between 10 – 25% of their optimal capacity on cloudy or even rainy days.

SOLAR ENERGY AND POWER OUTAGES

If you have a solar panel system that is not connected to the grid, you can continue using power even in an outage. However, most of us are connected to the grid. It’s typically less expensive, and with net metering agreements, you receive credits for the power you send back into the system. There are many benefits of grid-tied systems, but one drawback is that you cannot use your solar power during an outage.

If the grid shuts down, so do your grid-tied solar panels. This is a critical safety measure: any power on the grid puts utility workers at risk as they work to restore service.

There is a solution, however, for reliable power during outages and during periods when production is limited – whether you are on-grid or off. Energy storage.

TESLA POWERWALL 2: AN INNOVATIVE ENERGY STORAGE SOLUTION

In years past, solar customers have had to rely on bulky battery banks that provided, maybe, a few hours of power when they couldn’t access the grid. Sure, it’s better than nothing. But today’s energy storage technology delivers much more in terms of efficiency, reliability, and stability.

Arguably the most advanced solution available is the Tesla Powerwall 2. We have zero interest in anything other than delivering the best products and services to our customers so they can enjoy the best results; we think Tesla is it. Here’s why:

  1. Throughout the day, solar energy charges Powerwall 2. Because you will likely produce more than you use, that energy is stored. You can use that surplus at night or during a power outage. The next day, Powerwall just starts charging again.
  2. This energy storage solution can collect energy from both residential solar panels and the energy grid source itself, storing excess amounts safely.
  3. If your power goes out, Powerwall 2 jumps into action immediately, keeping your appliances and electronics running without missing a step. Most customers don’t even realize their power is out. Compared to traditional backup sources, which take minutes to kick on, this represents a big step in the right direction.
  4. Powerwall 2 automatically stops power to/from the grid and utilizes only stored energy. This keeps utility workers safe as they restore power.
  5. You can access uninterrupted electrical energy for days or even weeks. The reality is that power outages are becoming more frequent. Depending on a variety of factors, including severe weather conditions, their duration can be quite lengthy. Knowing you have the power you need for essential equipment is the epitome of peace of mind.
  6. If you do not have solar, Powerwall 2 still has you covered. It charges when electricity rates are low (e.g. late at night or early in the morning). When it detects outages, it can automatically provide power to your home.

RELIABLE, CONSISTENT POWER – AND A RELIABLE PARTNER

The world of energy is changing rapidly: we’re coping with aging infrastructure, more frequent “storms of the century,” depleting fossil fuel resources, and other factors that will continue to shake up supply. On a residential basis, we can shore that supply up by utilizing clean, renewable solar and by making sure we have energy storage technology that can help us weather interruptions.

To learn more – and to ensure you have safe, efficient, and reliable power when you need it – contact the solar and electrical energy experts at Jefferson Electric.

 

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