Solar power is an increasingly popular choice for many homeowners and with good reason! It’s entirely renewable, making it the perfect green solution to energy generation, and it could save you a lot of money over time. However, a hangup that many people have is the upfront investment.
As solar power adoption has skyrocketed, the cost of solar panels has decreased over the years, but what about solar batteries? Solar batteries are a critical component of any off-grid solar power solution.
Many manufacturers, like EcoFlow, include solar batteries in products like their portable power stations, solar generators, and power kits. Depending on your use case and the storage capacity you need, these can range in price from around $500 for the River with 110 W solar panel to $10,000 for a 10kWh power kit.
If you’re building your own off-grid solar power system from the ground up, you can’t do it without a solar battery.
Let’s get into the nitty gritty about solar battery costs and the factors influencing how much you’ll pay for solar energy storage today.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
Solar batteries are like giant power banks, but instead of receiving their power via an electrical outlet, they receive it from photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
Throughout the daylight hours, your solar panels will constantly capture energy from the sun. You won’t use all of this electricity immediately — you need somewhere to store it. Solar batteries act as your energy storage system.
You can put the solar power you capture during the day in reserve for later use, which is handy because solar panels generate the most electricity during the middle of the day. For many households, peak sunlight hours are when the least power gets used, with electricity consumption peaking in the late afternoon and evening.
With solar batteries, you can use all that energy generated throughout the day and use it in the evening when you need it most.
Solar power systems without solar batteries are generally grid-tied, meaning any excess power they generate is sent back to the electricity grid. In areas with net-metering programs, you may receive a deduction from your electricity bill as compensation for the extra energy you provide.
Based on your use case, there are benefits to both off-grid and grid-tied systems. It’s worth exploring your options before choosing between an off-grid solution that uses solar batteries and one that’s dependent on the traditional electricity grid.
5 Factors that Influence Energy Storage Cost
If you’re shopping for off-grid solar power solutions, you’ll see a lot of price variance throughout the market. It can seem quite overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Here are some essential factors to keep in mind that influence the price of a renewable energy storage system.
1. The Manufacturer
As with any product, the retail price point determines your initial costs. Prices and quality for what might appear at first glance to be almost identical products can vary greatly.
It never hurts to keep your eye out for a deal, but solar power is a long-term investment. Be bold in spending a little extra if it means getting the best quality products. Your solar battery system could last up to fifteen years, so it’s worth investing in the best solution you can afford.
2. The Number of Batteries in Your System
It’s not uncommon for large off-grid solar power systems to require multiple solar batteries. Not surprisingly, the more batteries your system requires, the more it will typically cost.
Before you can make an informed decision about the amount of solar energy storage you need, you must calculate how much power you will regularly consume. Learn more about how to calculate your electricity requirements here.
3. The Quality of the Batteries
Energy storage costs are a combination of upfront and maintenance costs. You also need to consider the battery’s lifespan. A solar battery that only lasts you a few years can end up being much more expensive in the long term than a higher-priced battery that lasts you for ten.
4. The Battery Chemistry
There are various battery chemistries available on the market. The most common varieties are lead-acid, lithium-ion, nickel manganese cobalt (NMC), and lithium iron phosphate (LFP).
Lead-acid is the cheapest option but also has the worst performance.
NMC batteries have a higher power-to-weight ratio than LFP batteries, which means they also carry a higher price tag.
Lithium-ion and lithium iron phosphate are both reliable and efficient battery types, and lithium iron phosphate batteries offer excellent value for your money. For example, the LFP batteries used in EcoFlow portable power stations can last as long as 6,500 cycles — meaning they can be discharged and recharged 6,500 times before seeing any decline in performance. When you compare the upfront cost to the product’s lifespan, you can see the difference in value for LFP batteries.
5. Installation Labor Costs
A further contributor to your upfront costs can be installation. Depending on the size and type of solar power system you require, professional installation may be advisable — particularly for fixed rooftop installations.
The good news is that your interaction with your system will be minimal once the installation is complete. Solar batteries and panels require very little maintenance.
Combining Solar Panels and Solar Batteries
Solar batteries and solar panels are two of the core components of off-grid solar generators. The system lets you harvest sunlight to generate electricity.
Investing in your solar batteries and purchasing a quality model is a good idea, but you need to pair them with solar panels of equal quality to reap the benefits. Some of the critical attributes to look out for in solar panels include the following:
- Rated power output: Often measured in wattage, the power output indicates how much electricity the panels can produce under ideal conditions.
- Brand reputation: Customer or professional reviews can provide helpful insight into this.
- Durability: You want your solar panels to last as long as possible, so they must be made from weather-resistant materials to handle the changing seasons.
- Size: Make sure your prospective solar panels are suitable for your situation, whether it’s a rooftop installation for whole home solar power, solar generators for RVs, backup energy for blackouts, or a portable setup for camping. Generally, the bigger the panels, the more power they can generate.
Why You Need a Solar Battery Storage System
So, why all the fuss about solar storage systems? Here are some of the most compelling reasons for having your own!
It’s the Future of Green Energy
Many of us are looking for greener ways to live in response to the climate crisis. Using solar power to keep your devices and appliances running rather than solely relying on the grid is a great way to do this. Not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you are also doing your bit for the planet. Where’s the downside?
It Could Save You Money
There is no denying the financial benefits of owning a solar power system. If you generate and store your own energy, you don’t need to rely on the grid as much (or at all), meaning your monthly electric bills will be much easier on your bank account.
Depending on your location, you can even earn tax benefits and other incentives for purchasing a solar power system and generating your own clean energy.
It’s a Long-Term Investment
Your solar batteries could last up to fifteen years, even with consistent use, and solar panels can last even longer. That’s an extraordinary amount of time when you think about it.
Even if the upfront investment seems intimidating, the amount you could save by generating your energy for the next fifteen years will compensate for it.
Protects You From Power Cuts
Less reliance on the grid provides you with a satisfying sense of energy independence and protects you from blackouts that are becoming more frequent. If your home runs on electricity from solar batteries instead of the grid, your devices and appliances won’t fail just because of an outage.
You can expect even more robust protection from outages if you invest in off-grid energy solutions like the EcoFlow power kits. Power kits are entirely off-grid modular systems, providing true energy independence.
Are Solar Batteries Worth the Extra Cost?
Solar batteries are worth the cost for multiple reasons, including long-term financial savings on electrical bills, energy independence, and contributing to a greener planet. If you’re ready to make the switch today, check out EcoFlow. We have a range of solar battery storage systems of varying sizes suited for varying budgets! Check it out for yourself!