In short: Batteries are optional.
Without batteries, grid-tie applications’ safety protocol will shut your system down automatically when city power goes out. Only backup energy storage of some sort will allow you to enjoy your system when the grid goes down.
Batteries can apply in a few situations:
- Some customers get batteries so they can function “off-grid” when the grid goes down. It all depends on how often your power goes out (because of the utility company servicing lines, lines down from storms, etc) and how much you’re willing to spend to avoid that issue. Sometimes batteries aren’t necessarily the right solution, but a good backup generator instead. We can help you sort out what is right for your situation.
- Some customers get battery backup to offset their more expensive night-utility rates if (and only if) they don’t have 100% of their energy usage covered by solar. To really explain this would require a long lesson on prime solar power storage hours, net metering agreements and how they vary from one utility company to another, and how battery storage works. If you would benefit from this dynamic, we’d let you know during your free bid and evaluation & we’d probably just suggest you get more solar panels to compensate rather than battery storage.
Tesla makes sleek and reliable energy storage in a less expensive form. Tesla is a lithium ion battery, which lasts longer than the other types. We’re happy to get you on the waiting list with a deposit. They’re not stocked and ready to ship – we’ve got a customer who has been on the list for years and is still waiting for their Powerwall.
There are many other types of batteries, and we can get you those without the waiting period. Those types include: lead-acid, sealed, AGM, gel, & saltwater.
Backup generators for off-grid applications are usually unnecessary because a properly sized off-grid system with a properly sized battery bank is almost always sufficient without any need of backup generators. It never hurts to get double insurance though, and we often install generators in addition to solid off-grid systems we install.
If you also want a generator without all the batteries, we sell and install generators that are already set up to interface with the inverters.← Frequently Asked Questions