A solar panel isn’t the perfect solution. It’s got flaws, like not being efficient when the clouds are packed in the sky. But there are ways around this flaw, and it comes in the form of batteries. Or more specifically, an energy storage unit. Essentially, it stores the energy harvested by panels, which can then be used at a later stage.
Well-known enterprises like Tesla and Nissan are at the forefront of bringing consumers the most efficient ways of utilising solar power, and their efforts aren’t just aimed at great energy storage. They also feature sleek designs that you almost feel like displaying on the wall in the living room. However, these batteries are also costly. But if you consider claims from brands like Ikea, which state they can help to save up to seventy percent on energy costs per annum, you have to start wondering if you’re not missing out on something.
Because while Nissan and Tesla are fighting it out to produce the best batteries, energy companies like Eon and EDF Energy are fighting to sell you the best combination packages of solar panels and batteries. We took the liberty of taking a deeper look for you, and this is what you need to know about the brands, plus the product they are selling.
Solar Batteries Defined
Just to avoid any confusion, you are able to use batteries to store energy, and it doesn’t have to come from solar panels. People use them to store energy generated from wind turbines and hydroelectricity from water too, and even energy from the grid if it happens to be at a more affordable price point (if this option is available to you).
Starting with Tesla, this is a company that is built on energy storage. Although, the company’s reputation is mostly based on its line of electric cars. The lithium-ion battery they make available for solar power storage is called the Powerwall, and it can link to the Tesla app. This gives you all kinds of interesting information, like how much energy is currently being stored and how much energy is coming from your solar panels. Although, it can also be used to charge your electric car.
According to Tesla, there is no maintenance involved and it works at a very low noise level. But you should also be ready to fork out about £5,900 if you want one of them.
Nissan, on the other end of the spectrum, has a storage unit called the xStorage. This is the same battery they use for their electric cars, and Nissan is confident that it’s the cheapest option for high-quality energy storage. They are also confident it’s the most reliable at a price point of £4,850 and upwards. However, it should be noted that Tesla’s Powerwall has a bigger capacity.
Varta is a name that’s been around for no less than 130 years. And as you may have guessed, they are masters are building batteries. Unlike Tesla and Nissan, Varta’s battery is about the size of a washing machine, and they sell it with what they call “energy autonomy”, which is what you get when you use their battery.
Should I Be Investing In Solar Panels And Batteries?
There is no question that everyone should be considering solar panels and some solid energy storage units. Why? Because global warming and climate change are forcing us to. At this point in time, it’s in everyone’s best interest to make the change. And while you’re at it, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. And what about all the independence you gain? Yes, the initial investment can be a little high (£2,000 – £5,000). But once you’ve made it, you’ll be tapping into a power source that is set to shine for the next five billion years.
But before you put down any money, think about the following:
- The cost of the installation
- The type of system you choose
- The purpose of the energy you’ll be harvesting
- The price comparison between the grid and solar power over several years
- The lifespan and efficiency of the battery
Solar equipment is made to be durable and efficient, which is why the cost can be a little high. But once you start using renewable energy to its full potential, you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.