Adding a battery bank to your solar power system can drastically increase your system’s overall functionality for your home. It allows you to store excess power, relies less on the grid, and even keeps the lights on during a power outage. But a battery bank is expensive, so most people with hybrid systems don’t build a full-sized bank; instead, they opt for a small bank that will function for emergencies and support tactics like peak shaving. But what if you want to expand upon that small battery bank down the road when you have more budget to spare? Keep reading to learn a few things you should know about expanding a battery bank.
The Sooner the Better
Solar technology is expanding rapidly. Batteries, in particular, have come a long way in recent years and will likely continue to evolve in the coming years. Batteries that are similar in age and condition will be more compatible and efficient when compared to batteries that are several years apart in age. With this in mind, the sooner you can update and expand your battery bank, the better off you’ll be.
Don’t Frankenstein Your System
With new battery models coming out and new manufacturers entering the industry, you may be tempted to add new batteries from different manufacturers, have different amp-hour capacities, or have different voltage ratings. Don’t do this! This is not only inefficient, but it’s unsafe as well. Solar experts call this a “Frankenstein” system, which can be an absolute nightmare. If you want to expand the battery bank, do so with batteries as similar as possible.
Invest in a Battery Balancer
Newer batteries can charge more efficiently than older models, leading to an imbalance in charges. A battery balancer can help “push” the charge through your bank more evenly so that they charge at an equal rate, improving the overall efficiency, performance, and lifespan of all your batteries.
Check Your Solar Array’s Size
Finally, if you’re looking at expanding your battery bank, make sure that you’re not sizing it up any more than your panels can handle. Ideally, your array’s production capabilities should match the maximum size of your battery bank.
Consult with an Expert
If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not a particular solar battery would work for expanding your battery bank, consult with a solar power expert. They can examine your current setup and guide you in selecting the right batteries to expand your solar power storage capabilities.