Can I Add Solar Battery Storage to My Rhode Island Solar Panel System?

by | Oct 20, 2020 | Solar Panels

Solar battery storage paved the way for an evolutionary solar technology that leads us to a fully-independent energy system. Solar batteries have been around for a while. However, many Rhode Island residents seem to ignore them because of the price. However, the rapid drop in prices and the advancement of new solar battery models are changing that. Many want access to solar battery storage now to experience all its benefits. That said, let’s discuss how you can incorporate solar batteries into your existing solar system.

If Your Solar Panels are Storage Ready, You can Add a Battery with Minimal Additional Equipment

Choosing a solar system with an inverter with built-in storage management capabilities is one way to save some hassle. This enables you to prepare for installing a solar battery into your existing solar system. On top of that, you can minimize labor costs associated with making your inverter compatible for storage. Storage-ready solar arrays require minimal equipment, and it’s as easy as a plug-and-play process. You only need to choose the right battery for your system, and then you’re good to go.

These are usually grid-tied systems that can withstand grid blackouts. Additionally, you can get away with the hefty Time-of-Use charges that the RI utility companies add to your monthly bill.

Solar Panels That are Not Storage Ready will Require Additional Equipment.

When your solar system is not storage-ready, extra steps must be completed before incorporating a battery.

Replacement Inverters

The inverters are essential in solar systems, for they dictate the route of solar energy towards storage. You need to know the type of inverter you need as a replacement to be able to incorporate a battery into your system. The inverter that you need must be storage-compliant and performs DC-AC conversion to make it happen. DC-coupled systems utilize a charge controller to draw PV power to the batteries and an inverter for the grid. For starters, SolarEdge are industry-leaders when it comes to the solar industry. They have panel level technology that allow you to track power regulation at the panel level. This comes in handy when your property can likely be affected by shading issues from clouds, trees, and buildings.

Alternative option: AC Coupling

If you have microinverters in addition to your existing solar system and want to have batteries, AC-coupling can make that possible. Enphase Encharge has a unique AC coupled system which works with the Enphase iQ6 and iQ7 microinverters. This technology takes the power from AC off the roof, to DC for the battery, and back to AC for the home or grid and still has an efficiency over 90%.

Lastly, it is essential to note that inverters with low-frequency control need to be replaced. It doesn’t matter whether your system is AC- or DC-coupled. Inverters that cannot regulate its frequency cannot work as storage systems. There is a high tendency for grid-tied inverters to shut down when frequency goes out of range. Additionally, if your inverter is nearing its 10-year lifespan, it is undoubtedly practical to upgrade it.

For more information, please go to Green Power Energy.

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