How To Pick The Right Battery Backup For Your Home

how to pick the right battery backup for your home

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. At the end of 2020, about 2.7 million residential solar systems were in the US, an increase of about 32% year over year.

If you are looking to install a solar system in your home, then you have likely already heard of a battery backup system.

But what is a battery backup system? How familiar are you with it?

Most press is geared towards the benefits that solar panels can bring to your home, and not batteries.

In this article, we will talk about what a battery backup for home is if you need one and all the different types and sizes you can get.

What Is A Battery Backup?

A battery backup system or UPS is essentially a large energy storage that is capable of supplying your home with electricity should your main utility provider be shut off or interrupted - such as in the case of a blackout. 

Battery backups come in different types and capacities and are highly dependent on what you require in terms of energy requirements.

Why Do You Need A Battery Backup for Home?

what a battery backup for home is

First things first, you do not need a battery backup for your home, it is not a  compulsory piece of equipment should you install a solar system. 

However, you may want to consider one should your home experience: 

  • Frequent blackouts
  • Lot's of solar irradiation
  • Many overcast days

Let's put it like this, when you equip your home with a solar system you will have two main decisions to make.

Do you go with a grid-tied or off-grid system?

Grid-tied

A grid-tied solar system is exactly that, a solar system (without battery storage) that is still connected to the utilities grid. 

This means that during the day your home uses electricity generated by the solar panels, but at night, it uses energy from the grid, when the sun is down. 

(Remember, solar panels can only generate electricity when theres sun.)

Off-grid

Off-grid solar systems have their own battery backup and are disconnected from the utility grid. In essence, your battery backup is now your own utility.

So Should I Go Grid-Tied or Off-Grid?

The answer to this question is highly personal and really all depends on what sort of system you are after. 

It is important to note that the majority of homes in the U.S. have a grid-tied solar system installed. 

This means they are still partially connected to the grid and can rely on the utility providing them with electricity at night times or on very overcast days. 

The main reason people go this route is simply due to the cost. Grid-tied systems are much cheaper than off-grid solar systems.

However, should your home experience a power outage (even during the day when your solar panels are providing electricity) your homes power will shut down to.

Off-grid solar systems on the other hand cost much more, (due to the added battery storage), however, have the added benefit of storing in excess electricity generated during the day and supplying you with that storage during the night or during a power outage.

When Is It Worth Getting A Solar Generator Instead Of A Battery Backup?

The biggest deciding factor between these two types of energy storage systems is the portability. 

Solar generators are portable, you can use them in house, but can also use them wherever you want as they generally come as one unit. Whereas a battery backup system comes as multiple individual batteries all connected together or in a powerwall which is actually fixed to the wall. 

Another important point to highlight is the functionality. For example, the Bluetti AC200P solar generator has AC outlets, USB-A, USB-C, cigarette lighter, 12V/3A DC Port, and also features 15W wireless chargers to provide you more charging options. 

A battery backup system on the other hand has one function and that is to supply your home with electricity you are not able to use the batteries themselves to power any one appliance. 

What Size And Type Of Battery Backup Do I Need?

a battery backup system

Type

The type of battery backup you go with really all depends on your budget. Lead-acid batteries for example cost much less than lithium-ion batteries. 

However, there is a trade off. Cheaper battery technology does not last as long as the more expensive battery chemistries, such as LiFePO4. 

We always recommend that people work out the levelized cost of storage (LCOS) before purchasing any batteries. In doing so, you will work out the lifetime value/cost as opposed to the upfront cost. 

You will often find that LiFePO4 batteries may cost more upfront, but their lifetime cost is much cheaper (sometimes by 50%) than cheaper battery alternatives. 

Size 

Sizing your battery bank can be quite technical, for this reason we feel it is best for you to read another one of our dedicated articles where we cover how to size your battery bank correctly, you can read this article here. 

How Much Does A Battery Backup Cost?

The exact price will vary and really all depends on what type of batteries you go for, as well as the size of your overall system.

However, for an average-sized home, battery backup system tend to cost between $10,000 and $20,000.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a more affordable/portable solution for home battery backup, it may make sense for you to look into buying a solar generator, such as the BLUETTI AC500 & B300S. 

In doing this you will not only save money, but will also be able to easily transport your backup power supply to other locations should you require off-grid power elsewhere. 

A Farmer’s Guide to Going Solar

Written by Mike Jezek

As a farmer, you should know all about the importance of maximizing efficiency and minimizing costs. With the rising cost of electricity and increa...

Read more

How Businesses Can Benefit from Portable Solar Panels

Written by Mike Jezek

Businesses and organizations of all sizes are concerned about the environment. Some feel like they aren’t creating a large enough impact to worry a...

Read more

A Guide To Leasing Portable Solar Panels

Written by Mike Jezek

Leasing portable solar panels is a great way to take advantage of renewable energy while also cutting costs. However, it can be difficult to know w...

Read more

Solar Aquaculture – Using Solar Power For Fish Farms

Written by Mike Jezek

With the rise in global demand for seafood, many fish farms are seeking sustainable solutions that can provide an abundance of fresh fish for meal-...

Read more