Millions of people’s school, work, and personal needs are inextricably connected to various devices. And whether you're connected to the local grid or your home is powered mainly by solar or other renewable energy sources, outages can happen. Having a reliable home battery backup system is more important than ever.
A robust power backup system will provide your household with a much-needed uninterrupted energy supply—even those brief dips in energy and quick power outages can be avoided with no worry.
But with so many options available, making the right choice can be overwhelming. Moreover, not every home battery system out there is suitable for all households.
In this article, we cover the key factors to consider and help you make an informed decision. From assessing your power needs to evaluating battery capacity and features, here's what you should know.
What Is a Home Battery Backup?
A home battery backup system is like an energy reserve. It has the capacity to store substantial amounts of electricity to supply your energy needs in case your primary power source is shut off or interrupted.
As we mentioned, a battery backup can be charged through renewable sources – usually solar — or on-the-grid electricity. The batteries for each input vary in capacity, so when choosing one for your home, you must keep your regular energy consumption in mind.
How Does a Battery Backup System Work?
Do you know how you reach out for a power bank when your phone runs out of juice? A home battery backup system is pretty much the same but for a larger, much bigger power output.
In houses powered by renewable energy like solar, the unused power is stored in the system’s battery at peak sunlight hours or when the generated power is greater than the household needs. This battery can then be used when there's no sunlight to power appliances.
Similarly, people living on the grid can use backup batteries to reduce expenses on utility bills. These backups automatically recharge when the power is back and kick in if there's another power failure.
Types of Home Battery Backup
There are many different types of batteries, and in this article, we’ll focus on three of them: lead-acid, lithium-ion (iron phosphate and nickel-based), and flow batteries.
Depending on your needs, you can choose to store energy in one of the following:
Lead acid batteries are some of the oldest and most dependable types of energy storage solutions. You will often see them used in cars and small-scale and large-grid power systems.
This rechargeable battery uses lead and sulphuric acid to function. The result? An affordable system, but with relatively low energy and limited power supply compared to other batteries on this list.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are incredibly common batteries, usually seen in small electronics like wireless headphones, handheld power tools, electric vehicles, and toys. They are popular because they are lightweight and have a long lifespan. They also provide a large energy output despite their size. These rechargeable Li-ion batteries comprise single or multiple lithium-ion cells and use lithium ions to store energy.
The Growatt INFINITY 1300 portable power station is an excellent example, with its cutting-edge industrial design. This portable power station can hold an impressive amount of charge without being too bulky. Its dual-handle design allows for easy portability when needed and can be tucked away when not in use.
This backup system also features a long-lasting LiFePO4 battery that guarantees over 3000 life cycles. This is enough for around ten years of use, and it can power various appliances and devices without disruption.
The Growatt INFINITY 1300 features a smart LED display, so you can track your battery percentage, current output, and more, at a glance. This battery is great for those living off the grid or going on regular adventures in truck campers or RVs.
Flow batteries have electrolytes running through them—this complex mechanism produces chemical energy. They are rechargeable batteries with one or more tanks, and you can increase capacity by changing the quantity of electrolytes stored in them. These types of batteries are commonly used in electric vehicles.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Battery Backup
Choosing and setting up a robust, dependable home battery backup system can be challenging simply because of the number of options available.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider:
Before anything else, you must choose a battery that suits your household’s power consumption. You need to consider how much power you would need during blackouts. You can do this by adding up the power consumption of essential appliances that you need to run even during a power cut. Think back to previous blackouts in your area and average their duration.
Doing these complex calculations will help you determine the battery capacity you need for your backup. A recent study revealed that a 10 kWh battery can successfully back up a 3-day outage (without the use of AC and electric heat) any month of the year.
Battery Capacity and Output
Once you know your power needs, you need to find a battery that can meet them. Note that capacity doesn’t necessarily translate to how much power a battery can provide; it still depends on its output.
For example, a high-capacity battery can have a low power rating, so you can run low-consumption devices for a long time. On the other hand, a low-capacity battery can run high-power-consuming devices for short periods. It's best to choose a high-capacity battery with high output.
Compatibility with Solar Systems
Are you primarily going to be on or off the grid? If you plan to go off the grid or are already powering your home solely with your solar setup, you need a battery that's compatible with your current system.
This type of backup system will let you use solar power when the sun is up and use the battery power after sunset or during cloudy or rainy days.
Experienced energy solution providers will help you determine the best type of battery to integrate into your existing system.
Lifespan and Maintenance
A battery's lifespan refers to how long you can use it before it will need to be replaced. Naturally, you want one that will last as long as possible. Think of a battery as a long-term investment, so make sure the lifespan and warranty are suitable.
You can also extend your battery's lifestyle by maintaining it. For example, putting it in an area that protects it from extreme heat or cold could help it last longer and increase its efficiency. Scheduling regular professional inspections will also ensure long-term use.
In summary, your home battery backup system requires careful consideration. Understanding your household’s power requirements, evaluating battery capacity and output, ensuring compatibility with existing systems, and assessing the battery's lifespan are crucial steps.
Determining your essential appliances, accounting for usage duration during power outages, and factoring compatibility with your setup will help ensure seamless backup solutions.
Having a home battery backup system is essential if you want uninterrupted energy, especially if your residential area is prone to power outages. Clearly, investing in a reliable home battery backup system is a no-brainer. Enhancing your home's functions without the intrusion of power outages can make your life easier. Additionally, these backups allow you to use energy when not on the grid. It's only the right choice to make.
How much does a home battery backup cost?
An average-sized home battery system could cost up to $20,000, not including installation and service charges. However, the exact price of such a backup system largely depends on the brand, type of battery, capacity, and power output. As you peruse various options, look for one that meets your needs. More expensive setups often have more features but may not necessarily suit your home.
Is a whole house battery backup worth it?
The most significant benefit of a home battery backup system is the security of having an emergency power supply. This reserve could be used for daily essentials during blackouts or power dips. Homes can keep refrigerators, Wi-Fi, and other appliances and electronics running when needed.
Having reserved energy during peak demand periods also helps reduce electricity bills, saving a significant amount in the long run. Let's not forget about the environmental benefits; you can reduce the usage of on-the-grid power by storing solar energy and using it when needed. You will significantly reduce your household’s carbon footprint—an essential consideration in these times.
Buying and installing a home battery backup system is not just a simple purchase but a long-term investment. It can increase the value of your home and save you thousands of dollars in energy bills in the long run.