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Residential Solar with a Grid-Tie Battery Backup

Understanding Grid-Tie Battery Backup Solar Energy

What is a grid-tie battery backup system?

Off-grid power is one of the main alternatives to a grid-tied system. Off-grid is exactly what it sounds like, a separation from the power grid. It means you are totally in control, but also totally responsible for your power.

Connection to the grid allows you to take advantage of net metering. This allows panels to work well despite their limitations at night and in winter.

Batteries allow you to be protected during grid outages and will enable you to save money in areas that have those pesky time-of-use rates.

The Truth of "Off-Grid" Power

At night, solar panels don’t produce power. In the winter, panels produce less power due to shorter days and cloudy skies.

If you had a lot of batteries you could potentially charge them up enough during the day to power your home all through the night. However, no amount of backup batteries would be effective enough to power your home in the winter with leftover energy from summer.

This is where a grid connection comes in handy. The local power grid can act as a safeguard, and as a virtual battery. This totally eliminates the problem of darkness.

Battery technology has become more desirable as the number of power outages has continued to rise.

Why Have a Battery Backup?

  • Batteries can often power the critical loads of a home, like lights and the fridge, or even essential medical equipment.
  • In the event of a power outage, all solar panels and inverters are required to shut off power production. A dead grid is safe for utility workers, while a live grid exposes them to electric shock. During an outage, having a battery allows you to use stored power.

Net Metering to Offset or Eliminate Your Power Bill​

Most states also have a net metering policy. Net metering is when a customer only pays for the net amount of electricity they use. With the net metering option, businesses with a commercial solar panel system can store the excess electricity their solar system generates as credits. You can receive a credit for up to 100% of your electric use at retail price.
Additionally, several states exempt the value of a renewable energy system from business owners’ property taxes. Unlike other improvements, which are likely to increase a property’s assessed value, some businesses do not have increased property taxes even though the value of the building will increase with the addition of a solar power system.

Peace of Mind with Rock Solid Warranties

We’ve got warranties that keep you covered for 25 years. Solar has no moving parts and the panels are built like tanks to handle the toughest weather mother nature can throw at them. Customers love making the switch with Big Dog Solar because we’re not going anywhere. We started in the middle of a recession in 2008 and we’ve been going strong for 16 years. We’re with you for the long haul.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a battery backup more expensive?

Most likely, yes. It will cost more upfront to add a battery to your system. That doesn’t mean that it will be cost-prohibitive. That also doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it.The total cost of a solar energy system depends on many factors. The number of panels, the complexity of your roof, the market rate of panels, if your home needs a new roof, and any other bells and whistles you try to get.To know if batteries are worth it for your home and family, you’ll have to get a specific quote that takes into account all of these different variables.

Can you add batteries after the installation of a grid-tied solar energy system?

Batteries can be added after an installation. You might want to do this if the solar energy system of your dreams was a bit out of budget at first. Maybe you only got the panels, or maybe you only got one battery. If you have the right kind of inverter you can keep adding batteries as need to your system.

Should I install a grid-tie battery backup system myself?

Some people want to just purchase the equipment and install the panels themselves. For some, this works out well. Especially those with prior experience with electronics, solar, roofing, and/or construction.We’re obviously biased towards having professionals install your solar panels, and batteries for you. For argument’s sake, here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of a DIY solar installation.

Can I use a solar-powered battery backup system to go completely off-grid?

While it's possible to use a solar-powered battery backup system to reduce reliance on the grid, going completely off-grid may require additional considerations such as increased battery storage capacity, energy efficiency measures, and backup power generation sources for times of low solar production. Most backup battery systems are saved for emergencies, power outages, and for times when the grid is inconsistent.

What maintenance is required for a solar-powered battery backup system?

Regular maintenance involves cleaning solar panels, checking connections, and monitoring the backup battery health. Most systems require minimal maintenance, but periodic inspections never hurt!

How long do solar-powered battery backup systems last?

Solar panels have a lifespan of 25 years or more, while batteries can last between 5 to 15 years, depending on the type and usage. Regular solar panel maintenance and proper system design can help maximize the lifespan of your solar-powered battery backup system.

I had all the same skepticism but it's been amazing. We run the air all day every day. The electric company will continue to go up (inflation) but my bill will stay the same.
Shane Schloss
Residential Customer
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