Solar batteries can be charged with electricity. This is because the battery itself is able to store power from a variety of sources including wind turbines, water wheels, solar panels and even fossil fuel generators. In this post, we shall discuss the query and related approaches on: can a solar batter be charged with electricity?
Most of the solar batteries can be charged with electricity, However, we should have to pay attention to their charging method. It may make or break a solar battery. This will also involve understanding the pros and cons of charging a battery with electricity, and the differences between solar panels and batteries.
Therefore, can a solar battery be charged with electricity?
Nowadays, more and more people are shifting to try solar energy as it is more sustainable and cost-efficient in the long run. Thus, storing solar energy is a crucial component when you finally decided to shift to using solar power.
Now to keep the batteries going, of course they need to be recharged. Hence, to repeat, can a solar battery be charged with electricity? The answer is in the affirmative but you will be needing an inverter for this.
Solar batteries range from 12, 24 or 48 volts while most appliances in our country uses 120 volts hence you need an inverter or adapter to be able to convert the voltage into 12, 24 or 48 volts depending on the type and brand of solar battery you are using. The larger battery and higher voltage mean that you need a higher capacity inverter to support it.
The next question you might be thinking is what if you overcharge the solar battery on AC power? No need to worry about these as solar systems like solar panels now are equipped with components to precisely prevent overloading and overcharging.
However, if the current solar system you are using does not have this specific component, you will be needing a charge controller to keep the battery from overloading or overcharging.
How to charge solar batteries from grid?
All solar systems work on the same basic components. Let’s say for example a solar panel. Solar panels first convert sunlight into DC power. That DC power can then be stored in a battery or converted into AC power using a solar inverter.
These AC power will then make your home appliances run. Now what happens if you have excess solar energy? This excess energy can then be stored into a battery storage or be fed into electricity grid.
How does this electricity grid work? Will this work during blackouts or when you have insufficient solar energy stored? Let’s say you experienced a sudden blackout and you were not able to store sufficient solar energy to your solar batteries, what is the best remedy you can do?
Well, here’s one solution that you can do, the electricity sent to your grid, we’re talking about excess solar energy here, can now be used to charge your solar panels or your solar battery.
Whether you have an on-grid or off-grid system, both systems work with or without solar batteries however the main difference is that in an off-grid system, you will not be able to use any electricity if you do not have batteries or means to store your energy.
With an off-grid system, you will not have access to extra electricity, what you produced and stored during the day will be the only electricity available to you during the night. As for the on-grid system, you will always have access to electricity, whether or not your solar system is producing or if you have batteries.
How to charge solar batteries without a sun?
It has been well-established that the most common way to charge any solar system, whether it be a solar panel, solar light or solar battery, is with direct sunlight. But that is not the only way since even if you live in a place where sunlight is scarce and cloudy all month long, there is still a way to charge your solar batteries.
The most common option is often the easiest which is to charge it using a power plug or cable then connecting it to a power outlet. Nowadays, home energy storage systems can store surplus solar energy for use at night.
This means that you change your battery with solar electricity generated during the day and then at night you use the energy stored in your battery instead of getting energy from the main grid system. It may sound a little bit complicated but this is really simple.
In laymen’s term, the excessed solar energy you produced during the day can be used to charge your solar batteries at night. Or if you happen to have a grid system, the excess electricity that is sent to your grid everyday can be used to power up your appliances at home and even charge a depleted solar battery.
Solar batteries charging problems
One of the most common charging problems is when your battery is not charging even with direct sunlight. Some experts claim that this can be attributed to a blown-up fuse, wrong system wiring or a problem with your solar charge controller settings.
Since we are talking about a complete solar system package here, the solar panels, charge controller, and battery must be configured correctly for them to work efficiently.
Another factor to consider in is also the weather. If there is no direct sunlight or it is too cloudy or rainy for a long time, this will result in less solar collection, and the output voltage may be too small to charge the battery.
Another problem is the battery installation. They should be properly contained, ideally close to the switchboard. Faulty battery installation will result to charging problems and lead to damaged batteries.
How to charge solar batteries with generator?
Charging solar batteries with generator are often paired with most on-grid and off-grid solar systems. Generators used in these systems work as a backup charging source to recharge the battery bank when solar can’t keep up with the demand.
Most of the time, they are also used for backup power in case equipment fails and the inverter system cannot keep up or fails to deliver its function. In an off-grid setup, generators are often used to recharge solar batteries in situations wherein the supply cannot meet the demand needed to power up all appliances inside your house.
Some experts listed down some pointers when searching for a generator support your off-grid solar system such as:
- Generator output should be twice or thrice your inverter’s output
- Generator voltage should match your inverter voltage
- Generator must be compatible to use for off-grid or on-grid use
How do batteries charge with these generators then? You will be needing an inverter to match the voltage input/output of your solar battery. Once you have the inverter, you’re good to go! It’s simple as 1-2-3!
How to charge solar batteries faster?
To ensure that your solar batteries will charge faster, this will depend on the capacity of the battery system and the level of charge. An additional factor is the weather condition as well. The best and fastest way to charge your battery is still through direct sunlight that going through your solar panels.
Another thing to bear in mind is that batteries might not receive enough energy to charge every day especially when your home and appliances needs heavy loads of electricity to function during the day.
Some experts recommend getting higher voltage solar system can help charge solar batteries faster. Let’s say for a 12-volt battery, you can use a 24-volt solar charge so that batteries can have an additional 30% charge to speed up the charging process.
How to use a solar charger faster?
The most common and easy way to charge solar batteries faster is to add more solar panels. More panels mean more surface for photons to strike and therefore more electricity can be generated. In laymen’s terms, more amps equal to less charging time.
Another way is using a higher voltage solar charger. This method can give an additional 30% boost when charging your solar batteries.
But the most efficient and fastest of them all is still the most common method of charging a solar power or panel on times where the sun’s intensity is at its highest peak.
Optimize the charging times of your solar batteries when you optimize the chances of getting as much energy as possible to the panel. Always keep it in direct sunlight to get as much energy as possible.
Nowadays, interest in solar energy is growing. People tend to try and shift to using solar energy as an alternative sustainable energy force. With the growing threat of climate change people are now looking to clean energy alternatives such as solar energy. Although it has been the most expensive, still the number of people opting to use solar as a clean energy alternative is growing at an alarming rate.
Some of the key benefits of using solar energy is that is is sustainable compared to traditional fossil fuels that has an expiration date. The sun will most likely be here for another billion years or so.
Second, it has low environmental impact. Its technology does not emit harmful carbons nor require any fuel consumption that leaves a very degrading impact to the environment.
Though there are still some disadvantages. Since it is somewhat a relatively new technology, there are still some improvements that can be done to further ensure that it will be available on a larger scale or market.
As today’s world is energy and electricity driven, batteries have become an integral part as an energy source considering the technological advances in consumer electronics which now ranges from electric vehicles, renewables, and smart grids among others.
As the global capacity for solar power continues to rise, countries worldwide are now focusing on developing adequate energy storage to ensure that technology will be widely available in the future.