do solar panels need batteries?

Do solar panels need batteries?

One of the questions we’re mostly commonly asked is: “Do solar panels need batteries?”

The answer is not technically – but that doesn’t mean that it’s not highly advisable.

Having solar panels without a battery is like going to get water without a bucket. You can drink your fill while you’re at the water source, but you won’t be able to secure yourself a supply to satisfy your thirst later.

Here’s a closer look.

Why do solar panels need batteries?

If you have solar panels – but don’t have a home battery – you can only use the energy from solar when conditions permit. (I.e., in the daytime, when the sun is shining.)

So, you’ll generate some lovely free energy in the daylight hours. And in itself, that’s great. It will absolutely help you power your home cheaper and greener.

But what happens to all that excess solar energy you’re generating when the sun is beating down?

What happens when the sun stops shining?

Without a battery, your excess solar energy will go back to the grid. It may even end up going to waste. No battery means no way to store any of the energy you’re generating for later use when the sun has gone down. And these evening windows are typically the peak, expensive hours. (That is, the hours where you’d most benefit from some free energy!)

Enter the storage battery

A storage battery means you can harness the sun’s intermittent power. You can keep the free energy you’re capturing, then switch to battery power when the sun has stopped shining. So, you can keep your home running on solar morning, noon, and night.

Plus, a storage battery will help you save money on your bills even during the winter months when solar generation is low. You can keep it topped up by charging overnight on cheap low-cost energy. Then, you can discharge it to power your home when energy costs peak.

Solar and storage: better together

So, do solar panels need batteries? Even though your solar PV array doesn’t need a battery to work, you’ll achieve lower bills and lower carbon emissions by installing the technologies together.

And don’t worry if you’ve already got solar panels in place – retrofitting a battery is a super straightforward process that doesn’t require any changes to either your panels or your Feed-In-Tariff.

Don’t find yourself at a well without a bucket. Why not combine solar with storage and maximise your ROI?

Further reading