BATTERY BACKUP SYSTEMS CHECKLIST
Battery technology continues to improve in efficiency and costs continue to decline. There are many things to consider when purchasing a battery system. A standalone solar or wind generator will not provide energy all of the time and are usually programmed to shut down when utility power is lost to the service. Remember, alternatives to battery backup include propane or gas generators.
The provided information is intended to be a guide and is not all inclusive. Members of Fall River Electric Cooperative bear the responsibility to do their own due diligence in asking the appropriate questions, conducting their own review of the costs and estimated generation, checking the financial projections offered by vendors and signing agreements.
ASPECTS TO CONSIDER:
WHY DO YOU NEED A BACKUP? – Emergency medical situations. Power to continue to provide service for businesses, or if you have, back up to be self-reliant in the case of a large outage, or unreliable utility power.
HEAT SOURCE – If your main heat source is electric, battery storage can be used for a limited amount of time to provide heat in the case of an extended outage. Another option is to consider alternate ways to heat a home or business which include, propane, natural gas, or wood heat.
LARGE APPLIANCES STARTUP – Small battery systems simply do not have the capacity to run large appliances. The average battery system will need to have a separate critical load electric panel. Only certain things in the household will have power during a utility power outage.
MAINTENANCE & WARRANTY – Battery warranties are based off of time or number of times the batteries have cycled. For instance, the Tesla Powerwall has a 10-year warranty.
COST – General rule of thumb is it will double your cost when looking at combining battery backup with a solar installation. We advise you compare the cost of a propane or gas-powered backup generator installation instead, which is often a less expensive alternative to a battery backup system.
There are advantages to having a backup battery system, including reducing your electric bill when the system is combined with a photovoltaic (solar) system, having power during a utility power outage, and possibly for peak demand shaving. Typically, homes that pair well with backup battery systems are designed from the ground up with energy conservation in mind. They will most likely be reliant on propane for all heat sourcing in the household.
TYPES OF BATTERIES: – Lithium-ion batteries are doing well for home applications because they come as a whole package. The inverter, charge, and wireless access are all built into the package.