An Off Grid Home is an Example of a very Large Battery Backup System
Powered by a mix of solar, generator, battery, and wind power; an off grid home is an good example of a large battery backup system. The remote hut at right has solar panels on top that make DC power, not AC power like the electrical grid. The Batteries that store said power then hold it for an inverter, used to power conventional appliances. When the generators are used, the battery chargers are added to the system to help out the solar panels, another set of switching systems is required to charge the batteries from the generators. Finally, a vehicle's alternator can be used to charge the batteries in emergencies.
More intricate examples would include Wind, Geothermal, and other unconventional electrical generation systems, including manpower. As the power is generated in each of these systems, care is taken to either use or capture the power in a battery, otherwise it is lost at the speed of light. These challenges are easily handles by today's solar homes with batteries. Let's look at the systems to see if you are ready for a house wide battery backup?
Battery Chargers, inverters, and charge controllers safely regulate the power in an off grid electrical system. The fact that all this takes place in one box makes the system both consumer friendly, and regulatorily compliant. After you have the switching gear, it is the batteries the power tank that makes the magic happen. Once you have this control, you can make power, store power, even sell power back to the power grid that don't need right now. This is the technology that makes todays $10 power bills feasible for your neighbors with Solar Panel Installations.
Electricity travels at the speed of light. Batteries are the only system known to man that can store ready to use electricity. Therefore, batteries are critical to a house that uses different amounts of power at different times, and is off the GRID. The power tank on these homes is the holy grail, and it seems that few of our clients understand that prior to having one. The more batteries they have, the longer the system has to flip back and forth between multiple power inputs. For instance, a large battery bank can catch all the solar power generated on the roof, and allow you to watch the evening new with it. The benefit of good batteries is the capture of the majority of the power generated, and the efficiency with which it delivers said power. The payback of efficiency of power storage is VERY DRAMATIC. Customers who have tried both, know the secret: good batteries are both efficient, and have the lifespan. Click here to see more about Deep Cycle Batteries Efficiency and the Peukert Equations
Once you have quality components in mind, and know the difference between good and reasonable batteries, you need to determine your needs. Any solar installer will tell you, the key to sizing an off grid home is the battery bank. The following two criteria each create a minimum for the system. The larger minimum is used.
The battery bank must be large enough to capture any "Green" energy manufactured. Should the batteries not be large enough to "Capture" the power, it is lost to ground dissipates as it travels at the speed of light. Installing a large solar array is worthless if you don't have the power to use.
The battery bank must be large enough to run the house without going below 50% DOD for SunXtender Batteries. Should the battery bank be routinely discharged below this threshold, the batteries will be replaced annually, rather than every 5 years. The investment in more batteries is MANDATORY!
Using only these 2 rules, most find that when they are installing a battery backup for their home, office, or warehouse; that a full blown solar panel installation, will give them both free power, and the Battery backup they were about to invest in.