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A Complete Guide About Solar Panel Installation. Step by Step Procedure with…

A Complete Guide About Solar Panel Installation. Step by Step Procedure with…

    Cost Of Solar Batteries In 2023

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    On This Page

    Faith Foushee is a Bankrate contributor and a writer for Bankrate’s corporate partner,, covering energy-efficient products, renewables and other energy topics. She enjoys learning about new energy technology and helping others learn through clear and understandable content. Faith is passionate about finding ways to preserve the environment while staying financially-savvy.

    Hannah Hillson is a contributing editor for Bankrate. With a decade of experience in the home services and energy industries, she aims to answer consumer questions in a digestible way. Apart from editing and writing, Hannah enjoys learning about energy solutions, renewable energy, residential solar and the deregulated market. Find her work on and connect on LinkedIn.

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    complete, guide, solar, panel, installation

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    Key takeaways

    Solar batteries can reduce your reliance on the electricity grid by storing surplus energy generated from solar panels to use when the sun is less available. If you have considered solar or own a home with solar panels. you likely have also considered installing a solar battery. The cost can total about half the price of the average solar system, depending on several factors, such as the number of solar batteries your home needs. Read on to learn about solar batteries, what makes up the cost, benefits and more.

    What is the cost of solar batteries?

    Solar batteries are expensive and are not a one-size-fits-all product. The battery size you need for your home is determined by your energy usage. If you use more energy, you may need two solar batteries to power your home, which increases the cost. Data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates the total cost of a solar battery, including installation, is 18,791. Installation and permitting fees vary by location and installer, but the NREL cost estimate for the standalone battery is 16,007.

    Solar incentives and rebates are available to reduce the cost of a solar system, including solar storage. For example, the federal tax credit, known as the Residential Clean Energy Credit. offers a 30 percent credit on the total cost of solar, including batteries. Before incorporating additional fees, the federal tax credit can save you nearly 5,000 on the NREL estimated solar battery price.

    Battery type also influences the cost. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type paired with a residential solar system. They are usually more expensive than lead-acid batteries, but lithium-ion batteries are larger in size and store more energy to power your home.

    Are solar batteries worth the cost and do you need one?

    Solar batteries store excess energy for later use when the sun is less available, such as at night, on cloudy days and in winter. Depending on the time of year, solar panels can generate more energy than your home needs. Batteries can reduce your reliance on the electricity grid and potentially help lower your utility bill.

    Pairing solar panels with a battery storage system enables you to maximize the benefits and savings of solar energy. Batteries increase your energy independence and keep you from relying on the grid. Solar batteries are especially worth the investment if:

    • You frequently experience power outages.
    • You want to go completely off the grid.
    • You’re on a time-of-use energy plan.

    Solar owners without solar storage may use their state’s net metering benefits in place of a battery. Solar batteries are especially beneficial in states like California. where the most recent net metering policy reduces the value of energy credits. Net metering is an agreement between solar owners and the utility company where excess energy generated from your system is sent to the utility company in exchange for energy bill credits. If the credit is low, having a battery storage system will save more money in the long run.

    Solar batteries are not a required part of a solar system but can be very useful during power outages and for those with time-of-use (TOU) energy plans. You can save money by using stored energy during peak hours when electricity rates are the most expensive.

    If you’re not home for most of the day, you likely will not use all the solar energy your system produces. The excess generation will be sent to the grid or you can save it in a solar battery for use when you are home. This is helpful for combatting peak energy demand and high electricity rates.

    How much do popular solar batteries cost in 2023?

    It depends. As we’ve covered, the total cost varies based on storage size, market value, installation fees and other factors. If you install a solar battery at the same time as panels, your total installation cost will be less than if you install it separately. Compare the pre-incentive cost of popular solar batteries in the following table.

    Battery Starting Cost Power Capacity (kilowatt-hour)
    Tesla Powerwall 2 11,500 13.5 kWh
    LG Chem Resu Gen2 10H 9,500 – 13,000 9.3 kWh
    Generac PWRcell 10,000 3 kWh
    sonnenCore 9,500 10 kWh
    Electriq PowerPod 2 15,000 – 23,000 10 – 20 kWh

    Factors that impact solar battery price

    Powering your home with green energy doesn’t have to be a financial burden. Solar financing options allow you to increase your energy independence on any budget. There are many ways to pay for eco-friendly home upgrades. i ncluding personal loans and HELOCs.

    Complete Solar Panel Installation Design Calculations with Solved Examples – Step by Step Procedure

    Below is a DIY (do it yourself) complete note on Solar Panel design installation, calculation about No of solar panels, batteries rating / backup time, inverter/UPS rating, load and required power in Watts. with Circuit, wiring diagrams and solved examples. Anyone who follows the simple steps (DIY tutorial) below can install and connect solar panels in home for residential applications.

    If you pick this article related to solar panel installation, You will be able to;

    • To calculate the no of solar panel (with rating)
    • To calculate the rating of Solar panel
    • To calculate the rating of batteries for Solar panel system
    • To calculate the back up time of batteries
    • To calculate the required and charging current for batteries
    • To calculate the charging time for batteries
    • To calculate the rating of charge controller
    • How much watt solar panel we need?
    • Connect Solar Panel in Series or Parallel?
    • How to select the proper solar panel for home
    • UPS / Inverter Rating for load requirement and much more…

    Solar Panel Installation: Step by Step Procedure with calculation and examples

    Before we start, its recommended to read the article about proper selection different types of solar panels and photovoltaic panel for home commercial use as well. To the point, lets know how to wire and install a solar panel system according to the proper calculation and load requirements.

    Suppose, we are going to install a solar power system in our home for a total load of 800W where the required backup time of battery is 3 hours (You may use it your own as it is just for sample calculation)

    Load = 800 Watts

    Required Backup time for batteries = 3 Hours

    • Inverter / UPS Rating =?
    • No of batteries for backup power =?
    • Backup Hours of batteries =?
    • Series or Parallel Connection of Batteries = ?
    • Charging Current for Batteries = ?
    • Charging Time for batteries = ?
    • Required No of Solar Panel =?
    • Series or Parallel Connection of Solar Panels = ?
    • Rating of Charge Controller = ?

    Inverter / UPS Rating:

    Inverter / UPS rating should be greater than 25% of the total load (for the future load as well as taking losses in consideration)

    800 x (25/100) = 200W

    Our Load 25% Extra Power = 800200 = 1000 Watts

    This is the rating of the UPS (Inverter) i.e. We need 1000W UPS / Inverter for solar panel installation according to our need (based on calculations)

    Required No of Batteries

    Now the required Back up Time of batteries in Hours = 3 Hours

    Suppose we are going to install 100Ah, 12 V batteries,

    Now for one Battery (i.e. the Backup time of one battery)

    complete, guide, solar, panel, installation

    But our required Backup time is 3 Hours.

    Therefore, 3/1.5 = 2 → i.e. we will have to connect two (2) batteries each of 100Ah, 12V.

    Backup Hours of Batteries

    If the number of batteries are given, and you want to know the Backup Time for these given batteries, then use this formula to calculate the backup hours of batteries.

    1200 Wh x 2 Batteries = 2400 Wh

    2400 Wh / 800 W = 3 hours.

    In the first scenario, we will use 12V inverter system, therefore, we will have to connect two (2) batteries (each of 12V, 100 Ah) in Parallel. But a question raised below:

    Why Batteries in Parallel, not in Series?

    Because this is a 12V inverter System, so if we connect these batteries in series instead of parallel, then the rating of batteries become V1 V2 = 12V 12V = 24V while the current rating would be same i.e.100Ah.

    Good to Know: In Series Circuits, Current is same in each wire or section while voltage is different i.e. Voltage are additive e.g. V1V2V3….Vn.

    That’s why we will connect the batteries in parallel, because the Voltage of batteries (12 V) remains same, while its Ah (Ampere Hour) rating will be increased. i.e. the system would become = 12V and 100Ah 100Ah = 200Ah.

    Good to Know: In parallel Connection, Voltage will be same in each wire or section, while current will be different i.e current is additive e.g. I1I2I3…In

    We will now connect 2 batteries in parallel (each of 100Ah, 12V)

    i.e. 2 12V, 100Ah batteries will be connected in Parallel

    = 12V, 100Ah 100Ah = 12V, 200 Ah (Parallel)

    Good to Know: Power in watts is additive in any configuration of resistive circuit: P Total= P1 P2 P3. Pn (Neglecting the 40% installation loss)

    Charging Current for Batteries

    Now the Required Charging Current for these two batteries.

    (Charging current should be 1/10 of batteries Ah)

    200Ah x (1/10) = 20A

    Charging Time required for Battery

    Here is the formula of Charging Time of a Lead acid battery. Charging Time of battery = Battery Ah / Charging Current T = Ah / A

    For example, for a single 12V, 100Ah battery, The charging time would be:

    T = Ah / A = 100Ah / 10A = 10 Hrs (Ideal Case)

    due to some losses, (it has been noted that 40% of losses occurred during the battery charging), this way, we take 10-12 A charging current instead of 10 A, this way, the charging time required for a 12V, 100Ah battery would be:

    100Ah x ( 40/100 ) = 40 (100Ah x 40% of losses)

    the battery rating would be 100Ah 40 Ah = 140 Ah (100Ah losses)

    Now the required charging current for the battery would be:

    140Ah / 12A = 11.6 Hours.

    Required No of Solar Panels (Series or Parallel) ?

    Now the required No of Solar Panels we need for the above system as below.

    Scenario 1: DC Load is Not Connected = Only Battery Charging

    We know the famous power formula (DC)

    P = VI ………… (Power = Voltage x Current)

    Putting the values of batteries and charging current.

    P = 240 Watts

    these are the required wattage of solar panel (only for battery charging, and then battery will supply power to the load i.e. direct load is not connected to the solar panels)

    240W/60W = 4 Nos of Solar panels

    Therefore, we will connect 4 Solar Panels (each of 60W,12V,5A) in parallel.

    The above calculations and system was only for battery charging (and then battery will supply power to the desired Load) to AC electrical appliances, which will get power through inverter and DC loads via Charge controller (via charged batteries)

    Scenario 2: DC Load is Connected as well as Battery Charging

    Now suppose there is a 10A directly connected load to the panels through inverter (or may be DC load via Charge Controller). During the sunshine, the solar panel provide 10A to the directly connected load 20A to the battery charging i.e. solar panels charge the battery as well as provide 10A to the the load as well.

    In this case, the total required current (20 A for Batteries Charging and 10 A for directly connected load)

    In this case above, total required current in Amperes,

    20A 10 A = 30A

    Now, I = 30 A, then required Power

    P = V x I = 12V x 30A = 360 Watts

    I.e. we need 360 W system for the above explained system (This is for both Direct Load and Batteries Charging)

    Now, the number of solar panels we need

    360/60W = 6 Nos of Solar Panels

    Therefore, we will Connect 6 Nos of Solar panels in parallel (each of 60W, 12V,5A)

    Rating of Charge Controller

    As we have calculated above that the charging current for 200Ah battery is 20-22 Amperes (22A For Battery Charging10A for direct DC Load), therefore we can use a charge controller about 30-32 Amp.

    Note: The above calculation is based on ideal case, so it is recommended to always choose a solar panel some bigger then we need, because, there are some losses occurs during battery charging via solar panel as well as the sunshine is not always in ideal mood.

    How Much Watts Solar Panel We need ?

    We have shown a very simple method in the previous post to find that How much Watts Solar Panel We need for our Home Electrical appliances? depends on the sunshine time and the load in watts we need to power up an electrical appliance.

    Which One Solar Panel we Select ?

    Among lots of brands and material of solar panels like c-Si, String Ribon, Thin Film Solar Cells (TFSC) or (TFPV), Amorphous silicon (a-Si or a-Si:H),Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Solar Cells, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS/ CIS) Solar Cells, BIPV: Building Integrated Photovoltaic Panels, Hybrid Solar Cells and PV Panels, We have discussed in a very details post “different types of solar panels with advantages/advantages, cost, and applications” This way, you will be able to find which is the best type of Solar Panel for Home Use?

    How To Install Solar Panels

    We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Home. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

    • Working time: 20 hours
    • Total time: Up to 2 months for paperwork and inspections
    • Skill level: Advanced
    • Project cost: 18,000 for materials and labor

    Installing the best solar panels can save you money while also protecting the environment. Some systems allow independence from the electrical grid, or the ability to earn profits by selling power back to suppliers. Many people find relief in simply lowering their energy bills.

    THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

    Power Your Home With Solar

    Find a network of trusted installers for your solar system, solar panels and electricity needs. Find a solar panel installer today!

    Usually, specialists or general contractors are hired to install solar panels. Once you know how to install a solar panel, you’ll better understand how the process is done, and you may even decide you can do it yourself.

    When to Install Solar Panels

    Solar panels can be installed during any time of year. If you live in an area that receives regular snowfall, it may be best to wait until the snow has melted for ease and safety, depending on the types of solar panels you choose.

    Safety Considerations

    The components of a solar panel are bulky and often installed on a roof. Use extreme caution and fall protection when working on a roof. Be particularly cautious while bringing materials to the roof and while working near the edge.

    Installation of a solar system involves working with electricity. Follow all safety procedures regarding the installation of electrical components.


    • Tape measure
    • Pencil or marker
    • Drill with bits
    • Chalk line
    • Wrench set
    • Screwdrivers
    • Metal cutting saw
    • Electrical wiring tools


    • Photovoltaic panels
    • Racking system
    • Roof sealant (roofing tar or silicone)
    • Power inverter
    • Batteries
    • Charge controller
    • Energy meter (optional)
    • Heat sink (if needed)
    • Electrical wiring components


    A solar panel is really a collection of solar photovoltaic panels (PV panels). Those panels are connected to several components that are used to control sun-generated energy.

    There are many things to consider regarding solar power for your home. If you’re thinking about installing your own solar panel, you may want to start by hiring a solar energy consultant. They’ll have all the information you’ll need to help make decisions about your project. A hired contractor, on the other hand, will have their own experts to help you make decisions.

    A consultant can also direct you to specific manufacturers that best meet your needs.

    Check for Compatibility

    To get started, make sure your home is ready to accept a solar energy system. Find out if your roof is large enough, or if you have room to place the panels at ground level. You may need to remove trees or trim branches. Your electrical panel might need upgrading. Be sure your roof is in good shape and won’t need to be replaced soon.

    Select the Size

    Once you know that your home is compatible, decide what you would like your system to provide. You can use the energy to simply run lighting or a few appliances, you can create enough energy to sell some back to the power company or anything in between.

    Get Permits

    Apply for a building permit for your locality. Some areas may also require a separate electrical permit. Oftentimes, waiting for the permits to be approved, and scheduling the subsequent inspections, are the most time-consuming parts of the project.

    Apply for Incentives

    Make the most of your solar investment. Incentive programs vary at the state and local levels. Federal incentives change from time to time, too. You may be able to receive tax credits, rebates or grants from multiple sources to offset costs. Apply for these incentives prior to starting physical work. You may consider applying for a special solar loan to finance the project.

    THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

    Compare Quotes From Top-rated Solar Panel Installers

    Select a State To Get Started With Your No Commitment, Free Estimate


    Because solar panel requirements vary greatly depending on needs and locations, solar panel components that are unique to your project often need to be ordered from a retailer. Order everything you’ll need at one time, if possible, to ensure all of the materials are compatible with each other.

    Install Racking System

    Measure and mark a layout for the system on your roof or on the ground. Install the metal racking system, following manufacturer instructions. Seal any holes through roof shingles with roofing tar or silicone caulk.

    Install Panels

    Connect the PV panels to the racking using the supplied clamps to secure them in place. Then, wire each panel to the adjacent panels.

    Install Heat Sink

    A heat sink is a device used to reduce heat generated by the panels. They also increase the efficiency of the array. Heat sinks are often integrated into PV panels. If not, an external heat sink will need to be added.

    Install Charge Controller

    The charge controller sends electricity to where it is needed. It automatically allows electrical current to flow through the system or into the batteries for storage. Install it between the panels and battery bank.

    Install Battery Bank

    Generated energy that is not immediately used in your home will be stored in a battery bank for use when the sun is not shining. Wire the batteries together in series to essentially create one big battery.

    Best Solar Companies By States And Cities

    Install Power Inverter

    The power coming directly from your solar panel and batteries will be direct current (DC) electricity. It must be converted to alternating current (AC) for use in household wiring. For this purpose, install a power inverter after the batteries and power controller, and before the connection to the house.

    Install Energy Meter

    Most solar systems include the use of an energy meter. This device allows you to know how much electricity you are generating and using. It can also keep track of the amount of energy needed from, or sent back to, the electrical grid.

    Check Electrical

    Before wiring your new solar panel system to the house, be sure to double-check all wiring. Be certain to ground the system at the PV panels. There will need to be an electrical inspection performed by your municipal inspector at this point.

    Connect to Electrical Panel

    Wire the power inverter directly to the electrical panel following device instructions depending on how the system will be used.

    THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

    Compare Quotes From Top-rated Solar Panel Installers

    Free, No-commitment Estimates

    When to Call a Pro

    Installing a solar panel is a complex, time-consuming task. Most homeowners opt to have their system installed by specialized solar companies from start to finish. A solar contractor will also know how to help you receive any incentives you’re entitled to.

    For DIY installations, hiring a contractor for certain parts of the job is common. Many people install the entire system and leave the wiring to a licensed electrician. Call in a professional to complete any portion of the job that you’re not comfortable doing yourself.

    Looking For Hassle-Free Solar Installation

    Find a network of trusted installers for solar system, solar panels and electricity needs. Find a solar panel installer today!

    THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

    Get expert advice on your home, design tips, how much to pay for pros and hiring experts, delivered to you daily.

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    Interested in Solar Panels? Here Is Some Advice.

    Buying a solar energy system can be expensive and confusing. Here are some things to think about if you are in the market for solar panels.

    Give this article Share full article

    complete, guide, solar, panel, installation

    Thanks to technological and manufacturing advances, costs for solar panels have tumbled in the last decade, making solar energy more popular for homeowners. But figuring out how to add a solar energy system to your roof can be daunting.

    Workers installed a solar and battery system this winter at my home in a New York City suburb. It was a major investment but has already begun paying off in lower utility bills and providing peace of mind that we will have at least some electricity during power outages, which are common here because storms often knock down power lines.

    Interest in rooftop solar systems is high and growing as energy rise and concerns about climate change mount. Many people are also worried about blackouts caused by extreme weather linked to climate change. A Pew Charitable Trust survey in 2019 found that 6 percent of Americans had already installed solar panels and that another 46 percent were considering it.

    “The biggest thing is that solar is a lot cheaper than it used to be even in places like New York City and Boston, where it tends to be more expensive than in the suburbs,” said Anika Wistar-Jones, director of affordable solar at Solar One, an environmental education nonprofit in New York City that helps affordable housing and low-income communities adopt solar energy.

    If you are interested in solar, here are some things to consider.

    Can you add solar panels to your roof?

    This question might seem simple, but finding the answer can be surprisingly complicated. One installer told me that my roof was so shaded by trees that solar panels would not generate enough electricity to make the investment worthwhile. Hearing another opinion was worth it: The installer I hired allayed those concerns and recommended some tree trimming. On sunny days my system often generates more power than my family uses.

    complete, guide, solar, panel, installation

    It can also be difficult to find out what your local government and utility will permit because the information is usually not readily available in plain language. I learned that lesson at my previous home.

    When I lived in New York City, it took months of research to learn that I couldn’t install panels on my roof. The city requires a large clear area on flat roofs like mine for firefighters to walk on, it turns out. And I couldn’t install solar panels on a canopy — a rooftop framework that elevates the panels — because it would violate a city height restriction for homes on my block.

    The best approach is to cast a wide net and talk to as many solar installers as you can. You might also consult neighbors who have put solar panels on their roofs: People in many parts of the country have banded together in what are known as solarize campaigns to jointly purchase solar panels to secure lower from installers.

    “That has been really successful in neighborhoods and communities all across the country,” said Gretchen Bradley, community solar manager at Solar One.

    Can I afford a solar installer?

    You should seek proposals from several installers. Comparison shopping services like EnergySage and SolarReviews make it easy to contact multiple installers.

    When reviewing proposals, pay attention to how much the system will cost per watt. This tells you how much you are paying for the system’s electricity-generating capacity and allows you to compare offers.

    The median quote for new rooftop solar systems is 2.75 per watt, according to EnergySage. That works out to about 26,125 for an average system of 9,500 watts before taking into account a federal tax credit. For the 2022 tax year, the credit stands at 26 percent of the cost of solar system; it is slated to drop to 22 percent in 2023 and end in 2024. Many states, including Arizona, California, New York and Massachusetts, also offer residents incentives to install solar systems, such as rebates and tax breaks.

    can vary greatly because of location, local labor costs and other factors, like what kind of home you live in and whether other work is needed before installation. If your roof is old or damaged, for example, it might need to be replaced before a solar system can be installed.

    Rooftop solar systems can reduce monthly utility bills, depending on electricity rates, how much energy a home uses and state policies. Systems that save more money will help buyers recoup their investment faster. Vikram Aggarwal, the chief executive and founder of EnergySage, said solar systems should ideally pay for themselves within 10 years.

    The excess electricity that rooftop systems produce is sent to the electric grid, and utilities typically compensate homeowners for that energy through credits on their monthly bills. The value of those credits varies by state.

    How should I pay for it?

    If you can afford to buy a solar system outright, you will get the best deal by paying cash. Systems purchased with loans or through leases tend to cost more, especially over the life of the contract. Shopping around is your best hedge against falling prey to dubious or predatory agreements.

    The main advantage of leasing a solar energy system is that your costs are typically fixed for the duration of the contract. But experts caution that leases can be hard to get out of and could become a burden when you sell your home, because buyers might not want to take on your contract.

    Mr. Aggarwal noted that leases “make sense” for some people who may not earn enough to claim the federal tax credit. He suggested that people interested in solar leases get three or four quotes from different installers.

    Should I buy a battery?

    Adding a battery to your solar system will allow you to store some of the excess electricity it generates to use during a blackout or in the evening and night. A solar system without a battery will not keep you supplied with power during an outage because most residential systems are automatically turned off when the grid goes down.

    Batteries can be expensive, especially if you want to run large appliances and provide power for many hours or days. A 10- to 12-kilowatt-hour battery, which can store roughly a third of a home’s typical daily electricity use, costs about 13,000, according to EnergySage.

    The federal tax credit for rooftop solar systems applies to the costs of batteries that are purchased with solar panels or if they are added in a following tax year. About 28 percent of residential solar systems installed in 2021 included batteries, up from 20 percent in 2020, according to a survey by EnergySage.

    The Wirecutter, a product recommendation service from The New York Times, has a detailed guide for buying solar and battery systems.

    Can I use my electric car as a backup battery?

    Most electric cars cannot provide power to homes. Only a few models, like the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, have that ability, and they are in incredibly short supply.

    But many energy experts believe that it will eventually be common for car batteries to send power back to homes and the electric grid.

    In many parts of the United States, extended power outages may happen just once or twice a year. As a result, Mr. Aggarwal said, it may not make sense to invest in an expensive home battery, which usually holds much less energy than electric-car batteries. “Everybody is starting to talk about using your car to run your home.”

    If I can’t install solar panels, can I still buy solar energy?

    You might be able to join a community solar project, which are usually installed on open land or on the roofs of warehouses and other large buildings.

    While the rules vary by state, community solar programs generally work in similar ways. Members get two bills a month: one from the community solar project and one from their utility. The projects sell electricity at a discount to the rate charged by your utility, and each kilowatt-hour of power you buy shows up as a credit for a kilowatt-hour of energy on your utility bill.

    New Yorkers who join a community solar project, for example, can save about 10 percent on their monthly electricity bill, Ms. Bradley said. “It doesn’t cost anything to sign up or leave a project,” she added.

    While most states allow community solar, a majority of such projects are in just four states — Florida, Minnesota, New York and Massachusetts — according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    You can search for projects in your area on websites including EnergySage and PowerMarket or through state agencies, like the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

    `An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the timing of a tax credit for the cost of batteries on a home solar energy system. Taxpayers can claim the credit for the batteries in a tax year after the year in which they installed the solar panels; it is not the case that solar panels and batteries must be purchased in the same year to qualify for the credit.

    How we handle corrections

    Vikas Bajaj, an assistant editor in the Business section, was previously a member of the editorial board and a correspondent based in Mumbai, India. Before that, he covered housing and financial markets from New York. @ vikasbajaj

    A version of this article appears in print on. Section B. Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Going Solar? Here’s What You Need Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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    Solar Battery Backup

    These are the most common type of solar electric systems in Maine and are less expensive because they don’t need batteries or other additional equipment. With this system, the sun powers your home when it is shining. You are still connected to your utility provider (often referred to as the grid), so you still also have power when sunlight is unavailable.

    Net Metering allows the electricity generated by your solar system to offset the electricity used from the grid during the night or when it’s cloudy. This ensures all of the electricity your system produces offsets your usage and ultimately your electric bill. However, if the grid goes down, your system will shut off, and you will lose power.

    Installing a grid-tied solar electric system is an excellent step towards energy independence, however, during a power outage, your system does not provide power. By pairing a grid-tied solar electric system with battery backup, you can bank the energy you produce for times when you need it, like when the grid goes down. Although whole-house backup is achievable, most grid-tied battery backup systems are designed to only power “critical” electrical loads. These systems are more costly than just grid-tied alone.

    Many people like the idea of installing a true off-grid solar electric system because of its independence. However, it could require a lifestyle change to reduce energy consumption as you cannot rely on the consistency of the utility grid.

    These systems tend to be most prevalent in rural locations where the nearest power line may be miles away. You will need batteries to store your energy, must monitor the battery’s health, and be aware that you have a finite amount of energy you can collect and store daily. b Off-grid systems have unique design and operation requirements making them more challenging to install and service. They also require more components and usually cost more. Maine Solar Solutions has a design and installation team experienced with off-grid solar systems if you would like to learn more.

    How Do Grid-tied Solar Batteries Work In Power Outages?

    Sunlight is captured by your solar panels and then converted into energy you can use for your home. As that energy flows into your house, your electric appliances use it first, and any excess energy is stored in the battery. Once the battery is fully charged, additional electricity your system generates is sent back to the grid to be collected as energy credits for later use through net metering.

    Installing batteries will allow you to store power generated by your solar system. In a grid outage, the battery automatically provides backup power to critical loads in your home.

    What Can You Power With Grid-tied Solar Batteries During An Outage?

    Although whole-house backup is achievable, most home and solar battery backup systems are designed to only power “critical” electrical loads. Critical loads include refrigerators, well pumps, most heating systems, lights, and items such as cell phone chargers and garage door openers.

    How Many Batteries Will I Need?

    The size of a battery backup system depends on what electrical loads you wish to operate and how many days you want to run them before recharging the battery. Our solar consultants will provide guidance about the capabilities and costs of our various energy storage systems.

    Grid-tied Solar Battery Backup Options

    Our team continuously evaluates the best technology to offer reliable and cost-effective energy storage solutions. We tailor each solar battery solution for your home or business’s energy storage needs and offer a variety of batteries, including traditional lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion. The most popular option among our grid-tied solar customers is the lithium-ion-based Tesla Powerwall, but we also install Generac and Sol-Ark systems. Maine Solar Solution is also Ford Lightning Vehicle-To-Home system’s preferred Maine installer. Our solar consultants will discuss your options during your consultation.

    Can I Install A Battery Backup If I Already Have Solar?

    Yes, in most circumstances, you can. A battery backup system can retrofit most existing home solar systems. In this case, a homeowner usually has a few brands that make up their solar electric system. Contact us, and we can tell you if your current solar configuration supports adding a battery backup.

    Can I Install A Battery Without Solar?

    Though most batteries installed without solar can charge from the grid, most Mainers install solar with their battery backup. Unlike areas with high variation in on-peak and off-peak rates (think California), it isn’t as financially rewarding here. This adds a cost to the system’s price, but consider that batteries are eligible for the 30% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. Even stand-alone battery systems will qualify for 30% starting in 2023.

    Installing With Maine Solar Solutions

    Although pairing solar panels with energy storage (batteries) is becoming more common, it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. Our solar consultants and electricians can help you find the right solar battery backup solution for your home. We take care of everything from designing the system specifications, permitting, installation, financing options, and customer support. We present fixed-cost pricing that includes the battery, transfer switch, any additional electrical equipment required, permits, and installation services by our team of qualified electricians. We also offer our zero-down low-interest financing for solar battery backup.

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