May 24, 2021

How To Choose A Home Battery Backup System

Solar Energy

*Updated the 4 of August 2023

Having a backup power supply for your home provides peace of mind and is why many are now turning to home battery backups as the perfect complement to a new or existing solar system. They are designed to charge from your rooftop solar array or from the grid and can be automatically activated should you lose power.

However, when considering a home battery backup system, be sure you do your homework. As with any backup power supply, you’re going to need to know what electric devices you want to operate during an outage. This will determine how many batteries you need and how long they need to operate. A good rule of thumb is to power only essential systems like electrical outlets, lighting, refrigeration, and other small household appliances.

Other home systems like air conditioning, heating, electric ovens, well pumps or sump pumps draw a large amount of power to both start and operate continuously. Most home battery systems are not capable of providing that much power on demand and would not be able to sustain operation for very long. However, if this is a non-negotiable, critical system you cannot do without, there are home battery systems such as the Storz AI+Stack or the Pika Energy Harbor Smart that can handle these types of electrical loads.

What Criteria Are Important?

Once you’ve determined how much energy you need during an outage, you are ready to start shopping. When buying a home battery backup system, there are four key criteria you need to consider before making a decision:

• Energy Capacity

• Power Rating

• Roundtrip Efficiency

• Warranty

home battery backup system

Energy capacity is the total amount of electricity the battery can store and is expressed in kilowatt hours (KwH or 1,000 watts per hour). The power rating is how much energy the battery can deliver at one time. Think of the power rating as a pipe. The larger it is, the more energy can be delivered, and the more appliances and electronics used. However, a large pipe also means it will drain your battery faster, so be sure to choose a system that has both the energy capacity and power rating that will meet your needs.

The third characteristic you need to consider is roundtrip efficiency. Due to the laws of physics, electricity gets weaker whenever it is transferred over any distance or transformed into either an AC or DC current. This loss is measured by what’s called roundtrip efficiency. It refers to the total amount of power put into the battery versus the total amount of usable energy discharged to your appliances and electronics. So, if a battery has a 90% roundtrip efficiency rating, it means there is a 10% loss of usable energy from the battery to your home. The higher the roundtrip efficiency rating, the more usable power you will get from your battery backup.

Finally, there is the warranty. Home battery backup warranties are measured in cycles. One cycle is the time it takes to fully drain and recharge a battery. Over time, this will take a toll on your system and decrease its efficiency. The warranty is the manufacturer’s guarantee that a percentage of useable energy capacity will remain after a certain number of cycles. So, if a manufacturer guarantees 80% efficiency after 5,000 cycles, it means the battery will produce at least 80% of its original usable energy capacity up to that point. The higher the percentage and number of cycles guaranteed, the better the warranty and the longer your battery will last.

How Much Will It Cost?

Whether buying a home battery backup system as a stand-alone unit or with solar, it requires financing for most people. Depending on the size of the system you choose, prices can range between $10K - $20K for both the battery and professional installation. Most customers can secure financing from their vendor that allows them to pay in affordable monthly installments.

Choosing a home battery backup system provides peace of mind for the unexpected and is a solid investment. Should you have any additional questions or wish to purchase a home backup battery system, give Shine a call at 844-807-4463 and we will be happy to help design a system that meets your needs. Financing is also available. For more information on how to choose a home battery backup system and what brands are best, you can download Shine’s free Guide To Battery Backup Systems.

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Nick Gorden

Nick Gorden is the Co-founder and CEO of Shine Solar. Nick’s energy, enthusiasm, and leadership is contagious and has contributed to attracting a talented and successful executive team. His time is focused on strategic growth, maintaining profitability and creating the optimal customer experience. Nick has started, managed and sold companies within the communications, mortgage lending, insurance and real estate industries resulting in tens of millions of dollars of market value to investors.

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