Solar panels are a cost-effective renewable energy source and an eco-friendly option instead of using unsustainable energy sources such as fossil fuels.
They are becoming increasingly popular between households and businesses due to their many advantages.
However, there is one downside that they have, and that is their limitation in generating electricity when the sun is shining.
Therefore, can solar energy be stored for later use? You will find out more about the use of solar panels here on SolarDorm.
Can Solar Energy Be Stored for Later Use?
It is known that solar energy harnesses the power from the sun in order to generate electricity. That said, solar panels save electricity for later use with the help of solar energy storage.
Such technology is much more advanced than before, meaning the panels can save energy even under bad weather conditions. The simplest way to save solar energy is to install a solar battery.
About Solar Energy Storage
Solar energy production fluctuates during the day due to weather conditions. This means that solar panels don’t produce energy for several hours of the day.
For this reason, there is a need for an energy storage system to store the energy that is produced by solar panels during sunlight.
That said, solar batteries charge every day with electricity from solar panels. With the help of solar batteries, you can also use the generated power during nights and cloudy days. The excess electricity goes back to the grid if you don’t have battery storage.
How Is Solar Energy Stored?
When it comes to energy storage, there is a battery, thermal and mechanical storage.
This is the most common way of storing solar energy for residential properties. The way it works is that the solar panels generate the sun’s power and turn it into electricity, and the excess energy is then pumped into the battery and used for later usage.
Several types of batteries are used for solar power storage, but Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used for such solar applications.
That said, the process of charging batteries works through a chemical reaction that stores the energy before converting it into electrical energy.
Thermal and mechanical storage
Thermal storage uses water or molten salt to retain the sun’s heat. The heated medium is then stored in a tank until there is a need for energy.
The most typical usage for thermal storage is boiling water for power production. Then, this produced energy can be used for heating, cooling, or generating electricity.
This mechanical storage uses the excess electrical power produced by the solar panels and converts it back into electricity that you can use later. The mechanical storage systems include flywheel, pumped hydro and compressed air.
The surplus energy from the solar panels spins on the flywheel to generate electricity when required. When it comes to pumped hydro, this method works by pumping the water up to reservoirs.
The water then goes through turbine generators and generates electricity. Regarding compressed air, it is pumped into tanks to generate electricity when there is peak demand.
However, an important thing to note is that these storage options require plenty of space and materials.
Also read: Where Is the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Located?
The Benefits of Storing Solar Energy
There are many benefits to installing solar energy storage. It works as a home backup power option and a quieter option than gas generators.
Moreover, solar energy storage minimizes the reliance on the utility grid and contributes to bill savings. By using a renewable energy source, you are also reducing carbon emissions in the air.
So, can solar energy be stored for later use? Given all the facts, we can conclude that solar energy can be stored for later use with the use of a battery storage system.
This technology is an excellent choice for storing solar energy during days with bad weather conditions and during the night.
Solar panels provide a renewable source of energy that is both cost-effective and eco-friendly, which is among the many reasons why many homeowners opt for their usage.