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The SpotDif solar panel battery guide

Looking for the perfect solar panel batteries to power up your home? You're in the right place! Solar panel batteries are the heart of your solar power system, storing the energy your panels collect for when the sun isn’t shining. They're essential for a consistent power supply — especially in the UK where the weather can be a bit unpredictable.


There are different types of batteries for solar panels, each with their own perks. From lithium-ion to lead-acid batteries, choosing the right one can feel a bit like a maze. That's where a solar panel battery bank comes in — it's a setup that combines multiple batteries for more efficient energy storage. 


But how do you pick the right one? With SpotDif, the process is fast and easy — we’ll compare various solar panel battery providers so you can find the right fit for your solar setup and budget. Search and compare solar panel batteries with SpotDif today.


Need a bit more guidance? Read on for all you need to know about solar panel batteries.

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What are solar panel batteries and how do they work?


We all know that solar panels are a great way to embrace renewable energy and save money — but there’s a key element of solar power that many of us are less aware of. Solar panel batteries make harnessing the sun’s rays possible. They capture and store the abundant energy the sun provides for use at your convenience. But how?


Imagine a sunny day: your solar panels are diligently absorbing sunlight and converting it into electrical energy. Often, the energy generated exceeds immediate needs. This excess energy is where solar panel batteries excel. They store this surplus, making it available for later use, especially during periods when sunlight is scarce, such as at night or on overcast days.


The technical workings of these batteries revolve around the conversion and storage of energy. Solar panels capture solar energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. However, most homes and appliances operate on alternating current (AC). An inverter is integral in this process, converting DC into AC, therefore making sure you can use the stored energy at home.

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What happens to excess solar power when batteries are full?

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Wondering what happens when your solar panels produce surplus energy? Instead of allowing this extra energy to dissipate or sending it back to the power grid, solar panel batteries store it efficiently.


When the solar panels are not generating electricity, you can utilise the stored reserves, ensuring a consistent power supply to your home.

Why consider solar panel battery installation?

Adding solar panel batteries to your energy setup is a smart move. They help you make the most of the solar energy you collect. Plus, you'll rely less on the grid — meaning lower electricity bills and support for the planet. And let's not forget, during power cuts, these batteries are like your reliable best friend, keeping the lights on and everything running smoothly.


So while solar panels are fantastic on their own, you can benefit even more from battery storage.

Choosing which solar panel batteries suit your needs best

When it comes to picking between lithium-ion and lead-acid, it's about balancing your needs. Lithium-ion offers advanced technology, longer life, and compact design — perfect if you’re looking for high efficiency and space-saving. Lead-acid, on the other hand, might be right up your alley if initial costs and a simple, proven technology are your priorities.


At SpotDif, we take the guesswork out of choosing the right solar panel batteries. We compare different types, focusing on how they work, their benefits, and their differences. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision that matches your energy needs and budget constraints.

What are the different types of solar panel batteries?

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Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries stand at the forefront of solar battery technology. How do they work? They store energy through lithium ions moving between electrodes — a process that's highly efficient and results in minimal energy loss. This efficiency means they can store more energy in a smaller space, making them ideal for homes with limited space. 


Their advanced technology also ensures a longer lifespan, often up to 10-15 years, and they require minimal maintenance. Though they have a higher upfront cost, their durability and efficiency can lead to cost savings over time.

Lead-acid batteries

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Lead-acid batteries, the veterans of solar storage, operate by a chemical reaction between lead plates and sulphuric acid. This traditional technology is more straightforward and thus less expensive to manufacture. They are larger and heavier, requiring more space.


With a typical lifespan of five to seven years, they don't last as long as lithium-ion but are a cost-effective solution for those with larger installation spaces and a tighter budget.

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What is a solar panel bank?

A solar panel bank (or solar battery bank) is a group of batteries linked together within a solar power system. This setup is designed to store excess energy generated by your solar panels. The beauty of a solar panel bank is in its capacity to hold large amounts of energy, ensuring a reliable power supply even when the sun isn’t shining. It's especially useful for off-grid systems or in areas with unreliable power sources. By having multiple batteries connected, you can store more energy, providing greater energy security and efficiency for your home or business.

How many solar batteries are needed to power a house?

Once you know which kind of batteries you want for your solar panels, it’s time to think about quantity.


There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this — it depends on several factors, including your energy usage, the capacity of your solar panel system, and the type of batteries you choose.


Firstly, consider your daily energy consumption. How much power does your household typically use? This is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and can be found on your electricity bill. Next, look at the capacity of your solar panels. How much energy can they generate on an average day?


Think about the batteries themselves, too — different types have varying capacities, usually measured in kWh. Lithium-ion batteries, for instance, tend to have a higher capacity than lead-acid. The idea is to have enough battery storage to cover your energy needs when the solar panels aren't generating power, like at night or during cloudy days.

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It’s time to look at another vital factor in choosing batteries for your solar panels — the cost. 


Prices vary, starting from as little as £1,000 but the average cost for a solar battery tends to be around £4,500.

Battery type

The type of battery is a major factor in determining the price. Lithium-ion batteries, known for their longer lifespan and greater efficiency, are usually at the higher end of the cost spectrum. Their prices reflect their advanced technology and better performance over time. 


On the flip side, lead-acid batteries are more affordable upfront, making them a viable option if you're budget-conscious, even though they may have a shorter lifespan.

Battery capacity

Another important aspect is the battery's capacity as this can directly impact the price. On average, you should expect to pay around £900 per kWh of storage capacity. A higher-capacity battery, capable of storing more energy, will generally be more expensive, but also more efficient for higher energy needs.

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What about solar battery installation costs?

As with many home improvements, lots of factors impact how much your solar battery installation will cost. Generally, the most cost-effective way to integrate a solar battery is to install it at the same time as your PV solar panels.

Can you make money with your solar panels?

Investing in a solar-plus-storage system isn't just about the upfront costs — you can actually benefit financially from your solar panel batteries in the long term. Not only can you save on your energy bills, but there’s the potential to sell excess energy back to the National Grid with the Smart Export Guarantee. It's a smart move that not only reduces your carbon footprint but also pays back over time.

Are there any grants to help with solar panel costs?

Wondering how you can cover the cost of your solar panels and batteries? Fortunately, in the UK, there are several grants available to help offset the costs of installing solar panels and solar panel batteries. These grants are part of the government's initiative to encourage renewable energy use and reduce carbon emissions. They can significantly reduce the initial investment, making solar power more accessible and affordable. 


From schemes like the Smart Export Guarantee, mentioned above, to local government grants, there are options to explore that could provide financial assistance or incentives. It's worth investigating these opportunities to make your switch to solar energy more cost-effective and sustainable.


Discover more about solar panel grants in the UK.

Compare solar batteries with SpotDif

At SpotDif, we're here to help you make sense of all the costs involved with solar panel batteries and battery installation. We provide comprehensive comparisons of different solar panel batteries, taking into account their type, capacity, and overall value for money. Our goal is to find you a solar battery solution that aligns with your energy needs and financial plans. 


Harness the power of the sun and start your search for a solar battery provider with our handy comparison tool.

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Anna Dearden
Home sector specialist
I'm driven by curiosity, and constantly seeking to unravel and explore the ever-evolving trends in the realms of lifestyle, finance, and well-being.
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