Interest in solar battery storage is skyrocketing as technology improves and prices lower. What used to be a serious luxury or something used for large-scale solar installations is now becoming something that any solar customer can potentially add to their system. With the demand comes a host of improvements to the different storage technologies used in battery storage systems and more options available on the market for buyers.
Homeowner interest in and demand to store solar energy has always been around, especially for people who don’t necessarily understand how an actual solar panel system works in tandem with the grid. Most homeowners new to solar panel technology don’t realize that if their system is grid-tied, as most are, they will still lose power if the grid goes down regardless of whether or not they have solar systems.
In this guide, we’ll be breaking down the different types of solar energy storage systems available on the market today, how to sell backup power to homeowners, and why every solar installer should be selling solar battery storage today.
What Solar Battery Technology is Available on the Market Today?
When it comes to choosing which solar battery systems to carry and offer to homeowners, there are a few different options available on the market. Here are the four main types of solar batteries that are currently available today.
1. Lead-Acid Batteries
Lead-acid had been the #1 choice for solar batteries since the technology emerged. With a history dating back to the 1860’s, it was a no-brainer to begin to manufacture solar storage that incorporated such a tried-and-true rechargeable battery composition.
The main selling point for lead-acid batteries is that they are extremely affordable, and a great option for someone looking for both backup energy storage or off-grid use.
The downsides of these systems are that they are often larger than other types of solar battery systems, and only have a lifespan of around 5 – 10 years.
2. Lithium-Ion Batteries
When electric vehicles started using lithium-ion battery tech, the solar market took interest and began to use it for solar energy storage since they were capable of holding more energy in a smaller space than lead-acid batteries could. Lithium-ion batteries also have a longer lifespan, and often come with warranties spanning up to 10 years. These batteries are the most common type of storage available on the market today.
In terms of cons, lithium-ion batteries are more prone to thermal runaway which has the potential to cause fires (although very rarely if installed correctly), however, the tech has come a long way in the last few years and is now a great option for any solar installer to consider in their solar projects.
3. Flow Batteries
A newer tech on the market, flow batteries use a zinc bromide solution and vanadium, a metal, to store energy. The liquid in these batteries flows between two tanks, which allows them to be completely discharged without any issues.
The biggest pro for this kind of solar battery storage system is a lifespan of up to 30 years. Conversely, the materials inside the batteries are hard to come by, the systems can be large and bulky, and because of this, are much more expensive than any other option on this list.
4. Nickel cadmium batteries
While not as widely used as lead-acid or lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium battery storage also has its place on this list as a great option for large-scale installations due to their low maintenance requirements, durability, and capacity to work under extreme temperatures/conditions. These batteries, however, are likely not the best choice for your typical homeowner, as there are much better options available on the market.
Why Solar Companies Should be Selling Battery Storage
With new government incentives and clean energy plans popping up seemingly every day, there is no time like the present to get started with offering solar battery storage solutions to inquiring homeowners.
With states like California, Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon, among others setting targets for the adoption of solar energy storage, and creating incentives to support them, solar batteries have never been easier and more affordable to procure for the average consumer.
Those consumers, in turn, are also looking deeper into storage than ever before with more and more climate disasters threatening their power grids, increasing the likelihood of more frequent power outages. This means that if you are a solar installer or solar salesperson, requests for quotes including a storage option will likely be a frequent occurrence in your day-to-day, and be something to consider adding to your sales process moving forward or risk losing the deal to a competitor offering solar battery storage solutions.
It is expected that solar energy storage installations will triple from 2020, creating around 200, 000 jobs in the near future, and that’s only the beginning. For an already established solar company, it’s important to get in early so that you can ride the wave all these new incentives and policies are creating before all the new guys sweep in and try to compete.
According to SEIA, “the long-term success of the solar industry and its ability to scale beyond about 20% of total electricity generation depends on the cost-effective integration of storage.”. Due to this belief, they have been advocating and pushing for the creation of an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy storage, meaning that if you are a solar installer who is not yet using storage, now would be a great time to familiarize yourself with the models and types available so that you can hit the ground running when it becomes even more beneficial to sell solar + storage options.
How to Sell Solar Energy Storage to Homeowners
Solar battery storage should always be available as an option for any homeowner requesting a quote for solar panels nowadays. One of the best ways to get a homeowner to consider solar storage is to let them know that with a grid-tied system, they are still at risk for inconvenient, or even dangerous power outages if the grid fails for any reason.
Stay on top of all the incentives and programs available in your state involving storage options to help them afford the addition to their solar systems, and be prepared to discuss the pros and cons of the most popular battery types, brands, and models.
Solargraf’s solar proposal software is now also well-equipped to offer and model solar batteries right in the software and on the quote. Select from our pre-built list of all the top batteries, including Enphase, in the solar software, or add any battery and specs you’d like to quickly and easily include it in your solar design and on quotes you create for your clients.
Use Solargraf’s Good, Better, Best feature to then offer the addition of solar battery storage to one of your three proposal options so that the homeowner can easily toggle between a system with and without storage to see the benefits of adding a battery to their solar project.
With demand for solar energy storage increasing, technology improving, and prices lowering, selling solar batteries is a no-brainer for any solar company looking to sell more systems and make more money.
Solargraf’s solar proposal software is available to help make that happen with the addition of battery options right in the software for easy comparisons and sales. Book your demo today to learn more about how to include batteries on your quotes and learn more about all the other features Solargraf offers to make your day-to-day easier and above all, grow your business.