Battery Storage: Frequently Asked Questions

Have you already invested in solar energy and want to become more resilient through creating an even stronger power plant within your home? The next step to your energy independence is a battery storage system engineered around your lifestyle. While the sun typically shines bright in Arizona, there may be unforeseen circumstances in which the grid could go down. To help you better understand how our battery storage systems operate, we put together this list of Frequently Asked Questions.

 

What are the different battery options & functionalities?

We offer two different functionalities for battery storage units: peak shaving and back-up power units. Keep in mind, if you’re interested in both capabilities, we can program your battery system to do just that.

  • Peak Shaving: This is the most common use for a battery supply and provides the highest return on investment. A peak shaving battery does just what it sounds like… it’ll shave the top of your energy peak! The battery will store excess energy to be used during peak utility times, instead of pulling from the grid. This a complex system that can have multiple times and days set with the capability to be changed at any point. This way, you can use your stored solar energy instead of pulling electricity from the grid during expensive, peak times.
  • Back-up Power: Batteries with a back-up capability can provide your home with energy security, even when the grid goes down. You will select critical loads within your home, based around your lifestyle and energy usage, to be stored and backed up by the battery. During a power outage, the critical loads backed up will continue to have electricity!  Don’t worry too much about this step, we will help you design your unique critical load. We can back up every electrical area in your home, this of course is a much larger investment. Keep in mind, a back-up battery unit will also have the peak shaving capability built into it, so you can have the best of both!

 

What brands are the battery systems, and will it connect with my inverter?

At American Solar & Roofing we exclusively use the highest quality products and technology. We worked with SMA, a respected solar energy equipment supplier, for years and created a durable solution by utilizing LG CHEM batteries. This battery storage is compatible with all installed solar systems, contact us and we will verify your current inverter is compatible.

Our most integrated, complete home backup battery is the SMA’s Sunny Boy Automatic Back-Up Unit. This battery is an integrated solution for a whole home backup and will automatically disconnect the home energy system from the grid power during a power outage and manages your home with a monitoring capability.

It’s good to know these brands are reputable, tested and true. Don’t worry too much about which battery brand you should choose, we will do all that hard work for you! What’s critical is for you to understand what you want your battery storage to achieve: peak shaving, back-up storage, or both. We will work together to design a unique battery system that is compatible with your inverter.

 

Will there be additional hardware needed?

There will be some additional hardware needed for your battery system. Depending on the functionality of your battery you may need: an additional inverter for the battery, a sub-panel, disconnects required by the utility, and the battery itself. Of course, we will be acquiring and installing all the necessary components for you.

 

Can the battery be installed outside?

Yes! In short, the battery unit can be installed outside and typically is. We will place it strategically, usually on a side of the house with little-to-no direct sunlight.

 

During an outage, how long will my battery backup last?

This is a great question, and one we often hear from customers interested in a battery storage system. The amount of time in which your battery could keep your house powered ultimately depends on how you want the battery to function.

Most customers will select critical areas in their house to be backed up on the battery, in case the grid goes down. The more critical areas selected, the smaller the length of time the battery could support it. On the flip side, the bigger the kWh capacity of the battery unit and the smaller the critical loads, the longer the length of time it will support. Let us know if having a system that can last 8 hours, 3 days or a week is essential to you and we will provide you with a battery system that can support you!

 

What’s the pricing estimate?

A typical range for a peak shaving battery is $15,000-$18,000, with an additional range of $5,000-$7,000 for a back-up capability. Remember, the back-up batteries will also include a peak shaving capability.

The good news is there are some great incentives and price savings out there, including our own limited time discount. The SRP incentives can range from $3,000-$5,000 off the cost of the battery. This is also the last year everyone can take advantage of the current Federal Tax Credit at 26%, which alone is a great savings. For a limited time, American Solar & Roofing can take off $600 on LG CHEM batteries; however, there are only 23 LG CHEM batteries available from our supplier for the entire West Coast!

We know getting a battery storage unit for your home is a large investment but if you’ve been thinking about a battery, with all these price savings now is the perfect time to act.

 

What does the process for getting a battery look like?

Here’s a format of what your battery process will look like:

  1. A free 20-minute phone consultation to go over any details or questions you may have. This phone call will be with one of our awesome Solutions Consultants.
  2. To move forward, there will be a $350 charge for our founder, owner and head of Development, Sean Seitz, to come out and create the perfect battery solution for you. This $350 is non-refundable but will go towards the price of your battery storage unit.
  3. You will sign some contracts, place a deposit with a preliminary proposal and the engineering process will begin. This will also allow us to hold your battery system, that is in limited supply.
  4. The construction phase begins and will take 3-8 weeks to complete. The length of this period depends on your battery capabilities and the necessary permits, contracts and disconnects required from your utility. Once completed, you can start enjoying your energy independence and resiliency!

 

Post by Jennifer Hansen

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