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Can you add batteries to an existing solar panel array?

You can learn how to install a solar panel to a battery to take full advantage of the energy produced by your system. These extra power banks can serve different purposes, from generating power at night to powering electrical tools and work equipment.

Adding batteries to existing solar arrays is possible. However, you may wonder about the feasibility, cost, and effect on your solar panels' performance and warranties.

At Star Enrg, we can help you install a solar panel to a battery, handle the upgrade, and provide ongoing maintenance so that it performs as needed.

Options for adding batteries to solar panel arrays

There are different methods for adding batteries to existing solar setups.

  • AC coupling works on a grid-tied system with net metering. These systems have special inverters that feed excess electricity back into the power grid. You can add an off-grid inverter and connect it to a battery charger. In most homes, AC coupling is the simplest option because it pairs the main inverter with a second one without making any major changes to the system. However, it may be less efficient than other options.
  • DC coupling is more efficient because solar panels produce DC power, which is the same current needed to charge batteries. This option is more expensive because it requires installing a hybrid inverter. This type of inverter can handle the DC currents for the battery and convert the remaining power to AC for use in the home or feeding into the grid. Most solar experts will tell customers that they can consider a DC coupling solution if they need to replace their inverter because of damage or old age. The necessary replacement can help the inverter investment make sense financially.
  • A new storage-ready inverter can provide the most flexibility. However, since you need to completely replace the inverter and alter your system, it is typically the most expensive option. In addition to allowing you to store energy in batteries, this inverter can also work to feed this reserve power back into the grid for net-metering credits. This is the best option when you are installing a new system or replacing your inverter.

Reasons to add batteries to your existing solar array

Panel owners have different reasons for wanting to add a battery to their solar system.

  • The batteries can serve as a backup if the grid goes offline at night or if the panels do not provide enough power during the day.
  • They can supplement power-intensive activities or appliances that require a lot of energy.
  • If you have a grid-tied system, you may experience time-of-use price changes. Peak pricing could make electricity expensive in the evening. You can switch to battery power to avoid a high utility bill.

Some owners may simply want to learn how to install a solar panel to a battery so they can reduce their reliance on grid power and become more self-sufficient.

The upgrade should help you save money on power costs. In other words, you should only upgrade if you need more battery power and if the benefits outweigh the cost of the installation or changes.

Who to hire for the project

The best option for how to add batteries to your existing solar array depends on the current setup, the age of your inverter, and your budget for the upgrade. In Delaware, you will want to contact Star Enrg to handle the changes. Not only do our technicians have the skills to ensure your system is functional and efficient, but we can also take care of any ongoing maintenance so that your equipment provides top-level performance for its entire lifespan.