How to Use Excess Solar Energy

Solar energy is one of the primary renewable energy sources. Federal tax cuts and incentives encourage Americans to install solar panel arrays. When installing PV modules, it is essential to calculate your house or building’s power consumption. Sometimes, it is possible to miscalculate or reduce your energy demand when installing PVs, giving you excess solar energy.

Solar panels give us clean energy that is friendly to the environment. The technology has continued to advance, and most homes and businesses can afford it. Solar energy has shown great potential and the ability to save on energy costs for homes and businesses. We will look at a few tips to follow when you find you have surplus solar power.

Using Excess Solar Power

When the sun is shining bright, the solar irradiation is high. As a result, your photovoltaic (PV) system can generate more energy than you can consume. There are various ways that you can take advantage of the situation.

Inject Excess Solar Energy to the Grid

Connecting your solar energy to the grid is the best way to manage the excess solar electricity, your home or business produces. When the sun shines, generating DC electricity, the grid-connected inverter helps convert it to AC electricity. You can use this energy in your business or home.

If the PV connected to the grid has more production than consumption, it feeds the surplus into the grid. The electricity that you supply into the grid is metered to provide you with credit depending on the electricity company that you use. It is known as net-metering.

Solar energy generation fluctuates. At night, production stops. The credits that you accumulate when you are producing excess solar power during the day offset the energy that you use from the grid at night.

Producing solar energy in excess and connecting it to the grid allows consumption elsewhere. Additionally, the credit that you receive for supplying electricity reduces your electricity bill. Most states have mandatory net-metering policies.

How it Works

Under this option, the system supplies the surplus energy into the grid. When this happens, the installed meter runs in reverse. When your production reduces or stops, you now draw from the system. The back and forth meter movement ensure that you use the extra energy when you cannot produce enough.

If the solar energy system produces more energy than you have used within a month, your electricity bill gets a credit based on the net Kilowatt-hours you supplied to the grid. If you spend more electricity from the grid, you buy the extra, making up for the difference.

Storing the Excess Photovoltaic Energy

Solar panels adoption has increased significantly across the country. Most people without an option to connect to the grid can choose to use solar energy to store the surplus solar energy. You can also use batteries when still connected to the grid. Solar batteries are useful in the storage of energy for later use.

Batteries with a higher capacity can store more energy. With this, you can store the produced energy and not send it to the grid. When the solar modules generate more power than your home requires, the excess is stored in the batteries. It allows you to draw from the batteries when the PVs are not generating electricity.

In cases where your panels are still grid-connected, the battery is fully charged before the system sends the excess energy to the grid. Therefore, you continue to draw from your storage system and only draw from the grid when the battery discharges. There are various types of batteries that you can select from:

  • Lead-acid solar battery: This type of battery has been in the market for a long time. It is common in off-the-grid systems. They have a shorter life span and lower depth of discharge than others but are least expensive.
  • Lithium-ion batteries: These batteries are more expensive compared to lead-acid batteries. However, they have a higher depth of discharge and a relatively long lifespan. They are also lighter and more compact than the lead-acid.
  • Saltwater batteries: Solar technology is always advancing. The saltwater batteries are the newest entrants in the market. Though they are currently unavailable, they do not contain heavy metals like the other two. They rely on saltwater electrolytes, making them environmentally friendly.

Choosing a suitable battery to match your excess energy storage needs can depend on:

  • Its power and capacity allows it to store enough energy
  • The depth of discharge
  • A battery’s round trip efficiency and
  • Its life expectancy and warranty

Shifting Some Loads to Excess Energy Production Periods

Hotels and residential buildings consume a lot of energy during the morning and evening hours when solar irradiation lowers. In such a case, you will find that energy consumption does not match with its production. Resolving this issue entails shifting energy consumption to hours when the sun is shining, and there is high energy production.

For businesses, such as schools, malls, and offices, electrical consumption is during the day. On other days such as weekends or holidays, the energy consumption during these days lowers dramatically. Additionally, you will find schools ending their activities during the summer break when energy production is high.

Ideally, industrial buildings may have high consumption though they can also experience excess energy production due to inactivity. As you can spot from this pattern, solar generation largely depends on the weather condition.

You can combine all these solar energy production variations to have balanced consumption and prevent surplus power generation. Load management entails shifting some loads to when the energy production is high. For this to happen, the activities must be flexible. Such can include charging electric vehicles, running heavy home appliances, water heating, and many others.

The best thing about load management is that it does not require additional capital like installing a storage capacity. As a result, it is much more profitable. Managing the load is also cost-effective, guaranteeing a quick payback. If load management is not fully effective in absorbing the surplus PV modules’ energy, you can combine it with solar energy storage or connection to the grid.

Take Away

Going solar has many benefits. One such merit is gaining energy freedom. Once you install the solar panel array, you are on a journey to lower your electricity bill. When you have a system producing excess solar energy, you get closer to this goal. The more energy you generate, the easier it becomes to eliminate the electricity bill.

Producing surplus solar energy is beneficial when connected to the grid. With this option, you can use the grid as your storage while you leverage it for credits, thus lowering your utility bill. You can also install a solar battery to store surplus energy. If this is not an option, you can manage your consumption to perform heavy tasks when electricity production is higher.

Do you want to go solar in Texas? Dynamic Slr is the go-to solar panel installation company in your neighborhood. Get in touch with us today and start the journey to a cleaner, cheaper, and environmental-friendly power source.