24 Apr Should I get off of the power grid?

Many homeowners in Maine want to get off the utility grid and become completely energy independent. An off-grid solar energy system with batteries is a great power solution for families that are not connected to the power grid. A new generation of battery technology is now available in Maine that provides a reliable solar power storage solution.

Innovative battery technology is now available in Maine through Sundog Solar. Lithium-ion batteries require little maintenance, have a high energy density, and are far more durable than lead-acid batteries. This proven technology has been used in electric vehicles and cell phones and is now becoming a common solar energy storage solution in Maine.

Many rural properties in Maine are not connected to the power grid, and installing a solar panel system with batteries is an ideal option. Extending the utility grid can be prohibitively expensive in many areas, and it can be more affordable and environmentally friendly to install an off-grid solar energy system. Having an off-grid house also means you will not pay monthly delivery fees to the utility company, resulting in monthly savings.

Grid-tied solar systems can also have solar batteries, providing emergency power during grid outages. One big advantage to being on the utility grid is the ability to be able to sell excess power to the electric company under a net metering agreement. Imagine the power company crediting you for power!

lithium-ion solar batteries

Will batteries increase the cost of my solar system?

The cost of solar batteries depends largely on the type and capacity of the batteries. Having batteries adds several thousand to the cost of the solar system. Lithium-ion batteries typically cost more than lead-acid batteries but have a dramatically longer lifecycle.

Solar battery technology is advancing and lithium-ion batteries are growing in popularity in solar applications. The Tesla Powerwall has caused public interest in solar batteries to soar, and demand for solar storage technologies has gained significant press coverage. Sleek and attractive options are expanding solar storage capabilities.


How does living with an off-grid solar system impact my lifestyle?

If you are living in an off-grid home with solar power, you need to be more mindful of your home energy consumption and the battery levels. If you consume more electricity than usual or there is overcast weather, your solar batteries can become discharged. In this case, a backup generator is required to maintain the battery state of charge. Grid-tied homes with battery backup do not need to monitor the power level in the batteries as the systems that Sundog Solar installs automatically charge the batteries as needed.

How can I compare the different solar battery options?

There are several important factors to consider when installing a solar power system with batteries. The performance, energy density, cost, dimensions, available power, safety, performance, lifespan, and warranty of the solar batteries are all important factors.

Sundog Solar installs LG Chem, Blue Planet, Rolls Surrette, Pika Energy, Tesla Powerwall, and Sonnen batteries. We customize each solar battery solution to your needs, designing the best solar system for your home or business. Sundog Solar installs two types of lithium-ion batteries throughout Maine: lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate (LFP).


What is the lifespan of solar batteries?

This depends on how frequently and how much of the total energy capacity of the battery is discharged during use and the type of battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries have the longest lifespan of the solar storage technologies that Sundog Solar installs and a greater percentage of the total charge can be used without damaging the lifespan of the battery.  

Batteries have a limited number of cycles.  Blue Planet lithium-ion batteries have an 8,000 cycle lifespan and a 15-year performance warranty and a 21-year life expectancy. By contrast, Roll Surrette lead-acid batteries have a lifespan of 1,280 cycles and a 7-year prorated warranty.


What type of solar battery provides the best value for my application?

This varies depending on if you have an on-grid or off-grid solar system, the project budget, the desired lifespan of the batteries, the size of your essential power loads, and battery storage limitations. Call Sundog Solar today to speak with a solar energy specialist to learn about solar batteries for your home or business.


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