Storage Battery

What is a Storage Battery?

A storage battery is a particular kind of battery that it used to store energy generated from another source. Often used in conjunction with a solar electricity generation system to power appliances when the sun is not shining.

Key Takeaways:

  • Storage batteries are special batteries used to store electrical energy for later use.
  • Some storage batteries have built in technologies that are able to perform additional tasks to reduce the power demands of a home or business.
  • Most common applications for storage batteries are as emergency backups, for load balancing, or taking advantage of utility incentives.

Understanding Storage Batteries

A type of battery designed for use in home or commercial systems to store solar energy for later use, such as during storms or during times when the sun is not shining. Because storage batteries contain special built-in technology that regular batteries do not, they are able to perform tasks such as load shifting, power inversion, and demand regulation.

Because storage batteries contain this additional technology built in, they are often considered to be all-in-one systems that are often simple to install and very low maintenance. They are also designed to be weatherproof and safe for pets and children to be around.

In the case of commercial buildings, some of the most common applications are for emergency backups, load balancing, and taking advantage of incentives by utility companies. For residential customers, some of the most common applications are as emergency backups, off-grid homes, and for self-consumption during non-sunlight hours.

Two of the Most Important Factors: Capacity & Power

Capacity and power are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a storage battery as they will determine how much electricity a storage battery will be able to store and how much power it will be able to provide at any given moment.

The capacity of a storage battery  is the total amount of electricity it can store as measured in kilowatt-hours, while the power rating will tell a person the total amount of power that it can provide at any given moment as measured in kilowatts. A battery with low capacity but high power will be able to power a large appliance or home for a short period of time, while a storage battery with high capacity but low power will be able to power just a few appliances for a longer period of time.

How Do Storage Batteries Work?

A battery is a device that stores energy and then discharges it by converting chemical energy into electricity. In general, the cells in a battery generate power through thermal, chemical or optical processes by which electrons are collected and transferred through electrodes.

A typical battery cell has two terminals that are called electrodes immersed in a chemical called the electrolyte. The two electrodes are separated by a bridge which carries an electric charge from one side to the other through the electrolyte. The negative terminal gains electrons while the positive terminal loses electrons. 

This exchange of electrons creates an electric current that can be utilized by devices and appliances of all kinds.

Related Terms

Battery – A battery is a storage device for electrical energy, typically in a chemical solution, that can be used as a source of power. Modern batteries often use two terminals, also known as electrodes, that are immersed in a chemical solution and draw electrical charge from one to the other to gather electrons which can be used for power.

Solar-Plus-Storage – Solar-plus-storage refers to a complete system of devices that generate, store, and control the usage of power generated by the light of the sun through the photovoltaic effect.

Solar Monitoring – Solar monitoring is an ambiguous term to refer to a range of activities that include monitoring of photovoltaic systems and solar activity. Most commonly, solar monitoring refers to the suite of systems that observe and report on photovoltaic systems.