How Home Solar Battery Backups Support Energy Independence

While some people think they are protected from a power outage by their solar systems, they are wrong. Thanks to a life-saving feature of Solar Inverters, your solar panels will disconnect from the grid anytime a power outage occurs so that Utility workers don’t get electrocuted by solar electricity feeding back onto ‘dead’ power lines when they’re working.

As climate change progresses, we all notice that weather patterns across the country are becoming increasingly volatile and unpredictable. In my region, on April 1st, 2023, a total of 8 tornadoes ripped through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in an unprecedented record-setting weather event for springtime in the Northeastern United States.  

Most people remember the infamous winter storm in Texas, which was seconds away from rendering the grid unusable for months. 

As weather volatility increases and more people move to urban centers, the grid is receiving more stress and becoming increasingly unreliable. 

One way consumers can avoid these worries is by achieving grid independence via a home battery backup and storage system for their solar panels. These backup systems can even help the grid by promoting a decentralized power system in which power is sourced from multiple individuals and not just one source. 

In turn, this model provides greater grid stability, helps offset rising costs, protects your home during weather-related outages, and allows consumers to achieve an energy-independent home

In this article, we’ll examine the role of home solar battery backup systems and how they are helping to promote grid independence and stability. We will also look at the role of virtual power plants and provide a list of solar batteries we have tested to see which is the best brand for your home.

What Is Grid Independence?

The Self-Reinforcing Nature of The Clean Energy Life

One aspect of the Clean Energy Life that has been consistent throughout my own journey is its self-sustaining nature. That will become clearer and clearer throughout the journey, but I want to touch on it here as well, to really drive it home. Because adoption of The Clean Energy Life essentially entails building up incremental energy independence step-by-step over time, each change you make in its pursuit helps to fulfill and sustain the next.

Using my clean energy journey as an example, the installation of my solar panels eliminated the vast majority of my monthly electrical bill. Those savings were then crucial in allowing me to replace my old gas cars with electric ones. Now that I have those electric cars, my monthly gasoline bills are pennies on the dollar compared to what they used to be. Those savings now combine with the monthly electricity bill savings to help me to purchase the home battery system needed to store my excess power whenever my solar generation is higher than my utilization. Once I can save that energy, I’ll be able to reduce my monthly power bills entirely, or even sell my stored excess power back. The savings provided by each stage of the journey build-up to help fund the next stage, and it can’t be overstated how important that self-sustaining, self-reinforcing nature of The Clean Energy Life really is.

Grid independence is achieved when consumers can rely on their energy generation to handle all their energy needs. 

Until recently, the idea of grid independence was reserved for fiction. 

However, modern-day solar panels and home battery backup systems have offered consumers a reliable means to rely entirely on their electrical production without help from the grid. 


Grid independence can be accomplished by severing your household entirely from the grid or remaining connected to provide greater reliability for your energy needs. 

There are many benefits of grid independence, especially as they relate to home solar energy production, including:

Powering your home with renewables like solar offers an infinite energy source to power our needs. However, true grid independence and stability can only be achieved with the help of an efficient home battery backup system. 

Solar battery backup systems store excess energy and allow you to offset peak demand by storing energy when usage is low and saving it for when use is high. 

With that said, there are several types of battery storage systems in this space, and understanding how batteries work will allow you to purchase the right one for your solar energy system.

How Do Home Battery Backups Work?

As direct current electricity is produced from your solar panels, it runs to an inverter which converts direct current into alternating current electricity and then goes to your breaker box to power your home. 

A home solar battery can be installed after the inverter, which allows the battery to decide how electricity is regulated. This system is known as AC coupling and is typically easier to install, though it’s slightly less efficient than DC coupling, as you’ll discover. 

In DC-coupled systems, a charge controller may be implemented after solar collection, which regulates voltage and current, and allows energy to flow from your PV panel directly to the battery. DC coupling is typically the most efficient because it only requires electricity to be transmitted from DC to AC once it hits the inverter. 

Both systems are relatively efficient, but we should note that AC coupling is easier to install and allows for energy storage from grid electricity. 

Regarding physical batteries, most solar backup systems use lithium-ion batteries, which are the same type of battery you use in your phones. 

Lead-acid batteries are also available for home solar backup storage, but they typically have lower lifespans and a much smaller depth of charge (DoD). 

Researching your battery’s DoD, lifespan, and how it’s installed is essential in deciding which solar battery backup suits you.

Home Solar Battery Storage: Pros and Cons



With these benefits in mind, let’s explore 11 ways to travel more sustainably and how each tip can directly benefit you and local communities.  

Solar Batteries: Buying Considerations

Not all solar batteries are built the same, and navigating the space is difficult for many consumers if they don’t know what attributes to look for. So here are five things to research when buying a new solar battery backup. 

Power Rating:

Power rating determines how much electricity your battery can discharge at once. If you plan to run multiple appliances, especially during the night or during rolling blackouts, you will need a battery with a higher power rating.


The larger the capacity, the more electricity your battery can store. Ranges for a single battery can go from 0.25 kWh to 20 kWh. Remember that the average house only consumes roughly 30 kWh per day and that most of this electricity will be consumed while your panels are active.

Depth-of-Discharge (DoD)

While capacity is important, depth-of-discharge (DoD) measures how much capacity your battery can efficiently use. Since batteries require some held charge to prevent deterioration, a higher DoD means you can access more of a battery’s capacity. Luckily, most lithium-ion batteries come with an average DoD of 95%.


Solar batteries have a tremendously high price tag and only last 5 to 15 years. While you may pay more for a longer-lasting battery, it will save you money if you plan to replace them once they deteriorate.


The average cost of a solar battery backup is around ~$18,000, which doesn’t include your solar panel or the fact that you may need multiple batteries. Luckily, there are some tax credits available to help offset the cost.

5 Home Battery Storage Solutions for Your Solar Panels

1. SunPower SunVault


This system is only compatible with SunPower Solar Panel Systems.

Equally important is the amount of water and energy you use at hotels and other destinations. While you most likely won’t get charged for these amenities, it should be a common courtesy to limit your energy consumption when not necessary.

Developing these habits can also translate to your home consumption and help you save money in your day-to-day life. 

The SunPower SunVault is one of the most efficient batteries on the market, offering a 7 kW continuous power rating, and is available in 13kW, 26kW, or 39kW battery sizes as single or double units. One battery promises to power an 1800 sq. ft. home for 3+ days in the middle of a power outage. 

It is by far one of the most efficient and affordable batteries on the market, and we have had great experience with the SunPower brand in the past. 

2. Sonnen EcoLinx

The Sonnen EcoLink is an AC-coupled device that allows you to store energy from any device, not just solar panels. 

The main reason we love the EcoLinx 1.5 is that homeowners can purchase an external battery module that adds an additional 2kW of storage capacity, allowing you to scale your solar system easily. With the EcoLinx 1.5 or 30, you won’t have to buy a second battery. 

3. Tesla Powerwall 2

The Tesla Powerwall is probably the best universal battery backup system for its price range. With a 13.5kW capacity, this big battery can power your home for more than a day during an outage, and the Tesla App allows you to track your power usage.

A Tesla-certified engineer must complete installation, though the battery is compatible with most solar panel systems.

4. Generac PWRcell Revolutionary Battery Storage System

This modular battery can be installed inside or outside your home and can be adapted to nearly any system. Customers can also choose from a range of battery sizes, from small 9kW batteries to beefy 36kW batteries. 

However, prices tend to be higher than almost any other battery on the market, although installation is simplified. 

How Many Home Battery Backups Do I Need?

Determining the number of solar batteries you will need for a home collection system depends on the factors above. 

First, we should note that the amount of electricity you can produce and collect simultaneously depends upon the size of your roof and solar panels. 

From there, you’ll need to determine how much electricity you consume at peak demand times and compare that to the amount of capacity and the power rating of your battery. 

For the most part, a single 15kWh to 20kWh will be sufficient for most homes, especially those trying to save money and remain grid independent. 

However, commercial builders may require multiple batteries, especially if they are entirely grid independent. 

Solar Battery Tax Credits

The high price tag of solar batteries may seem excessive, but the government has made it easier to access this technology with the help of tax credits. 

Federal energy tax credits are available for solar batteries installed between December 31, 2021, and before January 1, 2033. The credits cover up to 30% of the final sales amount, allowing you to recoup thousands of dollars for eligible systems. 

The Future Role of Virtual Power Plants

Individual grid independence is one of the perks that a solar battery backup can provide, but did you know it can also provide greater grid stability and interconnectedness? 

Virtual power plants consist of an interconnected network of distributed energy resources (DER), such as your home solar panels and battery systems. Using the smart features already being manufactured in many home solar systems, a virtual power plant offers the theoretical capability to regulate home energy usage and collection across the entire grid, providing more stability. 


The decentralized nature of virtual power plants can benefit all customers who participate by providing the grid with stable power and receiving stability if your battery ever proves too unreliable. 


Clearly, the future of energy production is bright for consumers and favors decentralization. Moreover, by promoting grid independence, the grid becomes a little more stable by reducing strain and improving its existing infrastructure.  

Be sure to perform your due diligence so you can purchase the right home battery backup system to achieve grid independence. 

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