What is Residential Solar Energy Storage?

The installation of residential renewable energy systems, including geothermal heat pumps, and wind or solar energy systems, is a growing trend in the UK, both with regards to solar power for homes as well as for businesses. However, did you know that you can store excess solar energy? Solar energy storage is a crucial consideration for solar panel owners, offering sustainability and the ability to use surplus energy during electrical outages. 

Explore more about solar energy storage solutions and how they contribute to improving the carbon footprint of UK homeowners.


The Basics of Household Solar Energy Storage


Residential solar energy storage systems present a novel approach for storing surplus energy generated by home solar panels. In contrast to conventional setups that depend solely on immediate consumption or grid feedback, these systems introduce an autonomous element, enabling homeowners to store excess energy for future use. This shift in approach transforms solar power from a real-time resource into a flexible, on-demand energy reserve. 


How Does Solar Energy Storage Work?


The process starts with the solar panels turning sunlight into electricity, but what makes home solar storage systems special is the addition of powerful batteries. These batteries work like energy banks, collecting and saving extra electricity produced when the sun shines the brightest. When it gets dark or cloudy, they release that stored energy, ensuring a steady and dependable power source for your home. 

As the panels convert sunlight into electricity, any extra energy beyond what is immediately needed goes into the built-in battery. These batteries, often using lithium-ion technology for better efficiency, play a key role in the system by carefully saving up energy for later use. 

Three Main Types of Solar Energy Storage Systems


Solar energy storage systems are employed by both individuals and energy companies to capitalise on various advantages. These systems convert electricity into chemical, thermal, or mechanical energy for storage and reconversion when needed. There are three primary types based on the energy transformation method.

Thermal Energy Storage

Thermal energy storage systems store electricity as heat in a fluid. When additional electricity is required, the system utilises the stored heat to produce steam, powering a turbine to generate electricity.

Mechanical Energy Storage

Mechanical energy encompasses both kinetic and potential energy. Storage systems utilising mechanical energy include flywheels and pumped-storage hydropower. Flywheels transform electricity into mechanical energy to spin a wheel-and-shaft system connected to a generator, while pumped-storage hydropower converts electricity into potential energy by moving water uphill and releasing it downhill into a turbine.

Chemical Energy Storage

Chemical energy transformations involve batteries, generating a chemical reaction to store energy. When electricity is needed, the battery reverses the chemical reaction, producing an electric current to discharge the stored energy. Batteries, particularly useful for home solar energy storage, play a key role in this category.


Advantages of Storing Solar Energy

As noted earlier, solar energy storage provides benefits such as a reliable energy source and dependability during power outages. Here, we’ve outlined additional advantages of energy storage solutions for your home.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Battery storage allows better control over solar energy usage, reducing reliance on fossil fuel-based utility power and lowering your property’s carbon footprint, as you move towards being carbon neutral. Large solar batteries can also support electric vehicles and turn household appliances into ‘solar-powered devices.’

Balancing Electric Loads

Without storage, electricity generated by solar panels must be used immediately. Energy storage allows surplus power to be saved for peak usage times. This ensures a consistent power supply, even when solar generation is low, such as during the night or when there are less favourable weather conditions. 

Reducing Costs on Utility Bills

Battery storage helps lower utility bills. It allows you to use more of the solar power you generate, discharging stored energy during nighttime or cloudy periods, compensating for reduced compensation for excess energy sent to the grid. 

Filling in the Gaps

Short-term solar energy storage ensures a steady energy flow during brief interruptions in generation, like passing clouds or routine maintenance.

Energy Resilience

Solar energy storage provides a protective buffer during disruptions or outages, decentralising energy sources and enhancing grid resilience against events like wildfires or severe weather. 


Global Residential Solar Energy Storage System Market: Emerging Patterns


The landscape of the global residential solar energy storage system market is undergoing significant changes due to emerging trends. Market growth is propelled by the growing embrace of renewable energy sources, government incentives, and decreasing costs of solar energy storage systems. Technological progress, including the incorporation of AI and smart home automation, enhances energy efficiency and reduces carbon footprints is contributing to the rising demand in the market.