With battery storage you’ll benefit from every bit of free energy you generate

Solar PV panels only generate electricity during daylight hours. Until recently, this meant switching back to the Grid for power when it went dark.

The new range of affordable lithium-ion solar PV battery storage systems has changed all that. 

Battery storage allows you to ‘bank’ your unused solar power for use day or night. This helps you avoid the expensive peak time Grid charges (known as Triads). And, should you request full EPS functionality, you can also enjoy the peace of mind knowing you have a continued power supply should the Grid go down.

Any electricity still unused can earn you money

If you’re adding a battery storage facility to an existing system that benefits from the government’s old FIT scheme, then you can go on taking advantage of that. 

Even though you are using more of the electricity you generate, your FIT payment will stay the same because you’re paid for all of the energy you generate.

Or, if you’re installing a new system, we’ll be pleased to advise you on how the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) can provide similar benefits.

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So How Does It Work?

Typically only 20%-50% of the electricity generated by the solar panels is used up by the homeowner, leaving the rest to be put back into the Grid.

Until recently battery prices were too expensive and relied on less efficient technologies. With the breakthrough of lithium battery technology solar battery storage is now a reality.

The concept is simple

Your panels will be generating energy during the day and power the appliances that your house is using. The extra energy will be transferred to your battery. Once this is fully charged, the remainder will be fed back into the Grid.

When your panels cease generating electricity at night, the inverter will automatically start using the power you have accumulated from your battery system and your property will run off the energy stored in the battery.

DC or AC battery coupling?

It normally depends on whether your system is existing or new.

Put simply, if we’re installing a completely new solar panel system, then DC coupling may well be the way to go.

If on the other hand you have an existing the benefits from the old government Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) scheme, then AC could be a better choice.

Here’s why:

DC Coupled Batteries


Basic layout diagram of a hybrid solar inverter with DC battery system

This is the simpler of the two coupling options, where the panels and the battery share the same inverter.

The inverter is the ‘brain’ of the system that converts DC current from the panels into the AC used by your home or business. It also provides constant real-time information about the way the system is operating.  

Pros of DC couplings

  • Power transfer is generally more efficient with less energy loss than the AC option
  • It’s usually cheaper to install because the one inverter serves the panels and the battery
  • When the battery & inverter are installed as part of a new system, the units attract VAT at just 5%, rather than 20% if they are retro-fitted to an existing system

Cons of DC couplings

  • Power transfer is generally more efficient with less energy loss than the AC option
  • It’s usually cheaper to install because the one inverter serves the panels and the battery

AC Coupled Batteries


Basic layout diagram of an AC coupled solar battery system

If you have an existing solar panel system that still benefits from the old government Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) scheme, then it will currently be using an AC coupling. 

To protect these profitable payments while also taking advantage of battery storage, it’s normally best to leave the AC panel coupling and existing inverter in place.

 A second inverter is then put in to manage the charging and discharging of the battery. In this way, maximum energy continues to pass directly to the FIT-registered meter, giving you the highest possible income from the scheme.

This also makes retro-fitting  AC couplings is easier and less costly than the DC alternative.

Pros of AC couplings

  • The two inverters – one for panels, one for battery – work in tandem to increase the overall energy in the system
  • No need for batteries and inverters to be installed close to each other.  By placing batteries at room temperature and inverters in a cooler environment, both can work at their maximum efficiency
  • Because battery and panels use separate inverters, any fault in one won’t affect the other’s operation

Cons of AC couplings

  • Generally the power transfer in the system is slightly less efficient than a DC system
  • The need for a second inverter increases the hardware cost
  • The cost of retro-fitting battery storage to an existing solar system attracts VAT at 20%, rather than the 5% for complete new panel / battery storage installations.

Are you interested in installing a solar energy battery storage system in your home or business?

If you’re looking to further reduce your reliance on the Grid while making better use of your solar energy and cheap ‘Off-peak’ Electricity tariff charges, then a solar battery storage system is for you.

Atlantic Renewables can provide a detailed quote and free, friendly advice on how to take the next step in reducing your carbon footprint.

Atlantic Renewables are your local Solar Energy Battery Storage Design & Installation Specialist

We pride ourselves on our friendly approach to all installs and quotes and never use high pressure sales tactics. We can provide you with a completely free quote and explain the best options for you and your budget.

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Atlantic Renewables

Atlantic Renewables are a solar PV design and installation company, providing affordable solutions in Manchester, Cheshire and throughout the North West.