By Madeline Acri
My name is Madeline and I am the Energy Storage Manager at Soligent. My mission is to inform and empower homeowners, installers, and the Soligent team to be the most knowledgeable about residential solar plus storage systems. When it comes to sizing and selecting batteries and battery-based inverters for a site, there are many factors that go into play. The good news is that effectively qualifying a project is a great way to ensure a good customer experience. Setting proper expectations with a customer along the way can be simplified by keeping some important questions top of mind.
The first qualifying question: what is the budget? Discussing budget can be the elephant in the room. Establishing clear estimates for budget is paramount for setting good expectations. If cash flow is an issue for funding the project, there are financing options available for solar plus storage as well as stand-alone storage installations. In our upcoming storage webinar, I will delve into a few different aspects of a battery that may impact the cost of the system: cycle life, total capacity, and enclosure style.
The second qualifying question: for what usage? A battery could be powering an off-grid well pump cycling each day or it could be a stand-by bank for a fridge and lightswitch cycling only four days a year.
The third qualifying question: how much load / power? A battery can provide power for a single, small, continuous load or multiple, large, variable speed loads. Making these distinctions is paramount for precisely sizing a system.
The final qualifying question: how long to sustain / energy? The well pump may be located in a Nevada desert where the sun strongly shines many hours a day. Or the well pump may be in Anchorage Alaska, where the sun shines very little in the winter months. If a load must run every day, the battery bank size must accommodate even the shortest amounts of sun hours for charging. Overall, making sure the customer understands how much a system will cost and what features the system provides are equally important when discussing solar plus storage installations. Tune in to hear more about this topic at our next storage webinar!