My name is Madeline Acri 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 + 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 the budget can be the elephant in the room. Establishing clear estimates for a budget is paramount for setting good expectations. If cash flow is an issue for funding the project, there are financing options available for solar + storage as well as stand-alone storage installations. In our upcoming storage webinar, I’ll 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 a 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 the 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, ensuring the customer understands how much a system will cost and what features the system provides are equally important when discussing solar + storage installation. Tune in to hear more about this topic at our next storage webinar!