It’s no secret that solar energy is one of the fastest-growing sources of clean, renewable power. As homeowners and businesses continue to invest in solar panels and systems, a common question arises: How can solar energy be stored when the sun is not shining? The need to have access to solar-generated electricity during periods of cloud cover or nighttime is crucial. In this blog post, we delve into the various methods of storing solar energy and the latest innovations that are currently being developed. Keep reading to learn more about these exciting storage solutions and how they can revolutionize our energy future.
Solar Energy Solutions
The primary concern in the utilization of solar energy is its intermittent nature. Sunlight is not available at night or during cloudy days, leading to the discontinuous generation of electricity. This issue can be addressed with robust storage solutions, which can store excess energy produced during the day and supply it when needed. Below are some of the most promising solar energy storage solutions currently available or under development.
Solar batteries have grown in popularity as a reliable solution for storing solar energy. They store excess electricity produced by solar panels during daytime hours and release it when there is limited or no access to solar power. The capacity and duration of power storage in these batteries depend on their size and specifications. Some of the leading solar battery brands include Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem RESU, and Sonnen Eco.
Pumped Hydropower Storage
Pumped hydro storage systems store excess solar electricity by using it to pump water from a lower reservoir to a higher one. When solar energy production is low, the water is released back to the lower reservoir through turbines, generating electricity on demand. Although this method requires significant investment in infrastructure and a suitable geographical location, it has proven to be efficient and effective for large-scale solar energy storage.
Thermal Energy Storage
Thermal energy storage systems absorb and store excess solar heat that can be later utilized for a variety of applications. Examples of thermal storage solutions include molten salt storage for concentrated solar power plants, which store heat in large tanks of molten salt to produce steam and electricity even during the absence of sunlight. Another example is phase change materials, which change their state (from solid to liquid or vice versa) to store thermal energy, which can then heat or cool buildings.
Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES)
This innovative method involves the compression of air during times of excess solar power generation. The air is stored in underground caverns or large containers and released when the need arises. When compressed air is released, it expands and drives turbines to produce electricity. While this technology is not yet widespread, it holds great potential for large-scale solar energy storage.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen fuel cells hold the promise of being a clean and efficient method of energy storage. Excess solar electricity can be used to produce hydrogen gas through electrolysis, splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can be stored in containers or underground tanks, and when electricity is required, the hydrogen fuel cells convert it back into electricity, emitting only water vapor as a byproduct.
Get Started with Solar Today in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina!
Solar energy storage is an essential component for unlocking the full potential of solar power. With the availability of innovative and efficient storage solutions, we can ensure a consistent supply of solar electricity, even during nighttime and cloudy days. By adopting these cutting-edge storage technologies, we are one step closer to achieving a cleaner, more sustainable future powered by renewable energy from the sun. Contact Better Tomorrow Solar today and talk to our friendly team about getting started with solar in your area!