What to Expect When You Install a Home Battery System

What to Expect When You Install a Home Battery System

Once you’ve made the decision to install a home battery system, it’s important to understand how to choose the best size for your solar system and your needs—and how to use that battery system most efficiently. Many people don’t realize that any battery system you install with your solar system has certain limitations and best-use practices. At Ipsun it’s important to us to be straightforward about what home batteries can and can’t do, so that you make the right decision for your home and know what to expect.

What to Know Pre-install: Minimum Battery Size Limit

One thing we really like about the Enphase IQ battery is that it is modular, so you can start small and grow your system over time. But it’s important to understand that there are minimum size requirements for what you can install. 

The amperage of the breakers for your highest electrical loads will dictate the minimum battery size possible. See the chart below to get a feel for what that means to you, and check out our handy video to help you locate the highest load as well as the necessary space for your system. 

This guide will give you an idea of the right size battery for your home, but not to worry, it’s not all on you. Your solar consultant will make sure to get you set up with the correct system for your needs. 

Ideally, your batteries should be installed within 20 feet of the main electrical service panel. Check out our guide to locating and reading your main electrical panel, and assessing your space:

Check out our Enphase IQ (Encharge) battery guide for more information about the space required for Enphase IQ batteries.

What electrical loads can my battery system back up in my home?

It’s important to know that in our area, where net metering is offered, a battery is primarily useful in the event of a power outage. When the power goes out due to a storm or other grid issue, your batteries will switch on seamlessly, creating a microgrid in your home. This system can power the essential loads in your home, but in most cases should not be viewed as a whole house power source. 

Most homeowners we work with install two IQ 10 batteries, which enables them to back up these critical loads:

  • Lights and outlets
  • Refrigerator
  • Wifi
  • Well pump and/or sump pump
  • Gas Furnace Blower

How long will the battery power last?

How long your battery power lasts depends on your energy use. It’s important to be aware of your energy use when running on battery power so that you can conserve your energy for the most essential loads, like those listed above. A good rule of thumb is to minimize using any appliances that use electricity for heating. This includes an electric clothes dryer, electric tankless water heater, electric space heaters, electric oven, and even your hairdryer. 

A cool aspect of the IQ battery system is the ability to control the electrical loads in your home via the Enphase App:

Obviously, the bigger your battery system is, the less you need to worry about draining all of your stored power. Regardless, we encourage all of our customers to think wisely about how they use their battery system during a power outage so that you can keep the lights on for as long as it takes to get the power restored. 

Talk to us!

Get in touch with us to talk through your specific situation and to hear what the options are for battery storage in your home. You can give us a call at 866-484-7786, or click below. We love talking energy storage with you!

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