Can you charge a battery from the grid?

2nd May 2024

Can you charge a solar battery from the grid?

This is a question we get asked frequently and the answer is yes, a battery can be charged from the grid.

The ideal solar power system combines solar panels, a solar storage battery and the grid.  Solar panels are great at generating clean renewable energy and their partner, solar batteries, store the excess energy to power your home when the sun stops shining.

However, many countries have unpredictable weather at times and as such, can’t always guarantee all the sunshine required to charge your solar battery consistently. Others, like the Soltaro AIO2 is designed to run multiple charging cycles so an overnight charge using cheaper low tariff energy from the grid is a real bonus. The multiple cycles ensure that you can take advantage of grid power using low or ‘off peak’ tariffs to charge your battery.

Morever, by charging your battery overnight, it’s ready to go when your household wakes, even if it’s before the start starts shining!  Use your stored energy and once discharged, daytime solar is generated, charging your battery again ready for you to use again in the evening.

Most batteries are designed to run one charging cycle a day.

Great if you live in a permanently sunny climate. Not so good if you live somewhere the weather isn’t always guaranteed and not as flexible for modern living.

Realistically you may need to top up your battery from time to time via the grid.

The ability to top up or even fully charge your battery from the grid makes a solar battery even more flexible in its use. You could even have a battery without solar panels providing you were able to take advantage of low energy tariffs. But for the majority, the ability to top up via the grid, is a useful addition to solar panels.

Usually, batteries can be programmed to take power from the grid when solar power is unavailable. Smart batteries have sensors built in so that can automatically switch from solar to grid and vice versa as required. Some older batteries however may need to be manually switched to this function.

The right tariff

Most countries have some version of ‘time of use’ pricing. This means that the price per kWh varies depending on what time of day it was used. Taking advantage of low off peak tariffs are excellent to keep your battery topped up when solar isn’t sufficient.

Utilising grid electricity alongside solar means you don’t need to splash out on an oversized solar system to get a guaranteed amount of energy. This could potentially save you a bundle on a smaller solar system too.

If you want to take advantage of battery storage, with or without solar, give us a call. We’ll discuss your energy requirements and recommend the best solution for your needs and your budget. Click here to drop us a line.


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