Wed, 29 Nov 2023

How to Store Solar Energy and How Long Does It Last?

18 May 2023, 17:24 GMT+10

Today's homes are more eco-friendly than ever. Their internal environments are controlled by smart home technologies, which allow the homeowner to instantly turn up or down temperatures and airflow.

Solar energy is a large part of those green homeowners'. They enjoy the challenge of creating their own energy and storing it for future use. You may be wondering - though, how to store solar energy.

That's what this guide is for! Read on for more info on effectively storing the energy your solar panels have collected from the sun.

Battery Storage

Battery storage is an efficient way to store solar energy. Batteries can store energy produced from solar panels during the day, allowing the energy to be used when the sun is not shining. To effectively store solar energy with battery storage, the batteries must be charged during the day while the sun provides energy to the solar panels.

After the batteries are charged, they can power appliances and lights when the sun is not shining. Battery storage typically lasts for months or even years, depending on the type of battery and the conditions in which it is stored.

To ensure its longevity, the batteries must be stored in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. With proper maintenance and storage, battery systems can provide efficient power storage for years to come.

Here are different forms of battery storage:


Storing energy generated from solar energy requires special equipment to hold the energy for long periods of time. Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries are the most commonly used for this purpose. NiCd batteries contain nickel and cadmium cells that are capable of storing and releasing power both quickly and slowly over periods of time.

These batteries can hold up to 1000 watts of energy, and depending on the model and size, they can last up to 10 years. The benefit of using NiCd batteries is that they can also be quickly charged and discharged.

To ensure optimal performance, it's essential to regularly monitor the state of charge and recharge them when needed. With proper care and maintenance, NiCd batteries can remain reliable sources of stored solar energy over extended periods of time.

Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are efficient, have a long cycle life, and are usually a good fit for energy storage. Lithium-ion batteries need to be sized properly to store solar energy effectively, as they come in a variety of sizes ranging from small to large.

Each battery should be sized to provide enough energy to cover the energy needs of the particular application. Once the battery is properly sized, the charge should be managed appropriately in order to get the most out of the battery.

To do this, the battery should be recharged when it is not yet at full capacity and should never be left unattended or overcharged. Lithium-ion batteries can last up to 10 years, making them an ideal choice for solar energy storage.

Lead-Acid Battery

Storing solar energy with a lead-acid battery is currently the most cost-effective way to save this energy. To store solar energy, the power must first be sent to a charge controller, which regulates the energy and directs it to the battery's positive and negative terminals. The battery then stores the energy until it is needed.

Lead-acid batteries last up to five years before they must be replaced, but they do require maintenance. The temperature should be consistently monitored, and equalized charges must be applied periodically.

To maximize their efficiency and performance, the battery should never be discharged below half of its rated capacity, and the cells should be filled with water before each use. Ultimately, the longevity and reliability of lead-acid batteries make them an excellent choice for storing solar energy.

Thermal Storage

Thermal storage is a form of energy storage technology used to store solar energy when needed. Thermal energy storage systems capture heat from various sources, such as the sun, and store it in hot water, warm air, or some other type of material.

This stored heat can be used for heating, cooling, and other applications when needed. The amount of energy stored in the system will depend on the size of the tank and the material used to store the energy. Thermal storage systems typically last for several years or more, although the storage system should be serviced regularly to ensure safety and optimal performance.

The cost of a thermal energy storage system depends on factors such as size, material, location, and the type of application. There are three mechanical energy storage systems you can choose from:


Storing solar energy using a flywheel is becoming increasingly popular as it is a clean and efficient approach to energy storage. Flywheels are mechanical devices that are used to transfer energy through the rotary motion of a spinning disc.

This allows a mechanical system to draw power from an energy source, such as solar, for later use. Thermal storage flywheels are able to store solar energy until it is needed.

How long does it last? Depending on the battery's size and the flywheel's speed, solar energy stored in a thermal storage flywheel could stay viable for several hours.

Pumped Hydro

Storing solar energy is a much sought-after option for homeowners looking to reduce their dependence on the electrical grid. With the increase in the use of solar panels, there are now several different ways to store solar energy.

One of the most efficient and cost-effective methods of storing solar energy is using "Pumped Hydro." In this method, excess energy is stored underground in the form of water in a reservoir.

When needed, the water is pumped to a higher elevation. This is similar to how a traditional hydroelectric power plant works. The water is then released back into a lower-elevation reservoir as needed. It is then converted into energy for use.

Typically, this type of storage system can last for a few days, depending on the water storage. With its operational reliability and relatively low cost, Pumped Hydro is an excellent option for homeowners looking to store solar energy.

Compressed Air

The most common form of thermal storage for solar energy is compressed air. Compressed air is created by using concentrated solar energy to heat air and then compressing it until it is highly pressurized.

Once the air is compressed, it can be stored and used to power machinery. The duration of the thermal storage depends upon the system in question. However, most systems can store energy for up to 24 hours.

Compressed air energy storage systems are low in cost and considered one of the most efficient and economical forms of thermal energy storage. These systems can store excess energy produced during peak solar hours, which can then be used later when there is less sunlight available.

Thermal storage of solar energy through compressed air efficiently stores energy and provides access to it when needed.

Mechanical Storage

Solar energy can be stored using mechanical storage. One example of mechanical storage is a flywheel, where energy is stored as kinetic energy. To store solar energy using this method requires the rapid spinning of a wheel connected to a motor.

The motor is charged using solar energy, which is stored using the centrifugal force provided by the spinning wheel. The wheel then slowly releases the energy as it stores. This stored energy can last 8 to 24 hours if the wheel is spinning fast enough and the design is efficient.

Other mechanical storage systems, such as compressed air and pumped hydropower, are regularly used to store solar energy. Mechanical storage is an excellent option for storing solar energy with a good efficiency rate and a long-lasting capacity.

Solar Fuels

Solar fuels are a great way to store solar energy for long-term use. Solar fuels convert neutron and electromagnetic radiation into chemical energy by breaking down water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

These atoms can then be combined to form more complex molecules like methane, an important energy source that can be used for power generation and transportation. Unlike other forms of renewable energy like wind and solar, solar fuels can last for long periods without needing to be replenished.

For example, solar fuel cells can be used for energy storage for up to 10 years. They can also be stored for long periods without losing energy or degrading quality.

As such, solar fuels are an excellent option for those wishing to have energy stored for longer periods.

Virtual Storage

Solar energy can be virtually stored through the Smart Grid System, making renewable energy resources more efficient and viable. Solar energy is collected and stored through the Smart Grid through the virtual network of connected devices. This can then be utilized at peak times.

This virtual storage is an effective way to store this energy, as it is reliable and will not be lost or suffer degradation due to transportation or decay. The duration of the stored energy is also extensive as long as the weather is favorable for solar production.

Virtual energy storage systems can store excess energy for days or weeks, making it ready to use when needed. It is also cost-effective, reducing the need for expensive physical energy storage systems.

Virtual storage is the most beneficial and efficient way to store solar energy long-term.

Benefits of Storing Solar Energy

Solar energy has been growing in popularity because of the environmental and cost benefits associated with its use. By storing solar energy, households and businesses can have a constant supply of energy to power their operations.

Solar energy storage can be used alone or as part of a hybrid system that integrates renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. This approach helps to reduce both energy costs and emissions. This can result in a more reliable, cost-effective energy supply.

Storing solar energy helps to harness the intermittent nature of solar production. This makes electricity production more consistent and reliable.

Solar-generated electricity can be stored in batteries. It can be used during times of peak electricity demand.

This can provide a backup power supply during a power outage. This also helps to ensure continuity of operations.

Solar energy storage can also be used to drive demand management. It helps to adjust the energy balance in the grid and lower costs to both consumers and utilities.

Overall, storing solar energy is an essential component of the future sustainable energy infrastructure.

Factors to Consider When Storing Solar Energy

Storing solar energy is an essential factor to consider when planning to use solar energy systems. It's necessary to understand the different types of storage available and the factors involved in making the right decision. Battery bank size and type, charge controllers, and inverters are all things to consider.

When selecting the proper battery bank, check the capacity, voltage, and cycle life rating. Having the right size and type of charge controller and inverter will ensure your system is regulated and the flow of electricity is properly regulated.

Additionally, make sure your storage device is waterproof and heat resistant. This is to keep your stored energy safe from the elements.

It's also essential to monitor the stored energy levels. Carefully manage the charge cycle to prevent overcharging and preserve battery life.

Finally, consider the cost of the storage unit, installation fees, and any other accessories that may be required. Taking the time to research and make the right decisions will ensure you have a successful solar energy storage system.

If you are looking to find solar panels, visit Blue Raven Solar. Get started with your investment today!

Explore More How To Store Solar Energy

Solar energy is an abundant and renewable energy source that can be stored for long-term use. Properly designed systems can store solar energy for days, weeks, or even months.

To maximize efficiency, research the different methods on how to store solar energy and choose the one that best fits your needs. Start saving energy today and make a positive impact on the environment!

If you want to explore the best topics, we've got you covered. Check out some of our other blogs today!

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