Do You Need Batteries?

We're On Call 24/7

702-614-4900

Operating Hours

Mon – Fri 7:00am to 4:00pm

Email Address

info@robcoelectriclv.com

Site Management

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,

Get a Quote On Our Services

There is a lot of talk about solar + storage or batteries attached to solar systems, but most systems do not come with a battery. There are some very good reasons for that. To help you decide if a battery is a good fit for your project, first you need to understand what they do and how they work.

What is a battery good for?

A battery attached to your solar array is like the battery in your cell phone or laptop. It gets charged by sunlight hitting your panels and will discharge that power in two ways.

BACK UP POWER: If the power goes out for any reason at any time, your home will switch to battery backup power.

LOAD SHIFTING/POWER STORAGE: The battery will store excess solar production to use later in the day or in the month.

Both of those sound awfully useful, but let’s dig a bit deeper and see if they make sense in Las Vegas.

Batteries for backup power

Batteries are not included with solar systems by default because they are still quite expensive compared to the benefits. Most systems in Las Vegas and surrounding areas are connected to the power grid (grid-tied). The power company’s grid acts like a virtual battery “storing” excess power production as credits on your power bill. Those credits then pay for the power you need at night. Unlike adding a physical battery which can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $50,000, you will not pay any additional cost for this “virtual battery.”  You should understand that when the power goes out, a standard grid-tied solar system will shut off, too. This is required by electrical code and is in place for the safety of the utility workers while they restore power. Unexpected power coming from your house would be a hazard to them. As soon as the grid is back up, the system will wake up on it’s own and start making juice again. Here in Las Vegas, with our very stable power grid, we rarely see outages of more than a few minutes, so spending an extra $8,000 or more to have backup power from a physical battery really doesn’t make sense.

Batteries for Load Shifting/Power Storage

Load shifting means storing power made at one time to use at a different time. In order for load shifting to be beneficial to you financially, your power company needs to charge lower prices in the morning and higher prices in the evening – like they do in California, Arizona and Hawaii. This is called Time of Use pricing. Here in Nevada, most customers pay the same rate for power all the time, so “load shifting” power from morning hours to late afternoon/early evening has no financial benefit.

Another way load shifting could help is if your power company has tiered rates. You pay so much per kwh up to 500 kwh on Tier 1, then more for 501-2,000 kilowatt hours on Tier 2 and maybe even more for 2,001 and above. This is really common in California, but again, we don’t have this here (except for Boulder City) so there is no financial benefit to load shifting.

The batteries most commonly talked about (Tesla Powerwall) hold 13 kilowatt hours of power and can deliver 5-7 kwh at a time. That’s not a whole lot of juice. Running an average Las Vegas air conditioner for 8 hours would take 20 kilowatt hours or more. So if the power went out for a week and you wanted to stay cool in August, you’d probably need more than one battery. At a cost of $8,000 each, you can easily see why batteries are not included by default. The math just doesn’t pencil out in Las Vegas and surrounding areas right now.

So when are batteries a good idea?

If you live in the more remote areas and you do not have power to your home at all, an off-grid system with batteries is your answer. The system is not connected to the power grid at all. When the sun is up, the panels power your home and charge the batteries. Once the batteries are full, any extra power is shunted into the ground rod. If it’s cloudy or dark, your power will come from the batteries. Since you have no connection to the grid to supply back up power, this type of system is more difficult to design and quite a bit more expensive due to the number of batteries you’ll need to supply overnight power. Off grid systems use different types of batteries depending on cost.

Litium Ion types (Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem, Enphase, Mercedes, Sonnen): These type of batteries are very similar to the ones you’d find in your laptop or cell phone … only on a much bigger scale. They use various chemical makeups – mostly based on lithium. They can operate both on or off grid and can be used for either backup power, tier shaving or nighttime power. Batteries may require a separate inverter.

Deep Cycle Batteries: This type of batteries looks a lot  like boat or car batteries. They do not store as much power as the newer lithium ion chemistry types and need to be replaced more frequently.

Robco can install either type of battery.

Go solar with the most experience local contractor in Las Vegas. Check out our reviews. You won’t go wrong hiring the best solar company in Las Vegas, Robco Electric.

We Specialize In

Commercial & Residential

The core of our business is our well-established Commercial Electrical Division. Robco specializes in Clark County School District projects, government projects, small and large tenant improvements along with medical and airport facilities.

Solar

Our solar team brings decades of hands on experience to the design and installation of your solar array. As solar experts, we are on a mission to educate Nevada communities on solar. We design, install, troubleshoot and maintain your system.

Low Voltage

The focus of Robco’s low voltage division is to provide customers a wide range of services. Robco’s services include fire alarm systems, camera systems, access control, intrusion alarms, intercom/clock systems, voice/data systems along with interactive projector installations.

Contact Us

8 + 10 =

Comparing Solar Workmanship Warranties

Comparing Solar Workmanship Warranties

In NV, state law mandates that all solar installers offer a 10 year workmanship and roof penetration warranty. When you go solar, your roof warranty is voided, so this backstops and guarantees that you are protected. That leads to a question. If another company is...

We’re still open and here to help.

We’re still open and here to help.

Robco's operations in all divisions (Solar, Low Voltage, Commercial Electrical and Service Electrical) are still operating with appropriate precautions in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. We fall under construction as an essential business. If you are interested in a...

How to get your NV Energy Bill

How to get your NV Energy Bill

Downloading your power bill from NV Energy is easy! Just log in and follow these easy steps. Step 1: Log into your account at NV Energy. You'll need your user ID and password. If you do not have an account, you'll need to create one by choosing "Register a New...

Solar questions: Getting An Electric Vehicle?

Solar questions: Getting An Electric Vehicle?

Getting an Electric Vehicle? How many more solar panels will you need? How exciting! You've decided to buy an electric vehicle. You are going to love the silent, clean ride! So, how much more solar will you need to charge it? Well, that depends on how big your new...

Are you getting an error in Enlighten?

Are you getting an error in Enlighten?

Have you noticed that your Enlighten is no longer showing data? Your Envoy may need to be reset or reconnected to your wi-fi network. Click the link below for step-by-step instructions to get it talking again. https://enphase.com/en-us/support/envoy-offline If you...

Do you use Nextdoor?

Do you use Nextdoor?

There is a great neighborhood specific app called Nextdoor. It let's you chat with verified neighbors within about 2 miles of your home. Only the people who live in the area can see your neighborhood posts. Nextdoor just added the ability to recommend a business and...

The cheapest kilowatt hour is the one you never use

The cheapest kilowatt hour is the one you never use

At Robco, we believe in reducing demand as much as you can so that you can buy less equipment and get more offset from your system. This week we had a few conversations with customers about energy efficiency. They had older homes and pretty big power bills. Instead of...

Keeping Our Fire Fighters Safe

Keeping Our Fire Fighters Safe

We had an incredible opportunity to help keep our first responders safe today. Captain Williamson with the Clark County Fire Department is having solar installed by Robco. He invited every Fire Captain and Battalion Chief in CCFD to come out to the install to...

5692 La Costa Canyon Court Suite 105 Las Vegas, NV 89139 NV License # 44324

702-614-4900

info@robcoelectriclv.com