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4 Aspects You Should Know When DIY Home Battery Backup

2023-07-11
DIY home battery backup systems offer a greener alternative to traditional generators. Four necessary components to construct a successful home battery backup system are power inverter, home backup battery, battery charger wiring and cables.

In the face of a power outage, a reliable home backup power system can be a lifesaver.

 

Old school generators that burn diesel or gasoline are an option, but they can be loud, spew noxious fumes, and leave a large carbon footprint. So, what's a greener alternative?

 

Those with a passion for DIY may consider building their own home battery backup system. While the task calls for meticulousness and certain crucial components, it can also be financially viable and highly rewarding. 

 

This guide outlines four steps to help you decide if a DIY home battery backup solution is right for you.

 

We'll also delve into some ready-made, easy-to-use home battery systems, a commendable replacement for conventional generators.

 

How to Building a Home Battery Backup System

Key Components for Building a Home Battery Backup System

 

With more and more power interruptions happening globally due to extreme weather conditions, home backup power systems are no longer a luxury, but a must-have.

 

Creating a home battery backup system involves more than just linking a battery with some wires. It's about integrating the battery into your home's electrical panel and ensuring harmony among all the components of the system.Don’t worry though, with some basic electrical knowledge and skills, the DIY process can be quite accessible.

 

Here are the necessary components to construct a successful home battery backup system:

  • Power inverter
  • Home backup battery
  • Battery charger
  • Wiring and cables

 

Choose a Power Inverter

1. Opt for the Right Power Inverter

 

Everyday home appliances run on alternating current (AC) electricity. However, batteries supply direct current (DC).

 

Connecting a battery directly to your home circuit or appliances isn't feasible. You need to transmute the battery power into AC, which is also known as household electricity. This is where an inverter comes into play.

 

Choosing an inverter begins with determining the necessary power output. An inverter has a wattage rating, but unless you know the energy consumption needed by your appliances and systems during an outage, the inverter's wattage is just a number.

 

Your household energy consumption can be calculated by summing up the wattage of each appliance and device you want to power or charge during an outage. For instance, a 2000-watt inverter can power appliances with a combined wattage of 2000W or less, all at the same time.

It's also crucial to understand that many appliances need more wattage to start than to operate. This is known as surge power or starting watts. Make sure your inverter's output capacity can start your appliances, not just keep them running.

 

Below is a reference table displaying the average wattage of common home appliances.

 

 

Appliance

Rated (Running) Watts

Starting Watts

Dishwasher

1300

1800

Washing Machine

1200

2300

Refrigerator/Freezer

700

2200

Light Bulb

60-75

0

Microwave

600-1000

0

TV

500

0

Toaster

900

0

Vacuum

1440

2500

Coffee Maker

1000

0

Blender

300

800

Clothing Iron

1500

0

Dryer

5400

7000

Toaster Oven

1200

0

Curling Iron

1500

0

Space Heater

2000

0

Laptop

50-300

0

 

2. Select the Right Battery

 

Your next step is selecting the battery. For a whole house backup power supply, you're likely going to need multiple batteries.

 

Battery capacities can vary from small, 100Wh batteries to large, 3.6kWh batteries capable of powering larger appliances. To figure out your required power output and storage capacity, calculate the wattage needs of the devices you want to power, and multiply that number by the duration you want them to run.

 

For example, a 300-watt laptop running for six hours would need a battery with a minimum power output of 300W and a storage capacity of 1800 watt-hours (1.8 kWh).

 

Whenever possible, go for batteries with at least twice the storage capacity you need. This helps prevent them from discharging below 50% capacity, which can have a detrimental impact on their lifespan and performance, depending on the battery chemistry.

 

And fortunately, while annual energy storage deployments are climbing, and the costs of installing and operating large-scale battery storage systems in the United States have declined in recent years. As reported by EIA, average battery energy storage capital costs fell by 72% between 2015 and 2019, a 27% per year rate of decline. These lower costs support more capacity to store energy at each storage facility, increasing the duration that each battery system can last when operating at its maximum power.

 

battery charger

3. Select the Right Battery Charger

 

The next component to consider is a battery charger, a device that can replenish your batteries without overcharging them. Be certain your charger is compatible with your batteries to avoid potential damage.

 

Regularly draining or overcharging your batteries can result in permanent damage and reduced efficiency. By monitoring and regulating the charge your batteries receive, you can maintain their maximum capacity and peak efficiency.

 

During a blackout, a fully charged battery will sustain power for longer periods.

 

If you're building a solar home backup system for an off-grid energy supply, you'll need to invest in solar panels and balance of system components. Ensure compatibility between the solar panels and battery.

 

DIY home battery backup system

4. Integration and Installation

 

Once all your individual components are in place, it's time to connect them into a seamless system. Attach your battery to the inverter, charge controller, and charging source. Subsequently, link your home battery backup system with your existing home wiring, utilizing a transfer switch (or available power input).

 

With everything properly assembled, your home electrical system should draw from the backup battery during the next power outage.

 

Common Pitfalls in Building a Home Battery Backup System

Common Pitfalls in Building a Home Battery Backup System

 

When purchasing components separately for your backup system, it's crucial to ensure they're compatible. A mismatched system could fail even before its first use.

 

Furthermore, while the DIY approach often aims to save costs, avoid compromising the quality of your components. Investing in high-quality parts will enhance the reliability and lifespan of your home battery backup system.

 

Pitfall 1: Inappropriate Battery Chemistry Selection

 

Here's a quick list of typical backup battery chemistry types in descending order of efficiency:

 

  1. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP or LiFePO4) Batteries
  2. Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Batteries
  3. Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cad) Batteries
  4. Lead Acid Batteries

 

While more efficient battery chemistries tend to be costlier, it's important to not just consider upfront costs. Lead-acid batteries require frequent replacements, while LiFePO4 batteries can last a decade or longer.

 

Pitfall 2: Miscounting Energy Consumption

 

When building a battery backup system for your backup power needs, you must accurately calculate the electricity required during an outage.

 

Building a system just to power your highest-wattage appliance might seem sufficient, but unless that's the only device you plan to use during an outage, you'll need to account for other appliances and devices you'll be operating or charging concurrently.

 

Don't forget to consider surge power or starting watts if required. Aiming to exceed your estimated power output and storage needs by at least 20% provides a safe buffer.

 

Pitfall 3: DIY-ing the Backup Battery Connection to Your Home Wiring

 

Unless you're proficient in handling high-voltage electrical wiring, you should engage a professional electrician.

 

Installation of a transfer switch to connect your backup battery to your home circuit panel is typically a quick and straightforward task for a professional. DIY attempts without the necessary expertise could lead to electrocution or a fire hazard, sometimes not evident until it's too late.

 

home energy storage system

An Easier Alternative to Home Battery Backup Systems

 

Building a home backup battery system can be complex, requiring careful selection of compatible components and the potential for errors. Here are some examples of ready-made battery backup system options:

 

RESS-E20-H1 Energy Storage System: The RESS-E20-H1 sports a modular design that enables the connection of 2 to 5 battery units in a single storage system. To accommodate larger energy demands, these systems can be run in parallel, enhancing capacity to a whopping 57kWh. Built with high thermal stability LFP batteries, RESS-E20-H1 prioritizes safety. The design also features quick inserts, expediting the installation process, saving time and cost.

 

RESS-E20-L0 Energy Storage System: The RESS-E20-L0 features a modular design that allows for the connection of 1 to 3 battery units in a single storage system. With a maximum battery capacity of 19.8kWh, this system provides ample power to support the energy needs of your home during blackouts or periods of low energy supply. Like its counterpart, the RESS-E20-L0 utilizes LFP batteries, which offer exceptional thermal stability and safety. 

 

RESS - All In One Series: Introducing the RESS - All In One Series, ACE Battery offers a comprehensive and integrated home energy storage solution. This series combines a 5.5kW inverter with a LiFePO4 battery pack, delivering a seamless and efficient power backup system for residential properties. The RESS All In One Series is designed to ensure a steady supply of energy during blackouts, allowing you to maintain power for critical loads in your home. With its all-in-one technology and integrated hardware and software, this system simplifies energy management and optimizes power utilization.

 

residential energy storage product family

In Conclusion

 

The risk of power outages is omnipresent. A reliable backup power supply is the best safeguard against such contingencies. Moreover, the residential energy storage market is experiencing significant growth, driven by the increasing focus and transition to renewable energy. According to industry reports, the market was valued at USD 9.34 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 37.90 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.15% over the forecast period (brandessenceresearch.com). This highlights the growing demand and opportunities in the global residential energy storage systems sector, further emphasizing the viability and importance of greener alternatives like home battery backup systems.

 

ACE BATTERY, with its comprehensive range of products and deep industry expertise, is your perfect ally to ensure your appliances keep running and your lights stay on — even during an extended power outage.

 

Reach out today to ACE BATTERY for assistance with your home backup power needs. Don't forget to explore our range of battery cells and energy storage systems on our website. Your path to energy security starts here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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