How Does Solar Storage Work?

July 8, 2021

SunVault Storage

Editor’s Note: In 2020, SunPower announced the completion of the strategic spin-off of its manufacturing division into a separate business named Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. As a result, SunPower has expanded its offerings to drive future growth. The SunPower Equinox® system now offers multiple panel options, including front- and back-contact panels, all of which are responsibly and rigorously quality tested to provide the best energy solution for your home. Learn more about the differences in panel technology.

Technological innovations constantly improve the service solar customers receive. And developments in solar storage, like SunPower’s SunVault® storage system, are just the latest designed to make life easier for homeowners.

Storage helps complete a typical household solar system, which uses solar panels to collect energy from the sun and turn it into electrical energy. An inverter then turns that energy into the right kind of current to power a home.

Many people think that most solar-powered homes are independent of the electrical grid. But actually, the majority work in partnership with the local utility. When solar panels produce more energy than a home needs, like on a bright, sunny day, the excess electricity gets fed back to the utility. And when the panels produce less, like on dark overcast days, a solar home pulls in the electricity it needs from the utility.

This arrangement greatly reduces or even eliminates electricity costs for solar homeowners and may allow them to benefit from net metering (where available).* But it also means solar homes can go dark in blackouts. These power shutoffs take place to ensure safety, protecting both the home’s electrical equipment and utility workers from unexpected bursts of electric current.

Storage helps offset a solar home’s reliance on the utility during the regular daily slowdowns in energy production as well as in emergency situations like blackouts. If your home’s panels produce more energy than you need on a normal day, the excess energy first charges the solar battery and then when that’s complete, goes to the utility. Later that day, when your panels stop producing energy until morning, you can draw on the stored energy from the battery to help supplement what you need from the utility.

In extraordinary situations like a blackout, your storage system can provide backup power to essential appliances and devices.* SunPower’s SunVault® storage system comes in two parts: the SunVault battery and the Hub+®. The Hub+ supplies intelligent software that gives homeowners the option to control when and how all that stored solar energy is used.

SunPower Equinox® home solar system with SunVault® storage is the only home solar and storage system designed by one company, so it can be managed easily. Its intelligent software maximizes the use of solar power each day to help you avoid spending money on peak-time energy charges. In a blackout, it can be programmed to power select appliances, like your most important lights, outlets to charge your devices or a freezer full of food.

The Equinox system with SunVault storage is also covered by a single warranty: the SunPower Complete Confidence Warranty. And SunPower has created a strong dealer network with the know-how and SunPower equipment to tailor each home's PV system for maximum efficiency. That network includes Master Dealers, a select group of installers with close ties to their communities.