Battery Storage-
AC and DC coupled systems

For those of you considering adding a battery system to your solar system design, the quantity of information and the sea of different options can be a little confusing. But don't worry, this article will hopefully explain the major components and describe the two dominating architectures - 'AC coupled' and 'DC coupled' systems. Batteries can be an incredibly powerful method of increasing your self-consumption and realising big savings on your energy bills - check out our article on self-consumption here.

Background

Firstly, a rudimentary background, do you need to know this? No, but if you're like me and often ask 'why?', then please read on, if not then you can skip to the AC coupled and DC coupled configurations a bit further on.

 

When your solar system generates solar energy, or your battery discharges, the current which flows is known as direct current or DC -  the current always flows in one direction, it is a linear flow of current. In contrast, the current which is delivered to our homes is alternating current (AC) - the current periodically reverses its direction so it produces a sinusoidal wave.

 

Crucially, AC power is produced by generators - a big part of our national infrastructure to deliver energy to our homes and businesses. Without delving too far into electromagnetism, the generated AC power is a result of magnets spinning in continuously in an alternator, inducing electrical potential in coils of wires. Remember that experiment school where you ran the magnet up and down a wire - suddenly that doesn't seem like such a waste of time :)

DC Coupled

AC Coupled

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