Is It Better to Have More Batteries or More Solar Panels

Joe Brennan
May 31, 2023

Going Solar, Ireland’s leading solar panel installation company, understands the value of eco-friendly energy solutions and the question on everyone's mind: "Is it better to have more batteries or more solar panels?" This fundamental question is essential for anyone looking to invest in solar energy.

Decoding Solar Power Systems

A typical solar power system consists of solar panels, an inverter, and a battery. A standard solar power system consists of solar panels, an inverter, and a battery. The solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, and the batteries store excess electricity. The balance between these components is vital for your solar power system.

More Batteries or More Solar Panels?

Whether you need more batteries or solar panels depends on various factors, including your energy consumption needs, geographic location, and financial capacity.

Energy Consumption Needs

If your energy usage is high, you may need more solar panels to generate enough electricity. If you rely heavily on power during the night or on cloudy days, you might need more batteries for adequate energy storage.

Geographic Location

In Ireland, sunlight availability varies throughout the year. During long summer days, having more solar panels can harness more solar energy. However, having more batteries to store energy during shorter winter days can prove beneficial.

Financial Considerations

Solar panels and batteries are significant investments. While more solar panels generate more power, increasing your system's capacity with more batteries can give you a better return on investment over time.

When you choose Going Solar for your solar installation needs, we consider all these factors and provide the best solution.

Balancing Solar Panels and Batteries: An Insight

The Role of Solar Panels

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels harness the energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. This is achieved through the photovoltaic effect, where photons from sunlight knock electrons free from atoms, generating electricity.

Efficiency and Energy Production

The efficiency of solar panels determines how much of the sunlight’s energy is converted into electricity. Typically, the more solar panels you have, the more electricity you can generate. This is especially useful in Ireland, where the sun doesn’t always shine brightly.

The Role of Batteries

Storing Energy for Later Use

Solar panels produce energy, which batteries store. This stored energy can be used at night or when the sun isn't shining, ensuring a continuous electricity supply.

Capacity and Discharge Rates

The capacity of a battery is crucial in determining how much energy it can store, while the discharge rate defines how quickly the stored energy can be used. More batteries mean more storage capacity, but it's also essential to consider the discharge rates to ensure the stored energy can meet your demands.

Weighing Costs and Benefits

Initial Investment and Maintenance

Solar panels generally require a higher initial investment compared to batteries. However, they can significantly reduce your electricity bills. Batteries, on the other hand, have maintenance costs over time.

Incentives and ROI

In Ireland, several incentives for installing solar panels, such as grants and tax breaks, can make the return on investment (ROI) more attractive. Considering these incentives, and calculating the potential savings over time, can help in decision-making.

Going Solar's Expert Recommendation: Finding the Right Balance

In most cases, it’s not about choosing more batteries or solar panels but rather finding the right balance between them. Going Solar’s expert team in Ireland recommends a tailored approach, considering your energy consumption patterns, budget, and goals.

Analysing Energy Consumption

Understanding your energy consumption is crucial. Going Solar can help analyse your energy needs and recommend an optimal configuration.

Customising Your Solar Energy System

Customising your solar energy system with the right solar panels and batteries is essential. Going Solar's expert team will guide you through this process.

The Impact of Weather on Solar Energy Production

The influence of weather on solar energy production is an essential factor in determining whether to invest in more solar panels or batteries. This consideration becomes even more critical in Ireland, where sunlight hours vary significantly throughout the year.

Sunny Days vs Cloudy Days

Solar panels rely on sunlight to generate electricity. Therefore, more solar panels can significantly increase your energy production on sunny days. However, on cloudy days, the energy output of your solar panels may decrease. This is where having more batteries can be beneficial, as you can store excess energy produced on sunny days for use on cloudy days or during the night.

Seasonal Changes

Ireland experiences long summer days and short winter days. During the summer, your solar panels can produce much more electricity due to the longer daylight hours. In such instances, having more solar panels can harness the abundant sunlight. However, the shorter daylight hours in winter mean less solar power production. Having more batteries can allow you to store the surplus energy produced during the summer for use in the winter.

Understanding Your Solar Panel’s Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency refers to how well a solar panel can convert sunlight into electricity. It's vital to note that even on cloudy days, solar panels can still generate power, albeit at a reduced rate. A more efficient solar panel can produce more electricity from the same amount of sunlight than a less efficient one. Therefore, investing in fewer but more efficient solar panels is more cost-effective than adding more panels with lower efficiency.

Environmental and Economic Implications

When considering more solar panels or batteries, it's essential to understand each option's environmental and economic implications.

Environmental Implications

Both solar panels and batteries have an environmental impact. While solar panels are known for their green energy production, manufacturing involves energy use and waste. Lithium-based batteries have ecological implications for mining and disposal. While adding more panels or batteries is tempting, weigh the environmental costs against the benefits.

Economic Implications

Solar panels and batteries are a significant investment. While solar panels can last up to 25-30 years, batteries typically need to be replaced every 5-15 years, depending on the type and usage. Therefore, investing in more batteries means a recurring cost. Solar panels and batteries can also qualify for various incentives and tax credits, impacting the overall cost.


In conclusion, whether you need more solar panels or batteries for your home depends on your unique situation and needs. Going Solar, a leading solar panel installation company in Ireland, can help you choose. We offer customised solar solutions tailored to meet your energy requirements while optimising your return on investment. 

Remember, "Is it better to have more batteries or solar panels?" is a question best answered with a comprehensive assessment of your energy needs. So why wait? Contact Going Solar today and start your journey towards sustainable and economical energy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy more solar panels or more batteries?

Your decision should be based on your energy needs, geographical location, and financial capabilities. More panels can generate more power, while more batteries allow for more storage.

How many batteries should I have for my solar system?

The number of batteries depends on your energy storage needs, which in turn depend on your energy consumption and the availability of sunlight. An average home in Ireland may require anywhere between 2 to 4 batteries for sufficient energy storage.

Can you have too many solar panels for batteries?

More solar panels for your batteries may lead to wasted energy, especially during peak sunlight hours when the power generated exceeds your storage capacity.

How many batteries do I need for a 10 kW solar system?

For a 10 kW solar system, you need around 10 to 12 batteries to store the generated energy effectively. However, the exact number will depend on your energy usage patterns.

What happens to solar power when the batteries are full?

When the batteries are full, any excess energy generated by your solar panels will typically be sent back to the power grid if you have a grid-tied system, or it could be wasted in off-grid systems.

What is the role of a solar charge controller in this context?

A solar charge controller regulates the voltage and current coming from the solar panels to the batteries, preventing overcharging and enhancing battery lifespan. Therefore, having an appropriate charge controller is important in any system, regardless of the number of panels or batteries.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
Founder @ Going Solar

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.