Solar Battery Systems: Are They Worth The Investment?
With the boom in residential solar panel systems and installations only growing stronger by the day, more and more homeowners are contemplating incorporating systems that store energy into their solar systems. While solar energy is renewable energy, it is not available constantly. Once evening sets in you cannot generate electricity from solar energy. Therefore, solar battery systems help solar energy users overcome this situation.
Among the many benefits of solar batteries is energy independence. Imagine you can match your battery storage capacity with the amount of energy you use when your solar panels are not generating electricity. In that case, you might cut out the need for any electricity from the grid, becoming truly energy independent. Other benefits of installing solar battery systems include increased property value and reduced electricity bills.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
When solar panels produce more power than your home needs, the excess energy is typically fed to the power grid under the Feed-in Traffic programs using the net-metering process. With this program, energy retailers buy back energy from their customers. However, when you install solar batteries, you have the mechanism and some capacity to store the excess electricity generated.
While powering your home will take priority, any excess power is fed to the batteries. The stored power can be used to power your home during the evenings and at night or fed to the power grid during high power demand slots when the electricity price is high.
How Much Do Solar Batteries Cost?
On average, the cost of solar batteries ranges between $1,000 and $2,000, including GST and installation costs. The actual cost varies depending on several factors. For instance, the brand of batteries you choose (LG’s Lithium-ion batteries, AHI batteries, Ultrabattery, Enphase’s modular AC batteries, Smart Hybrid System, etc.) will influence the overall cost.
Additionally, the capacity of the battery system will influence the final cost. A high storage battery system such as Tesla Powerwall II with a power storage capacity of 13.5 kWh will cost considerably more than the Tesla Powerwall I with a storage capacity of 6.4 kWh.
Finally, the complexity of the installation will influence the final price you pay. For installation jobs requiring extensive retrofits of parts and systems, such as adding additional solar inverter, the cost can be considerably higher than simple installation jobs akin to plug and play installations.
Solar Battery Rebates
Different cities have different solar battery incentives that encourage homeowners and business owners to install solar batteries. For instance, cities in South Australia are known to offer attractive battery rebates. In Victoria, rebates of up to $3,500 are offered to eligible small businesses. For guidance on rebates, contact us today.
Solar Battery Systems Available in Australia
There are two types of home battery systems on the market, including:
- AC-Coupled Batteries – AC batteries are the most common type of solar battery on the market today and include solar battery systems such as the Tesla Powerwall. This type of battery is designed with a built-in inverter that inverts AC power to DC for storage in batteries. As such, you can charge your battery from the power produced by the solar panels or drawn from the grid. The built-in inverter transforms DC power back to AC when expending the stored power.
- DC-Coupled Batteries – A DC-Coupled solar battery operates differently than an AC-battery system. In most cases, the battery is designed to take charge directly from the solar panels. Hence the battery is installed between the solar panels and the AC inverter. However, some systems still need a specialised DC inverter to feed the battery. To power your home and its appliances, an inverter transforms the DC power from the battery to AC power that your appliances can use. DC to AC inversion is also necessary to feed the electricity grid.
Solar Battery Storage Options
Driven by the boom in solar energy systems, the market is awash with solar battery storage options. In fact, choosing a specific battery storage option can be daunting. However, to make choosing a battery storage system that meets your needs easier, you should classify yourself based on energy usage storage needs.
If you need a large solar battery system, the likes of Tesla Powerwall 2, with a storage capacity of 13.5 kWh, should meet your needs. For medium solar battery storage capacity, a battery system with a capacity of about 6.5 kWh, such as the Tesla Powerwall I or the LG Chen RESU, is an excellent choice. Finally, if you need minimal energy storage, you should go for a battery system with a capacity of about 3.5 kWh, such as the BYD B-Box or the Aoboet UHOME NCA.
When deciding whether to invest in a solar battery system, you should consider the economics of the endeavour. Installing a battery is an expensive undertaking. As such, you should consult with specialists who have an understanding of the economics of solar energy systems and whether the batteries are worth it or not.
Among the considerations to keep in mind is the payback period. While solar batteries will reduce your energy bills, the huge initial investment can lengthen the payback period beyond the warranty period, making investing in a solar battery a risky initiative.
Switch To Solar Energy!
For the best solar battery quotes, contact us today. We will help you understand the economics of investing in a battery system, the best solar battery capacity for your particular situation, and importantly, a solar system with a reasonable payback period to generate enough return on investment to make the venture worth it.
With over 10 years experience in solar power installations, Macedon Ranges Solar Power is proud to be your local solar experts. We would be more than happy to come around and assess your home or commercial building for a quote that is tailored to your needs.
Please give us a call today on 1300 693 113 or make an enquiry.