In today's high-priced electricity market, the concept of home battery storage systems is quite interesting. It has become a hot topic for those who are energy conscious and are looking for options to save energy. If you have a solar panel on your roof, then having a battery system is extremely beneficial for you.
However, choosing the right one can be overwhelming due to the surfacing of various storage battery systems in the market. Therefore, this blog is here to help you out with your worries. It will cover the concept of storage batteries in detail and inform you about the best batteries in Australia.
Future changes to the electricity market
Initially, the electricity grid system in Australia did not accept exporting solar energy households. The design was different, and hence the concept of exporting was prevalent. However, with time, the exporting of electricity back to the grid has been developed, and the design has been changed accordingly. But despite that, the grid was not prepared to accept the flow of huge amounts of electricity.
Since more households have started to install solar panels, there have been proposals regarding the change of grid design so that it becomes modern and efficiently manages the exported electricity. To become flexible enough, the grid needs to undergo major changes, which require a certain amount of money. Therefore, the solar PV owners who export their energy back to the grid are required to pay a surplus charge to support the development of the grid.
Why solar batteries?
The solar battery is a storage device that helps store electricity. The excess electricity generated by solar panels is stored in solar batteries for future use. It helps in increasing your energy dependence and allows you to save money on your bills. It acts as an amazing source of backup power and helps, especially during emergencies like power outages.
Types of solar battery
Solar batteries are of different types, each having unique features and benefits. Every solar battery storage system is not suitable for your household, and hence you need to choose the right one. For that, having knowledge about each of them is important. So, the types of solar batteries available in the market are:
It is a common solar battery that is used in various households. Lithium-Ion uses the same technology that their smaller combinations use in smartphones and laptops.
There are various chemistries of lithium-ion available, out of which the LFP or lithium-ion phosphate is the most common. These batteries last for more than a decade and suit a wide range of ambient temperatures.
Lead-acid, advanced lead-acid
The lead-acid battery technology is quite commonly seen in cars. They help in starting cars and storing electricity. It is cheap and effective but requires significant development to compete with Lithium-Ion batteries.
Apart from Lithium-ion, another trustable solar battery storage system is known as a flow battery. It uses chemical reactions and pumped electrolytes to store charge and then release it when required.
These solar battery storage systems work well in high ambient temperatures, last for a decade, and can be easily recycled. However, flow batteries require maintenance frequently, and hence they are often unable to function.
Best solar batteries in Australia
The solar battery storage system market in Australia is constantly developing and expanding. As a result, various brands are emerging, offering unique features and benefits. Some of the best solar batteries in Australia are:
Tesla PowerWall 2
It is among the best solar batteries available in the market due to its high efficiency and capability. The batteries can seamlessly get included in other existing systems and have a good amount of capacity level. The Tesla PowerWall 2 solar batteries are quite expensive, but their weather rating and ability to withstand high temperatures outdoors make them worth the price. It has a warranty period of 10 years.
Alpha ESS – Smile 5 Battery
Alpha ESS is a great all-rounder, with reliable tech and expandable capacity, it will take care of your energy needs for years to come. If you’re after reliability, power, and efficiency at an affordable price, then look no further than our #1 best seller – Smile 5 Battery. This quality unit can be expanded up to 6 batteries if required in the future. Its ability to accept a super-fast charge from Solar Panels makes it one of its kind products on the market.
So what’ more you’re looking?
For every home solar battery storage system, there are certain specifications that should be considered. The specifications include:
Depth of discharge:It refers to the amount of energy that you can use safely without increasing the level of battery degradation. This concept is expressed in percentages and is included in every battery. Usually, the depth of discharge is quite minimal, which helps in avoiding basic degradation. Lithium and flow batteries have high discharge levels, while lead-acid batteries have a medium percentage
Capacity:Capacity is measured in kilowatt-hours and refers to the amount of energy that a battery can store.
Efficiency:It is referred to as the amount of energy that the battery will store and put out in real terms for every kWh charge input. Batteries always have some basic loss in efficiency, but lithium batteries have a high amount of efficiency level
Power:The power or output that the battery can deliver in kilowatts. The peak power is the highest where batteries can deliver the best amount of energy. However, the peak period lasts for a short span of time. Continuous power refers to the amount of power that a charged battery delivers.
Lifespan:The total number of years the battery will last is known as the lifespan. It is usually rated in years or cycles.
Ambient temperature range: Solar battery storage systems are quite sensitive to the outside temperature. They need to operate within a specific temperature range since an extremely hot or cold environment may result in them shutting down.
Are home solar batteries a worthwhile investment?
In today's market, Australian households are rapidly installing solar panels in their households. But the installation of a solar battery storage system is not ideal for every household. It does not make proper sense economically since their prices are quite high and the payback period for the investment is also longer than their warranty periods.
However, for households that have high power usage, purchasing a battery makes complete sense. If your household has a high rate of energy consumption and the people within the house are savvy with the concept of solar, then investing in a solar battery is worth the cost and time. Therefore, it is best to consult your installer and take a trial before investing.
In Australian households, there are four different ways through which the electricity supply is set up. The ways are:
Grid-connected:It is the easiest and most basic way of setting up where households do not use solar panels or batteries. The electricity is obtained from the main grid.
Grid-connected solar: For households with solar panels, this is the basic setup. The panels generate energy during the day, which is consumed by the household first. If extra electricity is required, especially during the night or on less sunlight days, then households’ resort to the main grid.
Grid-connected solar and battery: Households under this setup have a solar panel, a battery, an inverter, and a connection to the main grid. The solar panels generate electricity during the day, and the excess output is used for charging the batteries. During high power consumption, the household uses up the stored energy from the battery. If it is not enough, then they resort to the main electricity grid.
Off-grid:Under this setup, there is no concept of an electricity grid. Solar panels and solar batteries are the main sources of energy. The panels work during the day and generate energy that is consumed by the household. During emergencies, such as power outages or night-time, the batteries are used. If excess energy is required, then a diesel-powered generator can be regarded as the last resort.
How do home solar batteries work?
Solar battery storage systems collect the unused or excess solar power that the panels generate during the day using sunlight. The stored power is used during the night when the panels are unable to work. They can also be used during emergencies, such as power outages or during days when the sunlight is low, and the panels cannot work efficiently.
Battery installation in Australian households is increasing with time since most people feel it is an economical and environmental decision. Some people simply desire to become independent and get rid of the concept of energy companies and the main electricity grid.
How much does a home solar battery cost?
For solar batteries, the cost is a variable factor. It keeps fluctuating depending on the various specifications of a battery. However, one of the main factors that affect the price of a solar battery storage system is its capacity and efficiency level. Some typical battery costs for certain nominal capacity battery sizes are:
For a 6kWh battery, the price ranges from $4500 to 9600. For 10kWh, it is from $9800 to 14,000. A 13kWh capacity battery costs between $8000to 18,000. The prices exclude the installation charges. It is best to get an entire solar panel system along with the battery for a cost-effective solution
What happens during a blackout?
If your household is connected to the grid, then having a functioning solar battery will not offer you any help. Despite having a solar panel that generates electricity and a solar battery that is charged and ready, your household may lose all power connections.
This situation occurs since the grid-connected systems have the concept of anti-islanding protection. As a result, due to the anti-islanding protection, your solar system completely shuts down when it senses a blackout.
How long do solar batteries last?
Solar batteries have a lifespan of 10 years or around if used normally and not kept under extreme weather conditions. If such a situation is maintained, then the batteries last on par with their warranty period, which is usually ten years.
However, there is no guarantee that the current solar battery storage systems can last that long, even if they are not subjected to extreme usage or weather conditions. One thing you must remember is that using the batteries at an abnormal rate will degrade their lifespan rapidly.
Solar panels and solar battery storage systems are the future of households in Australia. They are constantly evolving, and people understand their importance. Therefore, if you still have not installed a solar battery in your household, then it's time to reconsider the decision. If your household is capable of handling a solar battery, then investing in it is a perfect idea.