14 April 2015
Category:
Solar
Comments: 2

Battery storage for your solar system – what’s it all about?

Over the last 8 or so years, people of Adelaide (and indeed Australia) have embraced solar power at an incredible rate. We’ve gone from virtually no solar power systems connected to the grid, to now being close to one in 3 homes having some form of gird-connect solar.

And the number 1 topic that arises lately is battery storage: When’s it coming, and what’s it going to cost?

Well, there are storage options available for purchase right now – but they’re not cheap, and still in their technological infancy.

A range of very large global companies, including Bosch, Sony, Samsung, General Electric, and even Tesla (who make amazing electric cars) – are working very hard behind the scenes (and spending huge amounts of money) to develop smaller, lighter, cheaper battery systems for home energy storage, specifically to be coupled with grid-connect solar systems.

These will form the next generation of solar power – ‘Hybrid’ solar systems that will power your home via either direct solar power, or stored battery power – with the electricity grid used only as a backup. This means that instead of feeding excess solar power back to the grid, you’ll be able to store it – to be used in the evenings, during periods of very low sunlight, or during power blackouts.

 

Right now, if you have a blank cheque book, you can purchase and install a battery storage system for your home – the brand name systems on the market right now retail for around $20000 (Samsung’s new basic 3.6 kWh model) all the way up to around $50000 (Bosch’s largest 11.4 kWh model) but you’d be far better off waiting for a little while to let current models develop, and reduce in cost. New battery production plants are due to come online in the next 18 months, which are expected to start reducing battery costs almost immediately.

Over the next 2-5 years we will see a huge amount of new battery options hitting the market, with an inevitable reduction in cost coming along the way (remember when solar used to be a $20000+ investment?).

Quality and lifespan of batteries will be paramount as well. Bosch’s Lithium batteries come with a 10 year warranty – which will hopefully become the benchmark that all good battery systems will aim for. Anything less than 5 years will raise a few too many questions, considering the financial outlay involved. Location and temperature of the battery system will be important as well – the garage or undercover pergola area will likely be the most suitable spots for many Australian homes.

Here at Greenlife we’re very keen to join the battery storage revolution, and will be keeping a very close eye on new developments as they come to hand.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us at info@greenlifesolar.com.au, or in the comments box below.

Thanks for reading.

Matthew Devitt,

Owner of Greenlife Solar Energy.

2 responses on “Battery storage for your solar system – what’s it all about?

  1. Stan says:

    Currently I have a roof top solar system (3 single phase 2.25kW each phase, across 3 phase power suppy grid). I’m thinking about installing storage batteries as an addition to my existing system.
    – can I utilise my current inverters and add storage batteries only or does it have to be added as a complete package (batteries + new inverters) – in which case my current inverters would become redundant?

    Best regards,

    Stan

    • Hi Stan, thanks for your question.
      You will need a ‘hybrid’ solar inverter to be installed alongside your existing inverter, which will act as the gateway between your existing system and the new battery system.
      Some battery systems will have a hybrid inverter already built in (such as Samsung) and others will need to be connected to a separate hybrid inverter (such as the Tesla PowerWall)
      We should have the Tesla PowerWall, along with other models of battery systems available around the middle of next year.
      You are welcome to contact us on 1300 365 378 if you’d like any further information.
      Thanks, Matthew.

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