If you’re reading this then you already know that basic grid-connected solar energy systems are limited in a big way. A little thing called night. Jumping straight to the fact, new battery storage technologies offer a good, low maintenance solution to the problem that has plagued grid-connected solar power since its mass inception almost a decade ago.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that solar power only works during certain conditions, when it’s sunny. As one of the most promising forms of renewable energy in Australia, solar photovoltaic cells only produce electricity when the sun shines. With battery storage, you can store your excess power during the day, then use it at night.
Above: The SolarWatt MyReserve solar battery integrated with an average household.
What changed with battery storage?
The fact is battery storage is nothing new, however, it’s primary purpose, in this instance has changed. Combined with low maintenance lithium-ion cell technology battery storage is no longer considered solely a backup or an emergency power supply. It is an energy storage device, but for low production cost energy vs expensive grid energy.
Quite simply a remodelled version of a backup power supply. By altering the purpose and redesigning the product, the result is another step closer to alternative power supply dominance inspired by lower upfront costs, minimal maintenance, better performance, superior product life and greater warranties.
Lithium is where it is at. There is an abundance of alternative compounds, different options and the promise of the next big thing. However, lithium is now more commercially viable than ever combined with ultra-low maintenance properties. Plus, if manufactured and installed with integrity, also very stable base material for battery storage.
So which to choose? There are plenty of new age lithium battery storage options on the market already, and the features will vary between different solar batteries and configurations. One tip, just don’t muck about with the unproven stuff. We all want to believe the low-cost hype, but the fact is, beyond the glossy data sheet and the promise of an eternity of electricity bill freedom, severe hazards and expensive downtime exists with battery storage products manufactured on the cheap.
What to expect?
Basically, most modern solar batteries will take the form of a box mounted in the garage or on the exterior of your house with elements of supporting mechanical devices depending on the battery and configuration.
Kilowatt-hours (kWh) is key though, usually, the greater kilowatt hours you require stored, the larger that box/ multiple box configuration on the wall.
Needing to understand what a kilowatt hour is? here’s the explanation on Wikipedia > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilowatt_hour
Above: A few of the many methods solar batteries are installed as.
A reliable solar battery storage solution for your home currently cost $1000 – $2000 per kWh, installed. Anything less, you’re smarter than that, hence the reason you’re doing the research.
The pros & cons.
The benefits to a good battery system are plentiful. It functionally eliminates the biggest downside to solar power.
With a solid battery system in place, you can produce energy during the day, then store any excess for use at night. A battery system essentially removes the inconsistency in solar energy production. If a cloud drifts over, or alternative shading temporarily blocks your solar panels, you don’t start immediately drawing energy from the grid. There is always an element of reserve in your energy supply.
Additionally, a battery system can account for the inconsistency of energy use as well as production. A household’s energy demands will vary over the course of a day. Sometimes you’ll need to turn on a few extra appliances for a while, causing your house to drain more electricity than your panels produce. If you have a battery bank, you don’t have to fear doing your washing at the same time as you cook dinner.
It’s obvious but must be mentioned. If battery storage offers a solution to the greatest problem of grid-connected solar power, then why doesn’t everyone use it? The biggest downside to battery storage is its current cost per kilowatt hour. Whilst the price is dropping, it remains a nice to have for many as opposed to a need to have, limiting its financial perspective. Compared to simple grid-connected solar energy, battery storage has a return on investment, in energy savings, of approximately twice that of solar panels alone based on current electricity supply charges from the grid.
Aesthetic implications is a concern for some. As with most alternative energy products, it comes in the form of a large object/s which is placed on your property. If you want a battery storage solution for your home, it’s likely going to sit on a wall of the house. Of Course, most of these boxes are designed not to be aesthetically unpleasing, but they can stand out against certain architectural styles.
What we think.
Battery storage is clearly going to be the next step in the evolution of renewable energy. In theory, it completely mitigates all of the drawbacks of existing solar and wind systems. By keeping a bit of power in reserve, when your needs exceed the capabilities of your system, you won’t start automatically drawing expensive energy from the grid.
Here’s the good news! It won’t be long before all solar energy systems come with battery storage. But for the now, battery storage is appealing to those who want to minimise their impact on the environment through eliminating grid energy draw or that can afford the upfront investment with an approximate 5-10 year return on investment plan (in energy savings).
Above: Future energy systems are communicative with each other.
Solar & batteries, or just batteries.
Chances are you are either A, B or C
A: Seeking a solar power system which is battery ready for the future.
At Perth Solar Warehouse, all of our solar energy systems come ready for battery storage integration as standard. The solar product design team out back have worked hard to ensure that every system is ready for batteries as soon as you are. Get your price >
B: You’ve bought solar from us in the past and are ready to upgrade with ease.
If you have a system purchased from Perth Solar Warehouse and want to make the switch, we can integrate battery storage for you, no sweat. Get your price >
C: Got solar and simply want a revolutionary battery storage system to work in sync.
Need a battery bank for your solar system? Simply reach out to us today. We can deliver the information that’s right for you, your current solar and your future energy needs. Get your price >