In the last few years solar batteries have come a long way regarding energy density, technology, and price, to the point more and more homeowners are opting to purchase a solar and battery combo.
Solar storage batteries allow you to keep more of your generated solar energy for use at night or very cloudy days, as opposed to exporting it to the grid at a lower value.
Batteries of course can also give you backup, when the grid is down or you can use them to support your home’s power consumption in periods when electricity rates are at their peak, and you need more power in the home than you solar system can produce.
As EV charging will increase a homes energy needs , batteries will have an important role to play, to allow vehicles to be charged at night with solar energy.
When you invest in solar panels, you will be seeing a dramatic reduction in your electricity bills straight away. However, even if you use solar when it is generated to maximise your bill savings, there’s a fair chance a portion of the energy your panels generate will be exported to the grid.
This exported power does attract an energy retailer payment of between 5 to 12 cents per kWH (costs will vary from retailer to retailer). This is much less than the 35 to 40 plus cents your energy retailer charges for the electricity per kWh.
Solar storage batteries offer a brilliant solution. Instead of exporting surplus energy back to the grid at a lower value, you can store it for your own use, even when the sun isn’t shining.
Solar storage batteries provide a safety net during power outages. With a battery system in place, you can keep your essential appliances running, ensuring that your family remains comfortable and safe.
The specific battery advantages may include uninterrupted power supply through backup power during outages, ensuring that essential appliances and systems continue to operate.
Home storage batteries offers you greater energy independence by storing excess solar energy and using it at times of high grid prices, or as you need, if you have time of use electricity pricing.
They can be used during peak demand times when electricity is most expensive and less reliable, and support the grid thereby reducing the likelihood of blackouts
Solar storage batteries allow you to maximise your self-consumption of the energy you generate.
With a home battery as part of your solar system you can use solar energy even when the sun isn’t shining, which maximises the use of renewable resources and decreases your dependence on fossil fuels.
In essence, home storage batteries act as a personal energy reserve, guarding against power interruptions and enhancing the household’s control over its energy supply.
Rather than selling excess power to the grid at a lower rate, you use it to power your home, making the most of your solar investment.
Using stored energy from your solar batteries means fewer carbon emissions from traditional grid sources.
You’re contributing to a cleaner environment and a more sustainable future for Albury-Wodonga.
In the future more and more home owners will drive electric vehicles. It is also anticipated that battery technology will evolve, allowing driving renages of 600 km or more and eliminating range anxiety.
Already now home batteries, solar panels, and EV charging stations create a harmonious renewable energy ecosystem.
It works like this: Solar panels generate electricity during the day, which can be used to charge electric vehicles and power the home.
Excess energy from the pV systems is stored in the home battery. This stored energy can then be used to power the home during peak hours when rates are high or to charge the EV overnight, ensuring the car is ready to go without drawing as much for the EV charging from the grid.
This integration increases renewable energy use in your home, helping you to reduce your electricity bill and lessens your household’s carbon footprint.
When should I look at adding batteries?
As the renewable energy technology in general and battery technology specifically strides forward, this has ignited the interest of those seeking to maximise the benefits of their solar installations. Many individuals grapple with the question: When should I consider adding batteries to my solar energy system?
Maximising solar energy consumption
A primary motivation for adding batteries to your solar energy system is to maximise your solar panels’ energy consumption.
Solar energy production is inextricably linked to sunlight, meaning energy generation fluctuates throughout the day. By integrating batteries into your system, you can store excess energy produced during peak sunlight hours for use during periods when sunlight is limited or reduced for some period.
Batteries of course really shine when the sun is unavailable, such as at night or during very cloudy and rainy days.
Achieving energy independence and backup power
Batteries play a pivotal role in achieving energy independence. They provide a reliable power source during grid outages, ensuring that essential appliances and systems in your home or business remain operational.
If uninterrupted power supply and energy security are paramount to you, adding batteries to your solar energy system becomes an astute choice.
Navigating time-of-use energy pricing
Many regions adopt time-of-use energy pricing, where electricity costs vary depending on the time of day.
Adding batteries allows you to store energy when electricity rates are low and utilise it when rates are higher, aiding in reducing your overall energy expenses.
This financial incentive can make the addition of batteries a wise investment for those seeking to optimise their solar energy system.
Enabling off-grid living
Batteries are indispensable for individuals or communities seeking complete energy autonomy, such as those in remote areas without access to a reliable power grid.
They empower Off-Grid living by storing excess energy generated during sunny periods for use when solar production is insufficient. In such scenarios, batteries are critical to securing a continuous and reliable power supply.
Remember though to be truly off grid means that you will not have a connection to the mains power lines and an integrated generator is required to successfully live off grid.
Embracing technological advancements and cost reductions
As technology advances and the cost of batteries continues to decline, the economic viability of adding batteries to solar energy systems becomes increasingly appealing.
Staying informed about advancements in battery technology and market trends can assist you in making informed decisions about the optimal time to incorporate batteries into your solar setup.
So when is the right time?
The decision of when to add batteries to your solar energy system hinges on various factors, including your specific energy needs, budgetary considerations, and the technological landscape.
Whether your goal is to increase self-consumption, achieve energy independence, energy security/continuity, save on electricity costs, or embrace Off-Grid living, batteries can enhance the efficiency and resilience of your solar energy system.
Before making a final decision, it is advisable to consult with solar energy professionals who can assess your unique circumstances and recommend the most suitable energy storage solution for your needs.
As technology evolves, integrating batteries with solar systems will likely become even more accessible and beneficial, offering a greener and more sustainable approach to power generation.
So what about batteries for Albury-Wodonga and beyond?
People think batteries are still quite expensive. However in Victoria through the Solar Homes Program there is now an interest free loan for batteries (head to our rebates page for more information) which does help in the initial purchase. Also, some battery brands have come down in price, not as fast as solar panels and inverters, but fast enough to improve the financial calculations.
So, let’s see if batteries are a good idea for you now. We say it’s always worth the conversation. We won’t recommend a battery system for you unless it is a good idea, because customer satisfaction is one of our highest values.
Is my solar home PV system battery ready?
In the world of solar & battery sales, the concept of a “battery-ready” solar system has emerged as a popular buzzword. So let’s see if your existing home solar setup falls into this category.
Basically, it depends on a few things:
- How old your solar system is
- what make/model inverter was installed at the time
It is worth noting that not all batteries will work with all systems, the same can be said about inverters.
Where to from here?
It’s important to have this conversation with your installer so that you can understand exactly what your options are. We are sure that as the battery market increases things will become more flexible.
Firstly lets say that an AC battery, such as the Tesla Powerwall 2 can be added to any solar system, as it is not reliant on any DC technology to make it work. In reality one would not even need a solar system to have a Tesla Powerwall 2, if we seek to use it only for loadshifting. It all gets a bit more technical if we seek to add a DC battery set.
Demystifying battery-ready solar systems
A battery-ready solar system is properly designed and configured to seamlessly integrate with future energy storage solutions, typically in the form of lithium-ion batteries. These systems are equipped with key elements that facilitate future battery integration, including:
A crucial aspect of a battery-ready system is an inverter capable of supporting both solar panels and energy storage. Traditional inverters primarily convert DC (direct current) electricity generated by solar panels into AC (alternating current) for household use. However, modern inverters, called Hybrid inverters often feature an integrated battery interface or can be effortlessly upgraded to accommodate battery storage.
Battery-ready systems often embrace a modular design that allows for the seamless integration of batteries at a later stage. This modular approach ensures that homeowners can opt for a solar-only system initially and seamlessly add batteries when needed without disrupting the existing setup.
Advanced monitoring systems
Battery-ready systems are frequently equipped with advanced monitoring systems that provide real-time data on energy production and consumption patterns. These systems empower homeowners to optimise their energy usage and make informed decisions about when to charge or discharge the batteries.
To determine whether your existing solar energy system is battery-ready, consider the following steps:
- Check the specifications of your solar inverter. If it supports battery integration or can be upgraded for energy storage, your system is likely battery-ready. Check with Solar Integrity or the manufacturer for detailed information about your inverter model.
- Evaluate the monitoring capabilities of your solar system. A battery-ready system often includes sophisticated monitoring tools that provide insights into energy production patterns and consumption habits. If your system offers detailed monitoring, it could be a sign that it is prepared for future battery integration.
- Seek guidance from solar energy professionals. We can assess your current setup and provide expert advice on the feasibility of integrating batteries. We may even recommend specific battery models that are compatible with your system.
Investing in a battery-ready solar energy system is a forward-thinking strategy for harnessing the full potential of renewable energy.
By ensuring compatibility with energy storage solutions, homeowners can reap the benefits of enhanced energy independence, grid resilience, and greater control over their energy usage.
If you’re considering adding batteries to your existing solar setup, take the time to assess your system’s compatibility using the guidelines provided. As technology evolves, a battery-ready solar system positions you for a future with even more sustainable and efficient energy solutions.
With EVs coming in greater number and VPPs rolling out, the payback on a battery is improving all the time.
In Victoria through the Solar Homes Program there is now an interest free loan for batteries (head to our rebates page for more information). Batteries may very well be viable for you now. Try our Solar & Battery ROI Calculator.
We say it’s always worth the conversation. We won’t recommend a battery system for you unless it is viable, as customer satisfaction is one of our highest values.
As our name suggests, our commitment to you is built on integrity, care, and passion for our industry, our customers, and our environment.
Excellent service, top-quality products, and ensuring that you have a seamless experience throughout your solar journey.
We believe in the power of solar energy not just as a sustainable solution but as a way to create a better future for you and your family.
Helping you transition towards an electrified future with solutions like batteries, EV chargers, heat pumps, and more.
It’s free! We don’t want your details. Just click the download button and off you go! No Catch. Why? Well.. We care about what we do and by providing important information to everyone that they can make the best solar & battery choice!