Why install solar battery storage?

Protection from blackouts, energy independence and lower power bills are some great reasons why you may be thinking about adding battery storage. Now is a good time too, with attractive government rebates that slash thousands of dollars off the upfront cost.

No matter whether you want an off-grid or on-grid storage system, Specialized Solar has the expertise to design, install and maintain a reliable battery storage system that’s going to meet your energy storage requirements.

Advantages of battery storage

  • No more power outages
  • Greater energy independence
  • Lower electricity bills
  • Protection from rising energy prices

How does a battery system work?

Solar Battery Install

A battery system allows you to store excess solar power generated by your solar panels in a battery instead of exporting it to the grid. You can use this energy in your home when the sun’s not shining instead of buying power from the grid. The right battery can provide power to your home for hours, even days, when combined with solar – even in a power outage.

Every solar system we install is ‘battery ready’ which means you can easily add battery storage now, or wait until later.

On-grid or off-grid?

Solar Battery Install

For properties on mains electricity, we generally recommend an on-grid battery storage system instead of going off the grid.

On-grid battery systems are less expensive than off-grid systems. With the Victorian Government battery rebates (available for on-grid batteries), the cost for a decent size battery is around $10,000-$13,000.

Off-grid systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars with an average price of $25,000-$40,000 for a family home (and no Victorian Government rebate). This may be worth considering if you live on a property that doesn’t have a grid power as the cost of connecting can be a lot higher.

 

On-grid battery storage: is it worth it?

Solar Battery Install

This is the million dollar question. The answer is, ‘it depends’.

If you are looking for a quick payback the answer is: ‘wait until prices drop’. That’s because, in most cases, the payback period is longer than the 10-year battery warranty. However, if you are concerned about the economic loss resulting from power outages (say you are running a business from home) – or you absolutely have to have 100% power in your home or business (a GP practice is a good example) – investing in battery storage could be worthwhile.

We also find that some people want a battery as a way of handling export limitations imposed by their network distributor. This is becoming an increasingly common situation as the network infrastructure reaches capacity in some areas. Before your new solar power system is installed, your network distributor may well say that it isn’t possible to export the excess solar power to the grid.  So, rather than waste it, some people decide to purchase a battery so that the power can be stored and they can use it when the sun’s not shining (or the grid goes down!).

Can I add a battery to my solar panels system?

Retrofitting batteries to existing solar systems is simple and extremely common.

The simplest way to retrofit batteries to an existing solar power system is to use a technique called ‘AC Coupling’. The beauty of this approach is that the installer doesn’t touch your existing solar wiring. They simply connect the battery into your home’s existing 230V AC circuit.

Powerwall is an example of a modern battery storage system that uses AC Coupling. One of the many advantages of Powerwall is that it will work with almost any solar power system.

Basic layout of an AC coupled solar and battery storage system

What’s the best size solar system to power my battery?

We recommend that you have at least 5kW of solar panels in order to have a large enough solar system to power your home, as well as generate surplus energy to store in your battery.  In fact, 6.6kW of solar panels is the most popular size system for households who are looking to add a battery to power their home through the night and on cloudy days.

If you live in Victoria and intend to apply for the State Government’s Solar Homes Battery Rebate, it’s worth knowing that one of the eligibility criteria for the rebate is that you need to have at least 5kW of solar panels installed.

Talk to the experts

For the best advice on battery storage for your home or business, get in touch with us today. We have accredited battery experts on our team who can talk you through the various battery technologies on the market and give you the advice you need to make the right decision.