To battery or not to battery? That is the question.
Let’s throw the drama out and let the cold, hard facts do the talking.
Why would I need a battery?
A battery stores unused solar power generated during the day. This can then be used during the evening or on low sunlight days. Batteries are increasingly popular as people become more environmentally aware and want to live ‘off the grid’ as much as possible. Who wants to hand over all those dollars to the energy companies?
With the correct solar array and a large enough battery, it’s possible to run your home on solar energy alone. Also, depending on the time of day and your electricity tariffs, using stored battery electricity may be cheaper per kilowatt-hour than using grid electricity.
Double dipping can be a good thing after all.
What to look for in a solar battery
The main things to consider in a home battery are:
- Capacity – how much energy (usually measured in kWh) the battery can store.
- Depth of discharge (DoD) – the percentage of energy that can be safely used without speeding up battery deterioration. Most battery types need to hold some charge to avoid damage.
- Lithium batteries can be discharged to about 80–90% capacity
- Lead-acid batteries to about 50–60%
- Flow batteries can be fully discharged.
- Power – How much power (in kilowatts) the battery can supply.
- Efficiency – how much the battery will store and put out again. There’s always some loss.
- Cycle life – how many charge/discharge cycles does the battery have before it’s deemed to reach the end of its life.
- Lifespan – the expected life of the battery (and warranty) can be measured in cycles or years.
- Ambient temperature range – batteries are sensitive to temperature and can degrade or shut down in very hot or cold environments.
- Location – most battery systems like to be inside and protected from the elements. However, some batteries may be installed on an external Southern wall.
We can help find the best battery combination and location – call us on 0415 106 994
Should I get a battery?
Every property is different, and we always suggest you contact us for a one to one discussion with a qualified technician.
For a residential property, a battery is still a pretty big investment and the warranty may expire before you’ve paid it back.
Residential benefits include:
- 90-100% independence from the grid
- EPS (emergency power supply) for life support equipment
- may improve your poor grid supply
- stabilising the cost of energy for the next 15+ years.
You may find a dual battery is worth installing but from a purely financial perspective, batteries aren’t quite there yet. But give it time…
A commercial property is quite different, and we really recommend chatting to one of our experienced, local team members.
Commercial benefits include:
- back up if your business relies on –
- emergency lighting
- computers backups
- security systems, or;
- precious materials such as insulin, food products or life support equipment.
However, prices are falling, and technology is only getting better so in a few years’ time, it may be an entirely different story.