Solar Battery Storage

If you’re considering adding batteries to a new or existing solar power system but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

Home batteries are becoming and will become more cost-effective over time. But in 2021 residential energy storage can make financial sense only for some solar owners. As energy storage is a significant investment and you’ll be living with the result of that decision for a long time, it’s really important to ensure you understand the basics before parting with your cash.

At the end of this page are links to everything I think you need to know about batteries.

But first, a brief introduction to solar batteries in Australia:

Solar battery storage has been around for decades, but it had previously always been very expensive, complex and somewhat difficult to maintain. Energy storage remained mainly in the realm of those Australians living off-grid an unable to access mains electricity, tinkerers and tech-nerds.

All that changed in May 2015, when Tesla announced it was taking reservations for its new Powerwall energy storage system (and its successor, the Powerwall 2, was announced in late 2016).

The new features, lower price point and 10 year warranty had many people excited at the prospect of affordable batteries for their grid connected solar system.

Soon after the Powerwall was announced, many other battery manufacturers (LG, Samsung, etc) announced they would start selling home solar batteries with a similar price, performance and warranty, and the Australian battery storage revolution began – slowly.

With Australian households paying high rates to buy electricity (25 – 54c per kWh) from the grid, but getting a pittance for exporting electricity (0-18c per kWh), this new generation of batteries can save money on power bills by allowing you to use your solar-generated energy 24 hours a day.

Tesla PowerwallBut the Powerwall 2 and other competing ‘next generation’ battery systems have not suddenly made going off-grid in the suburbs economically viable.  For the average Australian home, going fully off grid will require lots of Powerwalls, a backup generator and substantial rewiring. Expect to pay from $30,000 to go off grid, and to replace your batteries every 10 years or sooner.

The Powerwall and its competitors are designed for hybrid solar systems. That is, solar power systems with batteries that are still connected to the grid. For a new 5kW hybrid solar energy system with a single Powerwall 2, expect to pay about $20,000. Or to add a Powerwall 2 to an existing solar power system, expect it to cost around $15,000.

Before you run off and buy a fancy new solar battery storage system for your home – there are a number of very important considerations you need to understand to ensure you get an energy storage system that will reduce your bills as much as possible while providing the features you expect and need.

What You Should Know About Home Batteries

Here’s everything I think you should know about home energy storage before you jump in and buy a system:

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