"Battery Ready" Solar Systems, and How to Buy One
A 'battery-ready' solar system is basically a traditional on-grid solar system, installed in such a way that it's easy for an installer to attach batteries in the future and create a hybrid system.
Think of it as a way to future-proof your home for the coming battery storage golden age.
The problem is there are 3 types of 'Battery Ready Solar System' depending on what features you want from your batteries and just how easily you want to be able to add batteries in the future.
I've written a very in-depth post on the technicalities of this here. But here's what you need to know at a high level.
Any solar system is 'battery-ready' if you are happy to add batteries with a second inverter called a 'battery inverter'. But the resulting system will not be able to easily provide backup when the grid goes down. So if grid-backup is not an important feature, don't stress about the hardware being 'battery ready', but do follow the tips in the bullet list at the end of this page.
If you want backup functionality in the future and are happy to buy a second 'stand alone battery inverter' - ask your installer for a grid connect solar inverter that talks 'Modbus'. Or keep it simple and get either a SMA, Fronius or ABB inverter.
If you want to be able to simply add batteries without any other extra hardware - then ask your installer for a 'hybrid inverter'. And specify if this inverter needs backup functionality.
What else do I need to know about making sure that my solar system is 'battery ready'?
A few things:
- Let your installer know that you're planning on adding batteries in the future!
- Use an installer that understands how to wire in batteries to a solar system, and specifically ask them to install it in a way that will make adding batteries easier (e.g. think about where the battery would go, and place the inverter near that spot etc.)
- Consider asking your installer to change their standard warranty document to allow a third party to add batteries to your system without voiding their warranty - if your installer does a great job in the first place I don't see why you'd want someone else to install the batteries for you, but this gives you options if you need them.
- You will also need to ensure that the installer measures how much electricity your household uses when the sun is down, to ensure that you get quoted for enough battery storage to last you through the night and avoid having to draw (and pay for!) energy from the grid. The best way to do this is to get him to install a real-time energy monitor in your switchboard that logs your usage. This can generally be done for an extra $300 or so.
- I recommend getting a system at least 5kW in size so that you have enough generation capacity to charge your batteries, even in winter (when the sun is weaker).
Can you arrange quotes for a battery-ready solar system?
We sure can! Simply click here to visit our quotes form, and then select the "solar + batteries for your home", then the "battery ready" option. We'll then arrange quotes for you.