“Battery Ready” Solar Systems, And How To Buy One

A ‘battery-ready’ solar system is basically a conventional grid connected solar power system, installed in such a way that it’s easy for an installer to add batteries in the future and create a what’s referred to as a “hybrid” system.

Think of it as a way to future-proof your home for the coming golden age of energy storage.

The challenge is there are 3 types of battery-ready solar systems and the type you choose depends on the features you want and just how easily you want to be able to add energy storage in the future.

Any solar system is ‘battery-ready’ if you are happy to add a second inverter called a battery inverter in some cases; depending on the battery storage system you choose. But the resulting system may not be able to easily provide backup when the grid goes down; i.e. a blackout. 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 solar batteries without any other extra hardware – then ask your installer for a ‘hybrid inverter‘, and specify if this inverter needs backup functionality. This will increase your solar energy storage choices.

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 as this may influence the way your system is designed.
  • Use an installer that understands how to wire in batteries to a solar power system, and specifically ask them to install it in a way that will make adding energy storage 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 would want someone else to install solar storage for you, but this gives you options if you need them.
  • You will also need to ensure the solar installer measures how much electricity your household uses when the sun is down. This ensures 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 the installer to add a real-time energy monitor to your switchboard that logs your usage. This can generally be done for an extra $300 or so.
  • I recommend getting at a minimum a 5kW solar power system so that you have enough generation capacity to charge your batteries, even in winter (when the sun is weaker). Starting out with a small solar panel array and large energy storage system is just a waste of money.

Can we 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.

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