Will SA’s “Solar Sponge” Tariff Make ‘Batteries Without Solar’ Worthwhile?

Solar sponge tariff - South Australia

A battery and a sponge. See what I did there?

Update 9th April 2020:  South Australia Power Networks has informed us the Solar Sponge tariff is available now for people with smart meters, but very few electricity retailers are offering it.1  It was to become standard on the 1st of July, but this may be delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In October 2019 South Australia Power Networks (SAPN) announced they would introduce a new “Solar Sponge” tariff promising electricity in the middle of the day at one quarter their usual rate.  As a result, some people have claimed this will let a battery pay for itself, even if the home doesn’t have solar panels.  Are they nuts? Not completely. [Read more…]

AEMO Judgement On SA VPPs: Yes, They Help The Grid And Turn A Profit

South Australia VPP - tesla powerwall 2

The Tesla VPP in South Australia networks thousands of residential Powerwall batteries to work together, support the grid and make money. How did it go in its first 12 months? Pretty good.

South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant isn’t just delivering electricity to consumers in that state – it’s also proven successful at helping the SA grid respond to grid-scale events. And that grid-response is a profitable sideline for the VPP. [Read more…]

SolarQuotes’ Virtual Power Plant Comparison Table Is Up And Running

Are you willing to trade control of your home battery for cash payments? Then a Virtual Power Plant may be for you. Our VPP table lets you compare offers.

Do you own a home battery, or are planning to get one? Then I have good news.  The SolarQuotes Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Comparison Table is up and running.  So if you are interested in joining a VPP, you’d better go catch it. [Read more…]

Does Solar Victoria’s “Case Study” Violate Australian Consumer Law?

Solar Victoria case study

Solar Victoria’s marketing department wanted to spruik their solar battery rebate. Did they choose to mislead or inform the public?

On the 16th of January 2020 Solar Victoria published what they called a “case study” under the Latest News section on their web site.  It’s about a person who is happy with their new solar battery system.  On the face of it, that seems a lot better than someone who is unhappy with their battery system, but I suspect the person who bought it may have been misled and won’t be so happy with their purchase after they learn the truth. [Read more…]

Heywood Interconnector Failure Hammers SA Battery Owners On Tesla VPP

Tesla VPP battery cycling

Screen captures from a Tesla VPP customer’s monitoring app. Look at that battery go! Green is battery, grey is grid. Above the line is using battery/grid. Below the line is charging battery/exporting to the grid.

Tesla Powerwall owners taking part in South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project have a continuing exciting ride for a few more days yet. [Read more…]

The Canberra Battery Test Centre’s 7th Report: 83% Faulty

Solar battery test winners

Of 18 batteries tested, 7 didn’t need repair or replacement and only 3 batteries passed the testing without issue: Sony Fortelion, Samsung AIO, and Pylontech. Sony was the best performer by my reckoning.

Good news!  The Canberra Battery Test Centre have released their 7th report.  I admit I’m a little behind in reporting this because it wasn’t released this month, or last month, or even the month before that.  It came out all the way back in September.  But it’s their fault I’m so late writing about it.  [Read more…]

Analyst Says Australian Lithium Needs To Get Greener

Australian lithium mining and carbon intensity

Australia has lots of lithium. Unfortunately due to the nature of the deposits, it takes a lot of energy to process into a form suitable for batteries. Luckily there are solutions to this problem.

I feel undeservedly lucky, that in the worst bushfire summer imaginable, fires came no closer than about 5 km from the little patch of bush I inhabit. [Read more…]

Dyness Powerbox Battery: A First Look At Its Specifications & Warranty

Dyness Powerbox Battery

The Dyness Powerbox home battery.

There’s a new battery contender in town – the Dyness Powerbox. And if you live in SA it’s eligible for South Australia’s hefty home battery subsidy. [Read more…]

DNVGL 2019 Battery Performance Scorecard: Cheaper, Better, Maybe Safer

DNVGL 2019 Battery Performance Scorecard

DNV-GL tested a whole lot of batteries to see how they really performed. Here’s what they discovered.

When it comes to battery technology the rate of change is hectic.  Chemistries are constantly being tweaked and changed to improve battery performance and lifespan.  They’re also getting cheaper at the rapid rate of around around 10% per year.  This is similar to solar cells and if it keeps up, in 7 years packs of battery cells will cost half what they do now. [Read more…]

Zenaji Batteries: Will People Pay More For A 20-Year Warranty?

Zenaji aeon battery

The black tubes are the Zenaji Aeon battery. They offer a 20 year replacement warranty and cost $1,500 per kWh. Image: Zenaji

Australian battery vendor Zenaji is getting ready for what it hopes will be a ramp-up for lithium titanate batteries, which it says in home and grid storage applications offer better lifetime, safety, and value for money than the more popular and familiar lithium-ion chemistries. [Read more…]