SMA Sunny Boy Storage: Easily retrofit battery storage to your existing solar

sunny boy storage

The Sunny Boy Storage. A low(ish) cost way to add a Powerwall and other batteries to your existing solar system. Image: SMA

The SMA Sunny Boy Storage is a battery-inverter that you can use to add battery storage to your existing rooftop solar system.

It does not store energy itself, but integrates modern battery packs, such as the Tesla Powerwall, into your home’s electricity supply. It is exciting because it is the cheapest and simplest way to add a battery such as the Powerwall to your existing system. This is because it can re-use your existing inverter – no need to replace it. [Read more…]

Enphase Battery Is Impressive But Very Unlikely To Save You Money

Enphase AC Battery

The Enphase AC battery. image: Enphase

Until now, if you have been one of the highly intelligent and undoubtedly good looking people with a grid connect solar system and you wanted to add batteries, you were looking at spending at least $10,000.

But that will no longer be the case in August when the teeny tiny $2,000 Enphase AC Battery becomes available in Australia. [Read more…]

GCL’s E-KwBe Battery, Or Something Similar, Will Change The World

gcl e-kwbe battery

The GCL E-Kwbe battery may be unpronounceable – but it may also save the world. Kind of.

GCL, a large Chinese company, has unveiled a new lithium-ion energy storage system at a price point that some consider to be shocking. Called the EKwBe, it has a seven year warranty, a ten year expected lifespan, and comes in two varieties. A 2.5 kilowatt-hour system that wholesales excluding GST for $1,499 and a larger 5.6 kilowatt-hour system that wholesales for $2,999.  This is the lowest price that has been offered for any comparable energy storage system and I believe that it, or something similar, has the potential to change the world.

Update: 1st December 20016.  The GCL EKWBE battery currently appears to be retailing for around $3,600 inc GST.  This doesn’t give it a cost per warranted kilowatt-hour as low as the announced Tesla Powerwall 2, but it will be interesting to see if GCL will cut its price further in response once the Powerwall 2 is actually available for installation.

GCL E-KwBe Specs
Usable Capacity 2.5 kWh / 5.6 kWh
Output Power 1.5 kW / 3 kW
Weight 25kg / 50kg
Type Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese (Li-NCM).
Installation Location indoors or outdoors
Operating Temperature Range -20° to 50° Celsius
How's it hanging? Wall Mounted
Maximum Units Working In Unison 8
Warranty 7 years
Expected Lifespan 10 years
Compatible Inverters Goodwe, SMA, Sungrow
[Read more…]

LG Chem Resu 6.4Ex vs Tesla Powerwall

LG resu 6.4ex and a powerwall

How does the LG Resu compare to the Tesla Powerwall?

If you are looking at a 6.4kWh Lithium-Ion battery for use in Australia right now, you are probably tossing up between a LG Chem Resu 6.4Ex and the Tesla Powerwall.

To help you decide which one is for you – here is a side by side comparison, and some commentary on their warranties below. [Read more…]

The Truth About Battery Ready Solar Systems

Do you want your new solar system to be battery ready? First you have to know what that means...

Do you want your new solar system to be ‘battery ready’? First you have to know what that actually means…

Most homeowners I speak to are really keen to get batteries.

Just not right now.

They want to wait a few years until the price has come down substantially. And who can blame them when a typical battery system in 2016 has a payback of 20 years but only carries a 10 year warranty.

So clued up homeowners looking to buy solar are really keen to get a system that they can easily add batteries to in the future.

Solar companies have caught on to this and we are starting to see solar systems sold without batteries but advertised as ‘battery ready’.

Here at SolarQuotes we are getting more and more questions about what ‘battery ready’ actually means in these adverts, and the best way to buy a solar system that really is battery ready.

The truth is that ‘battery ready’ can mean lots of things. Many of the ads I have seen are technically correct – in that you can add batteries in the future – but probably not as easily, or with the functionality that many people will be expecting.

In my opinion if you are going to claim a specific solar system as battery ready then you must be more specific and explain the basis on which you are making the claim.

In this post I’ll go through 3 different interpretations of ‘battery ready’  – make sure you understand which one you are being offered. [Read more…]

Tesla Powerwall vs. Enphase AC Battery

powerwall and Enphase AC battery

How the Tesla Powerwall and Enphase AC battery specs compare.

Tesla Powerwall
Approx $10,000 fully installed on compatible solar system
6.4 kWh
3.3 kW
single or 3 phase
no inverter included
no UPS features included
10 year Warranty
350 – 450 volts DC
Enphase AC Battery
About $2,000 fully installed on any existing solar system with any brand inverter
1.2 kWh
260W continuous, 270W peak
single or 3 phase
micro inverter included
no UPS features included
10 year Warranty
240 volts AC

In terms of good marketing in Australia, two batteries stand head and shoulders above the rest in Australia right now: the Tesla Powerwall and Enphase AC battery. Both of which are due for mainstream release in 2016.

(There are lots of alternative batteries around – many of which are worth considering – but this article is about Tesla vs Enphase due to the volume of enquiries we get about them.) [Read more…]

We ask five experts: Will battery storage change the way we live?

In the first of a series from SolarQuotes, we ask five eminent experts in the clean energy field to discuss four questions on a selected topic. This month we’ve selected “battery storage” as the launching pad for some fascinating discussion and advice.

Solar and battery storage has been one of the clean energy talking points of 2015 following the dramatic unveiling of the Powerwall by Tesla’s Elon Musk. However as we’ve seen, the Powerwall isn’t the only option out there in the marketplace and the best battery storage option will differ depending on your situation whether on-grid, off-grid or hybrid solar.

With this in mind we’ve asked our experts what these solar battery storage breakthroughs mean for Australian households and small businesses and what the future holds for energy independence. [Read more…]

Does your hybrid solar system really need backup?

Did you know that adding batteries to your solar does not automatically mean it is blackout proof?

The holy grail of affordable on-grid energy storage has finally arrived! Well, it’s almost arrived. Actually, it might be a couple of years before it really arrives and most Australians can get their hands on low cost energy storage systems such as the Tesla Powerwall, but they are coming and they will eventually be here. Adding batteries to your home solar (AKA a hybrid solar system) means that you will no longer be forced to sell electricity for 6-8c and buy it back, at night for 30c. Hurrah!

But when the holy grail does arrive you will have a choice, so take care that you do not choose poorly.

While a bad choice is unlikely to cause you to crumble into dust like the Nazi villain at the end of the second worst Indiana Jones movie*, if you what you decide is wrong for your particular circumstances you may live to regret it. Actually, I can almost guarantee that you will live to regret it, as it is really not a life and death decision. Unless you go about it in an astoundingly bad way, such as cutting power cables with an axe and then licking them to see if they’re live, I can pretty much guarantee you will still be around to either rue or feel chuffed about your choice. [Read more…]

Solar Battery Storage Explained [Infographic]

I’ve written about hybrid solar and off grid solar systems before, but Tesla’s latest announcement about its new PowerWall battery is a real game changer for solar battery storage affordability – Morgan Stanley has a report that attests to this in greater detail. For those of you that don’t feel like slogging through an in-depth report, I’ve summarised the important distinctions between Hybrid and Off-Grid solar systems below. Enjoy!

infographic explaining solar battery storage

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Tesla Powerwall vs. AGL’s PowerLegato

So AGL have thrown their hat into the solar battery storage ring with the AUO PowerLegato manufactured by Taiwanese Solar and Electronic conglomerate, AU Optronics.

So how do they compare on specs?

a powerwall and a powerlegato

Tesla Powerwall Daily Cycle Model
AU$3,800 (wholesale price, not installed)
7kWh
3.3 kW
single or 3 phase
no inverter included
no UPS features included
10 year Warranty
92% round-trip DC efficiency
350 – 450 volts
Operating Temp: -20°C to 43°C
100kg
1300 x 860 x 180mm
AGL/AUO PowerLegato
AU$9,990 fully installed on an existing DC solar system (updated 8 July)
7.2kWh
3kW continuous, 4.5kW peak
single phase only
4.5kW PV Inverter included
UPS feature built in
unknown warranty
unknown round-trip DC efficiency
48 volts
Operating Temp: -20°C to 40°C
138kg
672x688x384mm
[Read more…]