Should You Install Solar Battery?
Over the last decade, there has been an explosion in innovation within the solar space. Both panels and inverters have massively increased efficiency and capacity, allowing customers to produce much more power than ever before. During this period of growth, there is one piece of technology that has somewhat been left behind, Solar Batteries. The technology of solar batteries has been around since the ’50s; it has been much less prevalent within the residential space in recent years. The technology has not received the same amount of research and development as panels and inverters. Despite this, there are still instances where investing in a solar battery may be an excellent choice for your property, which I will outline below, as well as some of the reasons that batteries may be a few years away from being on par with panels and inverters from a technological and financial standpoint.
The one thing that solar batteries provide that a standard system does not is energy security. A solar battery functions by storing the energy produced by a solar system and allowing it to be accessed at a later date, meaning that if you lost supply from the grid during a blackout, you would be able to power appliances in your property using your previously generated energy. If you have appliances at your property that cannot lose power or value your energy security, batteries are the best solar technology on the market.
Another area in which solar batteries are an essential investment is being independent of the power grid. Off-grid systems require significantly more infrastructure than an on-grid system, with several batteries and a generator supplying power during the night and on cloudy days. These batteries are different from the standard ones that are included in a hybrid system and are marginally more expensive, which is why we rarely recommend customers go completely off-grid when there is a grid connection immediately available.
(An off-grid solar battery vs a residential solar battery)
Suppose solar is a financial decision for you, and you wish to generate as much profit as possible from your investment. In that case, batteries are not yet at the efficiency level to justify their inclusion in a standard solar system. Typically the Queensland buy rate for power is 23 cents, with the standard feed-in tariff being about 8 cents, meaning that there is a 15 cent difference in generation and cost. Assuming that a 10kWh battery is fully charged, this is saving you approximately $1.50 per day. Considering that a tesla power wall costs $15000 installed, it would take this battery just under 30 years to pay itself off. These numbers are liable to change and are based on averages in the current market.
For this reason, we recommend any customer that does not value absolute energy security should invest in a more extensive solar system, which will pay itself off in a sixth of the time and continue to generate profit for years afterwards. Suppose you are looking to invest in solar but are on the fence about battery storage. In that case, there is always the option to invest in a system with a battery ready inverter and have a battery installed in the future when the technology has caught up to the current solar standards.
Solar batteries have been growing in popularity ever since the release of the initial Tesla power wall. While the technology is still catching up to panels and inverters after their recent boom, Tesla is currently leading the charge in price and innovation, meaning that batteries are constantly becoming more affordable and advanced. Suppose this trend continues alongside electric cars growing in popularity. In that case, batteries may become a financially sound part of every solar system, however as the environment currently is, batteries may need a little more time in the oven before they can be confidently recommended to every customer. If you are thinking about installing a battery-ready solar system on your property or want to learn more about the technology, feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced solar designers Here!
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