June2017

Australian homes with rooftop solar systems will benefit from energy price hikes

There’s been a lot of bad news coming from the energy sector in the last few weeks, so let’s take a minute to focus on some of the good news. Australian homes that have rooftop solar systems will be benefitting from the wholesale energy price hikes, as the retailers are preparing to increase Feed-in tariffs […]

Get in on the ground floor: how apartments can join the solar boom

While there are now more solar panels in Australia than people, the many Australians who live in apartments have largely been locked out of this solar revolution by a minefield of red tape and potentially uninformed strata committees. In the face of these challenges, Stucco, a small co-operative housing block in Sydney, embarked on a mission to […]

Energy solutions but weak on climate – experts react to the Finkel Review

The keenly anticipated Finkel Review, commissioned in the wake of last year’s South Australian blackout, has made a range of recommendations aimed at delivering a reliable, secure and sustainable National Electricity Market. Among the proposals is a new Clean Energy Target to boost investment in low-carbon electricity generation, as well as moves to require high-emitting […]

2015 Australian Solar Survey

Since 2010,more than 200,000* people have used Solar Market to learn about solar, find accredited installers near them and get 3 quotes. In 2015, we reached out to everyone who had used our service to see whether or not they had installed a solar system, their thoughts on solar, and to ask for their opinions on […]

Why Trump’s decision to leave Paris accord hurts the US and the world

Editor’s note: President Donald Trump stunned the world on June 1 by announcing his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a landmark global agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the harm from climate change. We’ve assembled a panel of academics and scientists to analyze what this dramatic move […]

Managing demand can save two power stations’ worth of energy at peak times

The management of Australia’s looming energy crisis has so far focused almost exclusively on the supply side of the equation: exploiting new gas reserves, expanding the Snowy Mountains hydro scheme, and building new infrastructure. Meanwhile, the huge potential of improving efficiency and demand management, which could save vast amounts of energy, has largely been ignored. […]

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

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Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy saving tips and more!

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.