January2018

Record Power Prices Prompt Australians To Look for Energy Alternatives

Australians are looking for energy alternatives due to high power bills and unreliable grid. Rise of solar power microgrids to create local energy and lower power costs. Western Australia’s Horizon Power, AusNet Services and Enova Energy are companies trialling microgrids of varying sizes. Australia recognising the benefits of going off grid as more and more […]

Australia’s Rooftop Solar PV Market Set to Boom in 2018

Rising power costs are causing homeowners and businesses to think seriously about installing PV roofing. The federal STC subsidy provides an incentive and is a driving force in the PV market. People are expressing interest in battery storage alongside a PV roof to store solar energy for future use and want a “complete system”. Demand […]

Sydney To Have World’s First Fully Solar Powered University

There’s been praise for the university of New South Wales’ (UNSW) announcement to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. After four years of campaigning by staff and students, the university is set to be the first university in the world to fully divest from fossil fuels, and meet all of its energy needs […]

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

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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.