SonnenFlat-Virtual Power Plant: How Does It Work?

SonnenFlat is a virtual power plant concept that German battery manufacturer Sonnen and Australian home energy solutions Natural Solar launched for the purpose of creating an energy sharing network for those with solar PV systems and Sonnen batteries. It allows those within the network an annual usage allowance at a flat rate fee, whether their […]

Rebate Relief For Victorians That Installed Too Early

Solar Victoria is stepping in to help out those who were given misleading information about the application process for the Solar Victoria Homes Package – Panel Rebate and for those who unknowingly or impatiently installed without following the protocol stated by Solar Victoria. Solar Victoria Homes Package – Panel Rebate The Solar Victoria Homes Package […]

Should You Over-size Your PV Array?

Before tackling the question whether or not you should over-size your PV array lets first explain what we mean by over-sizing. Over-sizing your PV array is when the total capacity of your PV array (solar panels) exceeds the size of your inverter. The way to check your PV array size is by multiplying the capacity […]

When Is The Best Time To Install A Solar System?

While summer may bring an abundance of sun, it’s not the only time of year that solar can save you big. In fact, the surrounding seasons around summer are the perfect time to start exploring your options when deciding to install solar and here’s why! Solar Panels Need Sunlight Not High Temperatures In Australia we’re […]

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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.