Solar Batteries

 

What Batteries Do

Essentially batteries store energy produced by your solar panels, to be used overnight, in times of inclement weather or when power is charged at premium rates (Time of Use tariff customers).

Batteries are a logical extension of solar power systems and are increasing in popularity at a staggering rate.

Why Install a Battery

Essentially there are 3 reasons to install a battery:

  1. You can store your excess solar power generated through the day time, to use while the sun isn’t shining. That means you are less dependent on grid power and more energy selfsufficient.
  2. You want to have ‘blackout protection’, which can be a big advantage for many households in areas where the grid reliability is not fantastic.
  3. If you want to minimise your costs on a Time Of Use tariff by using the battery when power prices are at their highest.

Can I Add a Battery to my Existing System?

There must be a battery inverter (charger) as well as a solar inverter for batteries to be added to a solar power system.

A battery solution that has a battery inverter ‘builtin’ with the battery enclosure, such as the SonnenBatterie, can usually be easily retrofitted to any solar PV system. Adding batteries that don’t have a battery inverter ‘builtin’, such as LG Chem and BYD, would mean installing a compatible battery inverter, such as Selectronic or SolarEdge.

Adding batteries is a complex process and one that should only be entrusted to a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited designer in an offgrid application.

Different types of battery configurations:

Standard solar inverter + Multimode inverter battery layout

Hybrid solar inverter battery layout

Things to Look Out for:
  • Not all batteries can provide power in a blackout. If that is something that is important to you, it is imperative to make that known to your designer from the outset.
  • Know that there is a difference between the ‘nominal capacity’ and ‘usable capacity’ of a battery. Most batteries keep some energy in a kind of ‘reserve’ to avoid being damaged. The usable capacity is the number that matters and is typically around 90% Of the nominal capacity.
  • Be aware that every battery has a limit to the amount of power it can output at any one time. So, if you plan to use your air-con, oven, microwave, clothes drier (for example) at the same time, your battery will not keep up and you will be buying the excess from the grid. Staggering high usage items will result in the more efficient use of your batteries.
  • Having a battery doesn’t mean you are offgrid. The vast majority of solar and battery systems will maintain a grid connection to give you the power you need to get through the bad weather days or periods of increased consumption. For offgrid systems think remote locations where getting power to the block is not possible, practical or economically viable.

What Batteries Do We Recommend:

“We are passionate about saving our clients money on their electricity bills!”

Designing and installing battery solutions is complex and must be carried out by suitably accredited professionals. Speak to an Electrical Sensations expert to find out more.

Try the energy savings calculator now, to see what your potential savings could be.

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