9 Tips for Buying a Solar Storage Battery

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The rising popularity of solar systems integrated with batteries is set to continue. These systems help homeowners save money by storing extra solar energy for use when needed, reducing reliance on the grid.

Eco-conscious individuals also benefit by reducing their carbon footprint. Purchasing a solar storage battery involves significant considerations. The primary economic advantage lies in tariff arbitrage, with potential savings exemplified by the Tesla Powerwall 2. Virtual Power Plants offer revenue opportunities but require careful evaluation.

Proper system sizing, the modularity of batteries, power vs. energy dynamics, multiple quotes, and prioritising quality are also vital. Optionally, blackout protection and backup power ensure resilience during outages. Thorough assessment aligns the system with unique needs and maximises value.

How to get the best solar storage battery for you

In recent years, solar systems with batteries have gained immense popularity, and this trend is expected to continue growing. When considering a solar storage battery system for a solar setup, there are important factors to think about. This applies whether you are installing a new solar system or adding to an existing one.

Purpose of your solar battery storage system

Purchasing a home solar storage battery offers a multitude of benefits, making it an enticing option for homeowners. It helps people use more of their own solar power by storing extra energy for when they need it most. This not only reduces reliance on the electrical grid but also leads to substantial cost savings over time, particularly as electricity prices are expected to rise.

Beyond the financial advantages, many eco-conscious homeowners appreciate the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by harnessing and storing clean, renewable energy. In essence, a home solar storage battery is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution that enhances energy independence, resiliency, and sustainability for households.

As there are so many benefits, solar storage batteries are an important investment. To help you choose the right solar storage battery, here are 9 things to think about before buying one.

Economic considerations

The primary financial benefit of a solar battery system is achieved through tariff arbitrage. This means storing excess solar electricity generated during the day for later use during peak demand periods or at night.

The cost savings are calculated by subtracting the cost of electricity you would have purchased from the utility company (eg, 25 cents per kWh) from the earnings you would have made from selling excess solar power to the grid (typically around 5 cents per kWh). The basic savings amount to 20 cents per kWh of battery energy used.

For example, a Tesla Powerwall 2 has a current cost of approximately $18,000 and 13.5 kWh of usable energy. If you can utilise the entire solar storage battery capacity daily, you could save $2.70 per day. The payback period for an $18,000 Powerwall in this scenario would be about 18+ years.

Keep in mind that electricity prices are projected to rise, potentially increasing your savings over time. Exact savings depend on various factors such as your tariff rates, energy usage patterns, and the battery’s cost.

Battery monitoring app

Virtual power plant – VPP

Many energy retailers and third-party providers offer Virtual power plants (VPPs) where they take control of your battery to sell electricity on the energy market during high-priced periods. These programs can provide potential revenue but come with uncertainties. Careful consideration and more data are needed before confidently recommending VPP participation.

Sizing of solar and battery

Proper sizing of both the solar system and the battery is essential for optimal results. The battery should ideally cover your evening and overnight electricity consumption. Ensure that your solar panels generate enough energy to charge the solar storage battery throughout the year, accounting for variations in sunlight during different seasons.

Modular batteries

Modular battery systems offer a convenient way to boost power by adding extra batteries. Batteries are improving all the time, and new ones might not play nice with the old ones.

Before you go adding more batteries to your system, it’s crucial to check if they’ll work well together. New batteries might have different sizes, shapes, or power outputs compared to the ones you already have. If they’re not compatible, it could cause problems like reduced efficiency or even system failures.

To avoid these headaches, it’s essential to do your homework. Take the time to research and understand the specs and capabilities of both your current batteries and any new ones you’re considering. Look for compatibility issues and make sure the new batteries will integrate smoothly with your existing setup.

Talking to experts or reaching out to the manufacturers can also be helpful. They can give you advice on which solar storage batteries are best suited for your system and help you avoid any compatibility pitfalls.

Power vs energy

Differentiating between power (instantaneous electricity supply) and energy (electricity supply over time) is vital. Know how much power you need and how long your solar storage battery should last to choose the right system for you.

Get multiple quotes

Always obtain multiple quotes from reputable installation providers to explore various system designs and ensure competitive pricing and quality solutions.

Solar salesman and woman providing a quote to customer
Also, ensure you get a quote from various businesses to make sure you get the best option possible

Avoid cheap options

Quality is crucial when considering solar storage batteries. While cheaper options might seem like a good deal upfront, they often come with drawbacks that can cause problems in the long run. These cheaper batteries might not perform as well as higher-quality ones, meaning you might not get as much power from your solar system as you’d hoped. Plus, they might not last as long, so you’ll end up needing to replace them sooner, which can actually cost you more in the long term.

Safety is another significant concern with cheaper solar batteries. They might not have the same safety features built-in as the more expensive options, which could put you and your property at risk. Nobody wants to deal with a battery malfunction or, even worse, a fire caused by a faulty battery.

Even if you manage to find a good deal on solar storage batteries, if they’re not installed properly, you could still run into issues. Cheaper installation might mean cutting corners or using lower-quality materials, which can lead to problems like leaks or electrical issues down the road.

Blackout protection/backup

Consider whether your solar storage battery system provides blackout protection and backup power. Learn how much coverage, how long it lasts, how much power it can handle, and how quickly it switches over.

When purchasing a solar battery system, you should think about your goals, budget, and technical needs. This will help ensure that the system meets your specific requirements and offers good value.

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