With popularity of battery storage systems increasing in Australia, we’ve put together some frequently asked questions (and answers)! Hopefully, these will help you decide if a battery would be right for your home! If you have a question that isn’t listed, find us on social media and send us a message… we’re always happy to help.
What is battery storage?
Battery storage is becoming increasingly popular in Australia as more people look to go off-grid. Batteries allow you to store electricity generated by your solar power system so that you can use it when there’s no sunshine. In order for a battery to be useful, your solar power system needs to be generating more than what you use during the day so that it can be stored.
Can I add a battery to my existing solar power system?
Yes, you can! This is called a battery retrofit. Battery retrofits are almost always possible, but the cost will change depending on your current solar power system setup. Some of the considerations that need to be made before a battery storage system is added to your solar power system include:
- Whether your home has a single-phase or three-phase power supply.
- The size of your solar power system and inverter.
- Taking a photo of your switchboard so installers can double check your solar excess.
What are the benefits of a battery?
There are a bunch of benefits to getting a battery storage system installed at your home, including:
- Reducing your reliance on the grid (whether completely or partially);
- Making the most of your solar power system by storing energy that would usually go straight to the grid. Once it’s stored, you can use it for your own home at a later time;
- Keeping your home powered up during a blackout (depending on your system); and
- Not having to worry about rising electricity prices (because you’ll be mostly or completely reliant on renewable energy to power your home).
What is depth of discharge?
The depth of discharge (or DoD) of a battery refers to the percentage of the battery that’s been discharged when compared to the battery’s entire capacity. Let’s say you have a 15kWh battery and you discharge 13.5kWh, the depth of discharge is about 90%. However, most manufacturers will have a recommended depth of discharge that allows the battery to perform at its best for as long as possible.
What is a battery life cycle?
A battery’s life cycle or cycle life-time refers to the amount of times that it can be fully charged and discharged, because this is considered to be one full cycle.
What is the storage capacity of batteries?
If you’re in the market for a battery, or you’ve just been browsing, you would have seen that the storage capacity of batteries is measured in kilowatt hours (or kWh). Basically, 1kWh is equal to one hour of electricity used at the power of 1kW.
So, if you used a 1000W microwave or pressure cooker for an hour, that is equal to 1kWh. However, if you had a 200W Playstation 5, it would take 5 hours of use to add up to a kilowatt hour. You can read more about this here.
Will a battery keep my home powered during a blackout?
This one depends on the type of battery you purchase! Some of them will have blackout protection, which means the battery will know when the grid has gone down. Once it’s switched over to its equivalent of a blackout mode or setting, it’ll start discharging and begin to power your home. So, if you’re after blackout protection with your battery, just make sure you double check before you purchase!
How much do batteries cost?
Batteries vary in price depending on the size you choose and the brand / model you decide to purchase. Click here to see a table of some of the more popular batteries on the market and an estimate of how much you can expect to pay.