Why should I get a solar battery system?

 

Battery systems for solar energy are still a highly debated topic.

There are many good discussion points for both sides of the argument at this point, but much of the evidence is tilted towards the reasons why you should get one. If not now, then definitely in the future. Let’s explore why.

Save Money
Perhaps the most intriguing reason people get battery storage for their solar panel system is to save money. Yes, the initial outlay for installation is costly (though this is definitely on the way down) the payback is well worth it.

For those with solar panels already installed, they will know the savings that it can create for energy bills. For those who are not aware, think of the initial outlay as paying for your energy upfront for the next seven years (that is approximately how long it takes to earn back in savings what you paid for this system at the start).

After that, everything you save is purely money back into your pocket. The battery storage system adds a whole other level to this equation. Imagine storing the excess energy that you make from your solar panels, and using it later in the day when the sun goes down. Currently, solar power systems still need to draw (and pay for) energy from the state-wide grids, but having a battery storage system allows you to use any excess you made during the day, costing you nothing extra to run appliances at night time.

Living Green
We all know the environmental benefits of having solar power in our homes; it reduces the pollution at the manufacturing stage of electricity and helps our world to be a healthier place to live. If more people adopted solar panels and battery systems in their homes, our country would see a significantly improved environment for our children to live in.

Self-Sufficiency
Imagine when the power goes out and you are left in darkness, wandering around trying to find candles, or hoping desperately that the power comes back on before the food in your fridge spoils.With a battery-system you don’t have to worry about it. When the state-wide grid shuts down, your battery kicks in and you can carry on your lifestyle as normal.

If you can get a battery storage system (and solar panels) to create and store enough electricity during the day (and obviously live in an area where the sunshine is plentiful), you may be able to be completely self-sufficient, which means using only your own energy and never having to import power from the state-wide grid. The financial savings for your household would be significant, to say the least.

This is also great for the environment and your fellow citizens. The more people that are self-sufficient, the less demand there is on the grids and production levels.

In turn (hopefully) less production and pollution will occur,as will less shortages for residents (particularly those who are extremely vulnerable during times of blackouts, especially on extremely hot days).

The best thing?
You will also be unaffected by hikes in electricity prices, because they are forever fluctuating and are a major financial concern for Australian families.

 

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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.
 

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