What Is the Best Battery for Off Grid Solar

What Is the Best Battery for Off Grid Solar
People often think the most important component of a solar system is the solar panel. Yes, you definitely need a top-notch quality solar panel; however, for a solar system that will complete your energy requirements, especially when you live off the grid, you will require a quality system that includes an impeccable battery storage unit.
Without a good battery living off the grid can become an extremely challenging task because your chances of being energy independent highly depends on how much disposable energy you have at any point in time. So, it’s clear as a day that you have to have an excellent battery to live off the grid. So, what is the best battery for off grid solar? Before we answer that question, let’s quickly go through the different types of batteries for a better understanding.
solar panels

Different Types of Battery for Solar Energy Storage

Are you searching for the best batteries for solar off grid? Here are a few different types of batteries popularly used for solar battery storage-

Lithium-ion Battery

Li-ion batteries have a variety of benefits over the other premium rechargeable battery technologies (nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride). The energy density of these batteries is among the greatest available (100-265 Wh/kg or 250-670 Wh/L). Additionally, compared to Ni-Cd or Ni-MH battery technology, Li-ion battery cells have a voltage output of up to 3.6 Volts. They can thus supply substantial current for high-power applications.
Li-ion batteries are also portable, and their high DOD (Depth of Discharge) allows you to draw out more energy without threatening the battery life. They require a small space to sit and provide you with a huge power load in comparison to other batteries.
It is also popularly used in many cases alongside solar energy storage because of its usefulness and reliability.
off grid solar

Lead Acid Battery

These batteries are tried and tested veterans of the category. The most popular battery type in solar systems is the lead acid battery. In contrast to other battery types, lead acid batteries have a longer lifespan at a reasonable cost. There are two types of lead acid batteries which are –
  • Flooded lead acid battery
  • Sealed lead acid battery
Of the two types, sealed batteries are used for the most part because the flooded ones require constant maintenance; even so, you risk leaking. With a low DOD and high maintenance, sealed batteries are more often chosen over flooded ones.

What to Look For - Best Off grid Solar Battery

In order to find the best battery for your off grid solar home, you will need to look for the following attributes in your battery of choice-

Depth of Discharge

DOD signifies a battery’s capacity or energy held in them. Manufacturers provide you with a number in the form of dod below which your battery level should not drop down if you want to elongate its lifetime. This is one of the most important attributes that you need to know about. Remember, the higher the DOD, the better the battery is, and it will serve you for a longer time.
Usually, li-ion batteries provide a higher DOD than the lead acid batteries, which usually do not go beyond 80%. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s advice in this case.

Capacity

It is usually advised to upsize your off grid solar system so that you can yield more energy and keep that at your disposal. Also, to future-proof the house, you are required to upsize your solar system. In this case, you will also have to consider the capacity of the battery. Your solar system’s electricity generation ability should be on par with the battery.
Review your previous bills and know how many kilowatt hours of energy did you need on average. This will give you an idea of what capacity battery you will require. My advice would be to leave a little wiggle room and estimate a bit higher than you need just to be on the safe side.

Warranty

As your typical solar system comes with almost 25 years of official warranty, the solar battery of your choice has to suffice for that. Typically, solar batteries come with 10 to 15 years of warranty, depending on some criteria. You have to be careful when you choose your battery for your off grid home and abide by the manufacturer’s advice for prolonged battery life.

Off grid Solar Battery Examples

Here are some of the best off grid battery brands that have proven to win a lot of customers’ hearts with their performance in a short while –
off grid solar battery

BYD Battery

BYD – which stands for Build Your Dreams, is a Chinese battery manufacturing company. They have been focusing on producing li-ion batteries. The BYD battery boxes are known for their impressive power output, which is about 12.8kW.
Check out their different ranges here.

Huawei LUNA2000

Huawei is a leading brand in the solar industry manufacturing solar panels and batteries. The LUNA model has a 5kWh to 15kWh capacity to offer. It’s a Lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery with claimed 100% DOD.
Check out Huawei LUNA2000 here.

Tesla Powerwall

Powerwall is such a battery that can store energy, detect outages, and take over as your home’s energy supply when the grid is down. It, as opposed to generators, Tesla Powerwall keeps your lights on, and your phones charged without maintenance, fuel, or noise. To keep your appliances operating for days, pair them with solar and use the sun’s energy to recharge.
Check Tesla battery for off grid solar here. 

Redback Smart Hybrid

With 4.8kWh – 28.4 kWh battery storage capacity and a 10-year Australian-supported warranty, Redback is one of the spectacular choices available in the market. They also provide optional expansion cabinet, which is amazing for those who might need to do so in the future.
Check out Redback Smart Hybrid here.
That sums up the discussion about what is the best battery for off grid solar. If you want to discuss your options for going off the grid, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Learn more about Solar Emporium’s off-grid solar system packages with batteries- here.    

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Are Solar Batteries Worth it in 2023?

Are solar batteries worth it in 2023

Back in 2010, Australia saw a surge in solar battery installations all around the country. Since then, about 3 million homes have enjoyed the perks of rooftop solar, including lower electricity bills than those with just a grid connection. 

To paint a clearer picture, it is estimated that in NSW, per kilowatt of energy generated by solar panels saves you about $400 annually. You have a standard 6.6kW solar system on your rooftop, and your savings for the said year will be about $2640, which is $660 in a quarter!  

There is a way in which you could get even more out of your solar panel system; what might that be? Adding a solar battery system is the answer.

However, batteries for solar systems are by no means a small investment, so the question remains: are solar batteries worth it in 2023 as a homeowner? We will find out soon enough. But first, let’s get to know some basics about solar batteries. 

Types of Solar Batteries

Solar batteries, also called solar energy storage systems, play a crucial role in solar power setups by storing surplus energy generated during sunny periods for later use, such as during nights or overcast days.

These batteries come in various types, each with distinct characteristics and advantages.

Lead-acid batteries, including Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA) and Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) options, offer durability and cost-effectiveness, with VRLA batteries like Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) and Gel batteries being maintenance-free.

Lithium-ion batteries, such as Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4), Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese Oxide (NMC), and Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide (NCA), provide high energy density, extended lifespan, and enhanced safety.

Flow Batteries, represented by Vanadium Flow Batteries, offer a liquid electrolyte and are known for their extended cycle life and scalable capacity.

Saltwater Batteries, specifically Sodium-Ion Batteries, are environmentally friendly and potentially cost-effective. Nickel-iron or Edison batteries are durable but have lower energy density. Hybrid Batteries combine different technologies for optimised performance.

Choosing the correct solar battery involves cost, space, maintenance, and intended application, while ongoing advancements in battery technology may introduce newer options.

Reasons Why You Should Get Solar Batteries

solar battery system

Solar battery prices are not low, but the payback period goes down with the price hike of energy in Australia every day, and due to the current economic environment, I can only see energy prices rise.

According to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the wholesale cost of power in the National Electricity Market (NEM) jumped by 141 per cent in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same quarter last year.

That said, storing the surplus of energy generated by your solar panels sounds like a sound investment, doesn’t it? 

Here are some more reasons- 

End of Net Metering in Australia

Net metering is a system that allows you to send the excess power generated by your solar panels to the grid and get a portion of the exact amount back on demand.

People were utilising the grid practically as a storage facility when the net metering system was still in place, but that luxury is no longer available.

Net metering was available until April 2020 in the Northern Territory; however, the benefit is no longer at one’s disposal for solar systems constructed after that date.

Essentially, with the end of net metering, you no longer have the freedom to get a one-to-one net metering service (a kW received per kW given). 

That doesn’t mean you don’t have other means to store the energy in the grid; you do; however, that is not as beneficial as net metering and not certainly as profitable as having your solar battery. 

Solar panels can generate a different amount of energy all day, as the sun doesn’t shine as bright from sunrise to sunset.

The maximum amount of electricity generated by the solar panels is between 12 and 3 pm. An average Australian household only consumes a little electricity during that time since they are the majority at work.  

Studies have shown that, with the surge of electric prices off the grid, it needs to make more financial sense to store the excess energy in the grid; instead, having your solar battery and using it on demand will be much more profitable in 2023. 

Electricity Prices are Higher at Night

As a storage unit does require significant investment, you decided to export the surplus of electricity to the grid.

But, keeping in mind that an average household requires more energy at night than in the day, you will be paying more to buy back that amount of electricity you exported at night. 

So, it’s evident that storing the surplus in a solar battery makes more sense than repurchasing it at a higher price point.

Grid Outages

There are occasions in which people suffer from grid outages. It can be during a scheduled check-up of the grid, a devastating storm, or just about any other reason. It’s more common than you would think. In those cases, a solar battery can be your resolve. 

We are positive you would prefer to avoid coming home to a fridge full of rotten food. To have an uninterrupted supply of energy that you have all the control over, having a battery storage unit makes perfect sense. 

Yes, of course, you could opt for a backup generator, but they are noisy, and it defeats the purpose of having installed solar on your rooftop in the first place. It runs on diesel, a non-renewable energy source contributing to carbon emissions.  

Are Solar Batteries Worth It?

home battery storage

It makes sense for a large energy user to opt for solar batteries. They are worth the price, and here is why- 

Solar battery cost is significantly coming down as we speak. For instance, back in 2020, a 6kw solar battery cost about $10,000, which now is about $7,700

It is the only way to go for those who live off the grid 

Without the benefit of Fit, having one’s storage system saves on power bills even more 

Complete control over your energy consumption 

Power backup for days in the event of a power outage, and with the addition of solar panels, you can forget the grid.  

Solar Battery Storage Price in Australia: How Much Do Solar Batteries Cost?

It’s tough to figure out solar battery prices because it depends on many variables. For example, it will depend on your power needs, whether you have any power-hungry appliances, household size, geographic location, etc.

Depending on these variables, you can determine how much of a storage unit you require. Thus, That’s how the cost of solar batteries is estimated. 

But to give you a rough idea, the price of a kWh of residential solar battery storage can hover over the $1000 mark.

These include the cost of installation and GST. Remember that the battery brand and all the other factors mentioned matter in the end, and prices vary depending on those factors. 

10kw Solar Battery Price

As of October 2023 in Sydney, NSW, the current cost of a 10kW solar battery paired with a 6.6kW solar panel system is $12,888. This price includes two 5.1 kWh modules integrated with a 6.6 kW solar system. The potential payback time for this system can be less than 4 years.

The Tesla Powerwall, which has a storage capacity of 13.5 kWh, costs approximately $1,150 per kilowatt-hour.

When considering the broader market, solar batteries without the solar component typically fall from $900 to $1,200 per kilowatt-hour. The specific pricing varies based on the brand and model.

6kw Solar Battery Cost

The solar battery storage cost is how much you pay for each unit of electricity it can store, and it’s usually measured in dollars per kilowatt hour ($/kWh).

Typically, these batteries cost between $900 and $2,000 per kilowatt-hour. If you want a solar setup with a 10.2-kilowatt-hour battery and a 6.64-kilowatt solar system, it might cost you around $12,888.

If you just want the battery alone, without the solar system, a solar battery alone can cost $990 per kilowatt-hour. It includes a particular device called a hybrid inverter that connects the battery to the solar system.

For a specific type of battery called the Tesla Powerwall, which has a 13.5 kilowatt-hour capacity and comes with its inverter, the price is $1200 per kilowatt-hour.

Another type of battery, the Sungrow 9.6 kilowatt-hour solar battery, is priced at $1227 per kilowatt-hour. This cost includes a 5-kilowatt hybrid inverter.

If you’re looking at a solar panel system with a 6-kilowatt capacity, and it includes a battery with a capacity of 16.6 kilowatt-hours, the total cost for installing this combined system can range from about $19,935 to an average of $25,235.

The exact price depends on the type and quality of your chosen system. For more details, check out how much a 6kW solar battery costs in Australia.

Solar battery ROI

The return on investment (ROI) for solar batteries in Australia is influenced by various factors, such as the system’s initial cost, local electricity rates, solar generation capacity, and available government incentives or rebates.

Key considerations include the upfront expenses encompassing the battery, inverters, installation, and related components.

The cost of grid electricity in your area is pivotal, with higher rates potentially leading to faster returns, as stored solar energy use during peak periods saves on electricity bills.

Solar panel efficiency, battery performance, and lifespan also impact long-term returns. Government incentives, rebates, and electricity consumption patterns, especially during high-demand periods, contribute to overall ROI.

Monitoring technological advancements is crucial for assessing the economic viability of solar battery systems over time.

Seeking professional analysis and staying informed about industry trends and policy changes are advisable for making well-informed investment decisions in Australia.

How To Choose Solar Batteries?

To choose solar batteries in Australia, consider your energy needs, capacity and performance, compatibility with your solar system, warranty, and cost. Assess the battery’s kilowatt-hours (kWh) storage capacity to match your daily usage.

Look for reliable brands and models with proven performance and longer lifespans. Ensure compatibility with your existing solar system, and check for government incentives or rebates. Compare the cost per kilowatt-hour and warranty terms.

Consider factors like installation requirements and whether the battery supports backup power. Seek professional advice to tailor your choice to specific needs and conditions.

State Rebates for Solar Batteries

State rebates for solar batteries vary across Australia. States like South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland offer specific incentives and rebates for solar batteries.

However, rebate programs and amounts can change, so it’s crucial to check the latest information from your state government or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date details on solar battery rebates.

Solar Battery FAQs

The size of the solar battery needed to power a house in Australia depends on various factors, including your energy consumption, the size of your solar panel system, and your specific energy needs.

On average, a medium-sized household might require a solar battery with a capacity ranging from 5 kWh to 20 kWh.

To determine the appropriate size, consider your daily electricity usage, the sunlight your location receives, and whether you want the battery to provide backup power during outages.

It’s advisable to consult with a solar energy professional to assess your specific requirements and design a system that meets your energy goals.

Deciding whether to invest in home battery storage depends on various factors. Your energy consumption, goals, and dependence on the grid play crucial roles.

A battery could be valuable if you experience frequent power outages or seek backup power. Explore your area’s government incentives, rebates, and electricity rates to assess the financial benefits.

A good solar panel system may increase the potential advantages of integrating a battery. Consider the environmental impact, battery lifespan, and technological trends. To make an informed decision, consult with solar professionals like Solar Emporium.

We can tailor advice to your specific needs and circumstances, keeping in mind that the evolving landscape of technology and market conditions may influence the long-term value of a solar battery investment.

If you want to sit down with one of our solar experts and see if solar batteries make sense, contact us today! Reaching out for help is okay; we are here to serve YOU.

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All About Solar Batteries in Australia

Solar Batteries
It’s been forever since Australia is facing the critical issue of energy price hikes. In order to aid that wound, the government is also trying to compensate with several schemes, encouraging common people to switch to renewable energy sources. But there’s always a new level of reach to up our savings; getting solar batteries is one of them. They help you store energy from the grid or from your renewable sources so that you can enjoy higher savings at a lower price point & reduce your carbon footprint simultaneously.
Still, you have to consider how expensive these batteries are and calculate your ROI to see if they are worth the investment. In this article, I am going to address the adjacent factors to help you make an informed and sound decision.
solar batteries

Why Should You Get Batteries? Are Batteries Improving?

Before I answer why you should consider getting solar batteries, allow me to elaborate on how they have been improving over the past decade.

Yes, lithium ion batteries (the most common type used for solar energy storage) are improving, in terms of capacity, energy density, life-cycle, etc.. Also, increases in the amount of energy they can store have been on the rise of 5% per annum. That implies your present batteries have a capacity that is more than 1.5 times that of a decade ago. The new and improved batteries allow you to enjoy their benefits in a convenient space, and there has been significant improvement in thermal management that needs to get addressed.

Even better news for you because Australia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of lithium. Sure enough, there is reason for you to be hopeful; however, most of the raw material gets exported, but there are companies like sonnenBatterie who’re utilizing such blessings to make batteries a little more accessible to you.
Solar Batteries
With a significant rise of the energy prices, common people are opting for a renewable source of energy which is the smartest move to make here. But to take that up a notch, batteries are important. In comparison to the low feed-in-tariff, only allowed in certain states, it’s definitely beneficial to store the surplus at your disposal, generated by your solar panels.
Also, using the grid power to charge up your batteries to use at night when the unit price is high is a good option. But I completely understand if you are questioning getting solar batteries because of the high upfront cost, which makes you wonder if they are worth the investment.
Solar Batteries
Sourcing lithium, which is apparent that it is the main ingredient of lithium batteries, has not been a simple path. The cost at which this has to be sourced, especially a greener way of doing so, is not easy to manage, and scientists all around the globe have been looking for greener options.
So, to tell you the truth, there is no black and white answer to this question if you should consider getting solar batteries. Consider the above-mentioned factors and get to know your energy usage pattern in detail first. Then evaluate if getting an expensive solar battery is worth it or not.

Are Batteries Made in Australia?

There are only a few companies which are currently manufacturing in Australia. Companies like Century Yuasa Batteries Pty Ltd, Sonnen Australia Pty Limited, Enersys Australia Pty Ltd, Exide Technologies, Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty Ltd are the key players in the Australian battery market. But Australia has so much more potential when it comes to this sector. There are strong barriers as well to be addressed, which are a lacking supply chain, negative environmental impact, high labor cost, etc.
Lithium is produced and exported in considerable quantities in Australia. It is the most significant component in the production of energy storage and electric car batteries. However, the majority of the lithium is shipped as spodumene concentrate, which must be processed further to use them at all. Several Australian mining corporations are collaborating with international businesses to commercialize lithium extraction and improve operations in Australia, with the goal of producing battery-grade lithium.
australian made

As the worldwide focus on ethically and sustainably produced minerals heats up, Australian firms are increasingly looking at how to recover resources for battery storage. A number of Australian organisations are moving forward with promising proposals ranging from recovering storage materials from tailings (basically mining waste) to developing scalable, efficient, and ecological recycling techniques, as well as low-emission lithium extraction.

Governments Initiatives to Make Battery Installation Easier for You

What if I told you there is an ongoing rebate on solar batteries to end all the debate at once about them being expensive? Yes, there is an ongoing rebate for the Victorians on solar battery installation upon meeting specific criteria. If you are a Victorian, then you can enjoy a $3500 solar home rebate on top of all the savings that you’ll be getting through your existing solar panels.
Solar Batteries
Lily D’Ambrosio, the Minister for Solar Homes, stated the government’s amendments mean consumers won’t have to wait until they have solar panels installed to get the battery incentive.
Over 4,000 Victorians have already taken advantage of the excellent opportunity. This government project is worth over $1.3 billion, revolutionizing the solar battery storage game for the foreseeable future of the Victorians. Nevertheless, I must give you a much-needed reminder that this rebate is not going to last forever.
Also, there is a strict benchmark set by the government that you have to reach before being eligible to enjoy this golden opportunity. Click HERE to know how you can be eligible for this rebate.
“This change will make it easier for more households to reap the benefits of combining a battery with solar PV as part of their home energy system.”

– Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister, Solar Homes.

Solar Batteries
Fret not, my fellow Welshmen; there are amazing opportunities for you too. The NSW government is not falling behind in serving their people because they also have introduced an interest-free loan facility of up to $14,000 for a PV and battery combo and up to $9000 for home battery installation with an existing PV system. In both cases, the interest-free loan is repayable in over a range of terms up to 8 & 9 years, respectively. To know if you are eligible to benefit from this scheme, follow this LINK.
Solar Batteries
On that note, a key point should be addressed that we should not be stuck in myopia. Not only installation benefits but also to help the Australian battery industry reach its true potential, the government has to encourage and support it in every shape and form.
To this date, Australia is focusing strongly on mining rather than manufacturing batteries due to lack of expertise, higher cost, lack of incentives, and proper supply chain infrastructure. Grid-scale battery deployment has received considerable backing from the Federal Government’s primary renewable finance entities, ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) and the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation). Lithium mining initiatives have also been sponsored by the CEFC. However, they have not made the midstream industry a priority.

By 2030 Battery Industry Could Add 34,700 jobs for Aussies

In these trying times, after the whole world has been severely hit by the pandemic, the battery industry can help save thousands of lives by creating more jobs. In a recent report, it was shown that the battery industry of Australia has the potential to add $1.3 billion to our GDP. This magnificent growth comes only from mining the raw materials, which are abundant in our lands. If we take advantage of our fortunate situation and start manufacturing, then $7.4 million in gross value can be successfully added to the economy.
Solar Batteries

What Does the Future Hold for Solar Batteries?

The future of solar batteries is shining bright, like a diamond, just like Rihanna once said! LOL. All jokes aside, there is a latent demand for it. Thus scientists are researching for a better and economical way to tackle the rising demand. Sure enough, we are heading towards a future where people will opt for renewable sources of energy more. And when the switch happens, we will be in a place where batteries will hopefully be accessible to the mass.

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