Adopting renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydro, etc., as the primary energy feeder for a household is the best possible way to become carbon-free. However, if you want to completely eliminate your dependency on the grid and receive zero electric bills at the month’s end, solar batteries are the way to go.
Solar batteries are amazing; there is no room for doubt. Although, the pros of having a battery attached to your solar system is a clear win. Still, the question remains, how much are solar batteries? Here’s a brief discussion.
Price Range of Solar Batteries
Prices of solar batteries have dropped down recently due to significant improvements in technology and the availability of resources. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are cheap now, but the drop is astounding. Previously for each kWh of solar battery storage, you would have to pay somewhere around $3000 to $3600 for battery only plus the installation cost. Now, you can expect to pay about $1200 to $1400 for each kWh storage of solar battery. That’s almost a 52% price drop, and it will only get better from here onwards.
To make more sense out of those numbers, imagine a typical family of four. With no extraordinary power usage on average, they would require about 38kW to 40kW to live comfortably. Assuming they are not connected to the grid and have solar as their sole energy source, the majority of that power need will be satisfied with direct solar power. They will only require extra when the sun doesn’t shine, and that can be compensated with solar batteries. That power need can be assumed to be around 12kWh to 15kWh. Note that I am being generous with numbers here; you might not even need this much for a family of four.
Assuming that the family is in need of a 12kWh battery depending on power, that will cost them around 12kWh*$1200= $14,400 to have solar batteries tied with the solar system. Yes, by no means is that a small number, but you have to consider its advantages. Also, don’t forget it is an investment to yield benefits for the upcoming ten years at a minimum with zero electric bills. Now that sounds like a fantastic deal, doesn’t it?
What Influences Solar Battery Cost?
Type of Battery
Many types of solar batteries are available for grabs in the Australian market as we speak. Different battery types come with different pros and cons. However, there are two most popular types used for solar energy storage, which are-
- Lead-acid battery
- Lithium-ion battery
Lead acid batteries are cheaper in comparison and are the most popular type of solar battery at the moment. However, they are not the most efficient option out there, as they require regular maintenance. On the other hand, Li-ion batteries are seemingly better alternatives to lead-acid ones as they require little to no maintenance, charge faster, offers a greater DOD (Depth of Discharge), and so much more. But it’s to be noted that li-ion batteries cost more than lead acid batteries.
Cost is also dependent on installation as that is also a factor that adds more to the initial number. A certified and insured solar installer should oversee the installation of solar batteries, which is non-negotiable in order to achieve power independency. Making modifications to your current solar power system yourself can jeopardize the battery, and the system, so a do-it-yourself approach is discouraged by solar emporium unless you are an approved installer yourself, of course.
With the installation process comes labor cost, and this is also a factor that varies from person to person, depending on the installation site and the work time.
Of course, the size of the battery hugely impacts the cost. If you want more hours of battery backup, the battery will be more expensive, and vice versa.
Certain brands are expected to cost more because of the superior quality offered by them, along with the faith that comes with those brand names. For example, a Tesla powerwall will definitely cost you more than any other battery brand for its brand value, and outstanding quality claimed by the company. Other renowned brands also follow the same agenda.
If you already have a solar system installed on your rooftop, you definitely also have an inverter. Depending on the type of inverter, the cost of the battery may increase as a whole. If you do not have a battery-ready hybrid inverter, your cost of having a battery will significantly go up as you are going to have to get a brand-new inverter with the system.
But that is not the only way around, you may get away with additional wiring and small changes around the solar system, but that is strongly subjective to your inverter type.
So, those are the factors that influence the cost of the battery. Please note that along with these factors, the numbers may fluctuate depending on your needs and your house. To be precise in this journey, and save money in the long run, it’s easier and best to consult with an expert in the field. Also, if you want to claim government rebates, all of your components and installation partners need to be CEC (Clean Energy Council) approved.