Solar battery storage solutions are used in conjunction with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. You may consider adding a battery storage solution to your solar system so it can store excess electricity generated during the day for use at night or on overcast days. We’ve put together some things to consider before installing a solar battery storage system. It’s important to conduct your own due diligence and discuss with a certified provider.
How do solar battery storage systems work?
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems collect the sun's energy and convert it into electricity.
There are 5 main components to a PV system with a battery:
- the solar panel/s,
- an inverter,
- utility grid connection and,
- solar battery.
Excess electricity produced by the PV system can be stored in a solar battery storage system. Batteries are connected to the PV systems inverter. It’s now common for the components of these battery systems to come packaged in a ‘box’ - that is all items are housed in a central portable box which is connected to the inverter.
Solar batteries are still a new technology. Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular for residential use as they are space and budget friendly, have longevity, and are easy to use. Flow and lead acid batteries are other solar battery storage types. Disadvantages include recycling at the end of battery life as components of it can be toxic to landfill.
Do I need to install a solar PV and solar battery storage system at the same time?
No, you do not need to install them both at the same time.
If you are adding a solar battery storage system separately to your PV system installation, you’ll need to discuss with your provider to see if the battery system will be compatible.
Storage and maintenance
Solar battery storage systems may need to be stored in specific conditions so they can perform well and not overheat. Before installing, check with your manufacturer to see what conditions are needed and if your property can accommodate the system.
Installing a solar battery storage system is expensive. If you are looking to install one to save money on your energy bills, you need to determine if it will result in savings and how long it will take to see the savings. Review your energy consumption to see how much energy your PV system provides to your house. Depending on how you track your energy usage, you may be able to see a breakdown of how much energy is supplied from the PV system and how much you use from the grid.
Also consider how long a battery will last for and how many appliances it can power at once.
You may need to factor in costs like replacing parts of the system or how you will fund repairs after the warranty expires. Also check with your insurer to see if the PV system and solar battery are covered in your house and contents insurance.
If these costs outweigh the savings, you may be better of utilising electricity from the grid at night or on overcast days and consider other energy saving options.
Consider other energy saving options
You can also look at other energy efficient options to install in your home. For example, double glazed windows and insulation are good energy efficient options to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.
You may be eligible for a Green Home Loan
Looking to install a solar battery system? Alongside the usual credit criteria, if your property has at least three of the following environmental features you may be eligible for the discounted Gateway Green Home Loan:
- Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems / solar panels
- Solar battery storage system
- Rain / storm water tank
- Certified double glazed windows
- Solar hot water system
- 5 star gas or electric heating
- External awnings
- Solar pool heating system
- Home insulation that meets government standards for geographic area
- Energy efficient LED lights in over 75% of the property
- Split systems, evaporative cooler or star rated zoned air conditioning units with either a minimum energy rating 4/6 stars or minimum 6/10 stars
- Gas hot water system
The Gateway Green Home Loan rewards members who want to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle with a discounted interest rate.