In the last decade, or so in Australia solar photovoltaic technology has been rather popular. It has in fact become mainstream. However, the same cannot be said of solar batteries that are connected to the grid. This would imply that they are not at the same stage of mass adoption or commercialization as yet as the solar inverters and panels. With them, people are still in the early stages of adoption. One of the biggest issues that people face in this regard is the cost. However, the market for these products is increasing and you have more products available in this regard. This has brought down the solar battery storage cost as well.
Just because you have solar batteries does not mean you are off the grid
A lot of people think that just because they are using solar batteries, they would be going off the grid. This is a common mistake as such. No matter how much solar battery storage costs you have incurred your battery may not even provide you with any emergency backup as such. It is expected that at least in the foreseeable future a lot of these solar-powered products would use electricity from the grid because if you want to go off-grid you would need a lot higher capacity, which would mean substantially higher costs.
Most of these batteries have lithium chemistry
The material that makes up the battery could have a bearing on the solar battery storage cost as well. These days, lithium is the most often used material in this case. Lithium batteries are already being produced en-masse in Australia for various applications such as electric cars and household electronics. Therefore, they have been such a ready choice for companies that are looking to gain a foothold in the expanding market for solar energy products in Australia.
Nominal capacity is different from usable capacity
This is something that you must know before you decide to incur any solar battery storage cost. Most of the batteries that we are talking about over here would get damaged if they discharged the full energy they have stored. Therefore, they always have some of it in reserve. You can be sure that this reserve energy would be useless to you. You would never be able to use it and so it might as well not be there at all. The term usable capacity signifies the energy that you can use while the term nominal capacity signifies the energy that you cannot use.
These batteries would degrade – it is just a question of the extent and the speed at which it happens
So, this is something you should know before you shell out the money to meet the solar battery storage cost. Normally, the more you use a battery and the longer that you use it the more damage is done to its capability to hold a charge. Most of the lithium batteries are available with a warranty of 10 years. So, when you are comparing batteries to buy you should focus on a couple of aspects on the spec sheet – end of retained life capacity and cycle life.
Getting a better deal financially
If you want to reduce your solar battery storage cost you should go for a hybrid system that comes with a battery-ready inverter. The main reason for such a statement is the fact that with such a system you have fewer components in your system. In such cases, there is a good chance that you would have to pay a lower amount. However, this is not universally applicable at all.
Going for battery retrofits
Are you replacing your existing inverter with a hybrid? In that case, you should go for a retrofitted battery. That would help you limit your solar battery storage cost. The justification, in this case, is the same as above. So, when you are replacing your old non-hybrid inverter it would be a better decision to get one where you can install batteries and then put in batteries over there. However, your solar energy system should also be big enough to accommodate such an inclusion. Experts say that your solar system should be a minimum of 4-5 kW.
Switching to time of use tariffs
This can be extremely beneficial in reducing your solar battery storage cost. It can also provide you with major savings on your electricity bills. The term time of use means you are paying more when you are using the system during the peak hours than during the off-peak hours, which are also known as shoulder hours in Australia. So, if you are on a flat rate you should call up your electricity retailer and switch to the time of use tariff. You may have to make some changes to your metre for this though.
Batteries provide you with many other benefits as well
These benefits can actually offer you great returns on the solar battery storage cost that you have incurred on such a product. With the help of tariff arbitrage, you can charge your batteries during the off-peak hours when it is cheaper and then use the stored energy during peak hours. You can also sell the excess energy you have stored in the battery to the grid at high rates when there is a lot of demand for electricity. With the help of these batteries, you can keep the lights on even when the grid is down.
Most important of all, such products help you become a viable part of the energy revolution here in Australia.