As the cost of solar batteries decreases and the technology improves, more Aussies are realising the benefits of battery storage. Essentially, solar battery storage units hold the power produced by your solar panels during the day, so that you can use it at night.
Without a solar battery unit, you would need to access the power grid at night, however storing your own solar power instead of selling it back to your provider might actually save you money, given the current buy back rates.
If you are considering a solar battery storage system for your property, there are three different systems available: DC coupled storage, AC couple storage and Hybrid inverters.
- DC coupled storage: This system stores the energy created by your solar panels as DC power, only converting it to AC power when it’s needed to power your home. This single point of interconnection makes a DC Coupled system more efficient and cost effective than AC Coupled storage, but it can’t draw power from the grid. This is a true off-grid solar system.
- AC couple storage: With this storage system, the solar power is converted to AC current and stored in the battery or fed into the grid; you can also draw power from the grid if additional power is needed. Whilst AC coupled storage is independent of solar panels and can easily be retrofitted to your property, in the event of a power outage, you only have access to the power already stored in your battery, even if the sun is shining. This system will not pull power from the grid if a power outage occurs.
- Hybrid inverters: These hybrid systems store the energy created by your solar panels as DC current (the same as DC Coupled Storage systems), but also offers grid access (the same as an AC Coupled Storage system). So you have the best of both worlds with a Hybrid Inverter.
What battery system do I need if I want battery backup in a power outage?
You would need an off-grid DC coupled storage system to continue creating solar power during the day when the grid is out. Both the AC Coupled Storage systems and the Hybrid Inverters don’t allow you to access the grid or create solar power during a power outage.
Can I add a battery system to my existing solar panels?
Yes, you can retrofit an AC Couple Storage system to your existing solar panels.
What’s a kWh?
This is a measure of how many 1000 watts are used per hour. For example, over the space of one hour, a 1000 Watt appliance will use 1kWh, whilst it will take 10 hours for a 100 Watt appliance to use 1kWh. With a storage capacity of 15kWh in your battery, you could operate a 1000 Watt appliance for 15 hours or a 100 Watt appliance for 150 hours.
How big a battery do I need?
The excess power you feed into the grid is the power that you can store in a battery, however if you regularly use power from the grid, a large battery will help to reduce your power bills. The size of the battery you need is based on your power needs.
For information on installing solar power or battery systems on your property, call us on 1300 374 357.