Australians are making the most of their sunshine as one of the world’s biggest solar power consumers. The demand for clean, renewable energy such as solar means more than 1.7 million Australian households have already invested in a solar power system.
As a result, ‘solar batteries’ are almost as big a buzzphrase as ‘smashed avocado on toast’ – but they can have a far better effect on your household budget than brunch!
The gap between what you pay for power and what you receive for supplying power back to the grid from your solar system has increased significantly over the past few years, making it more difficult to see a return on your solar panel installation investment.
Solar batteries are a major part of the solution to reducing, if not neutralising, your power costs, helping you get the most out of your PV solar investment. They can also work as a back-up should there be a power blackout, effectively putting you back in control of your energy.
These three steps will help you understand solar batteries and decide if they’re right for your household.
What is a solar battery?
Solar batteries are simple in theory; they’re a battery that stores the energy generated by your PV (photovoltaic) solar panels.
Your solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, which is then converted from DC to AC electricity by your solar inverter. Electricity can then be stored in your solar battery, ready for household use whenever you need it most – not just when the sun is out.
Without a solar battery, the energy your solar system generates is lost once the sun is gone and power will be sourced from your energy provider at retail prices.
Solar batteries play a key role in your solar set-up and are becoming a popular way to store electricity during the day for use at peak times such as the evening, rather than releasing it onto the grid.
Even households who are home during the day use energy at night. From watching TV or Netflix to cooking, switching lights on, charging up the iPad and gaming, night-time is when it all happens. Understandably, more families want to use their own, free solar energy in the evenings, paying as little as possible to your energy retailer.
How does it work?
Solar panels collect energy from the sun and turn it into electricity, which is passed through an inverter and converted into a form (240V AC) that you can use to power your home. The amount of energy generated to power your household will depend on the size of your PV solar system.
Solar batteries work much the same way as everyday rechargeable batteries – except they store energy that has been generated by your solar system – ready for household use when the sun is no longer shining, such as peak evening times. They may also be able to operate as a back-up power source should there be a blackout.
Installing a solar battery does not mean you are disconnected from the main power grid, but it can save you money by operating as your primary source of clean, renewable energy, with the grid functioning as the secondary source.
How does it fit in with the PV system?
Your current PV solar system is already generating electricity and powering your household during the day, saving you money on daytime electricity usage. The next step to maximizing the power you are generating is to store the energy in a solar battery system that extends the usable period to 24/7, including peak evening times, rather than just through the day. This reduces the amount of energy you will need to draw from the grid.
Solar battery systems come in a range of sizes to suit both your current PV system and the rate of your household energy consumption. Analysing both of these, as well as your budget, before installation will help determine the battery that best fits your needs. In some instances, you may need to increase the number of solar panels on your roof to generate enough electricity for effective battery storage and usage.
Battery installation is undertaken by an experienced, qualified professional who will connect and test the battery set up and also determine its positioning.
Scheduled maintenance of your PV solar system and battery system is essential to maintain their health and optimise their efficiency.
Solar Service Group are a trusted Australian company that specialise in solar battery storage solutions, service, maintenance and repairs of PV solar systems nationally. With over 30 years combined industry experience and a genuine focus on our customer’s experience we are the team you can trust to protect the safety and efficiency of your solar system.