Home Batteries: What you Need to Know
The use of home batteries is growing as the demand for solar rises. It’s only recently that residents started using deep-cycle batteries to improve their solar array.
Solar batteries can be pricey, but as the technology matures, prices also drop. Here’s what you need to know before you plunge and set yourself up for disappointment.
Should You Get a Solar Battery?
For the majority of residential customers in Australia, the question is up in the air now. Should you get a home battery? The answer is likely no.
Whilst the prices of various solar batteries went down over time, other parts haven’t. A battery, combined with crucial parts like inverters, can cost around $10,000 to $15,000.
It doesn’t help that batteries don’t last too long. Generally, it’s close to impossible to recoup the investment you will pay for the product over its lifetime. Even then, there are many vital uses for a home battery. You can use it as a backup in the event of a blackout from the grid, or you can use it for storage.
To help you make a better decision, we listed down several pros and cons to getting home batteries.
Pros of Home Batteries
Depending on your battery and even your solar setup, you can go off-grid and rely on stored power. If the grid becomes unreliable or there’s a blackout, batteries can help power your appliances.
Until power returns, you’ll have enough juice to run some appliances at home. You can even save extra money by using stored power during peak hours.
If you want to get better tariff rates, some energy retailers pay more feed-in tariffs for battery users. When there is more demand than supply can’t meet, feed-in tariffs go at a premium.
Cons of Home Batteries
Whilst there are pros to home batteries, there are many cons too. The primary problem with solar energy batteries is the sheer amount of upfront cost.
Solar home batteries are now cheaper compared to the last few years. Even then, they still come at a steep price, somewhere between $3800 to $4500.
In addition, the amount of charge that you put into your solar batteries can be a waste. Rather than put it back and receive payments, you’re instead busy charging your solar battery.
If you have low-efficiency batteries, you’re also losing out. You might as well return the extra electricity you use back to the grid.
What to Look for in Solar Home Batteries
When comparing home batteries, there are four factors you have to consider. These are:
- Round trip efficiency
- Battery life and warranty
- Depth of discharge
You want to have a battery that can store a lot of electricity. You want something that has an efficient power output that can power many devices.
Round trip efficiency is the amount of output you can get by the amount you put in. If you have a 10-kW battery and you get 9.5 kW from it, the battery has a 95% round trip efficiency.
Battery life and warranty also mean a lot to your bottom line. You want a battery rated for the right amount of charging and discharge cycles. A warranty should guarantee operational efficiency over x amount of max charges.
Depth of discharge is the percentage of power you can drop a battery until you damage them. A lower depth of discharge means you can tap into it better and safer.
Are Home Batteries Worth It?
So, are home batteries worth it? Yes and no, depending on your needs. You want to make sure you know what you want first before having these installations.
Ask an expert on solar power to give you better information on how you can make the most of your home batteries. Compare electricity providers online and see which one is right for you.