Redback Tech Smart Hybrid
Redback Technologies is an Australian company focused on developing smart, integrated, hybrid energy storage systems for homes and businesses. The first generation smart hybrid system was released back in early 2016, while the Gen 2 system was introduced in 2018. Redback teamed up with the University of Queensland along with the well established Chinese inverter manufacture Goodwe to deliver a quality, feature-packed energy storage system at an affordable price.
Cant I Just Use A Car Battery
For those of us who are really looking to save some cash, you might be wondering, Cant I just use a car battery for my solar storage? Theyre all batteries, right?
While that is true, theres a big difference between a cars starter battery and the deep-cycle batteries designed for golf carts and energy storage.
All lead-acid batteries have lead plates submerged in an acidic mixture . A chemical reaction between these two components creates electricity. The greater the surface area of the lead plates, the more instantaneous electricity can be created, but the more fragile the battery is.
When youre starting your car to go to work in the morning, it needs a huge burst of electricity to get the motor going, but only for a fraction of a second. Starter batteries are designed to provide this by incorporating spongy lead plates that increase the surface area, producing huge amounts of power. However, they can only handle a discharge of 3% or so. Any more than that, and the fragile lead plates begin to disintegrate.
Deep-cycle batteries like weve discussed above, though, have thick lead plates that can hold up to continual deep discharge, allowing you to use them over and over again.
So while a starter battery could, in fact, store your solar systems electricity, it would quickly degrade and become unusable. Best to focus on deep-cycle batteries.
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What Capacity Do I Need
Like Solar PV, customer desires affect the answer. Planning an EV? A larger battery can keep the house running and charge your EV overnight. Grid trading: larger battery capacity means more charging on cheap rate and more to sell back to the grid at peak rate. For high power devices larger batteries have higher output and will not be damaged by higher demand. Naked Solar can model everything to help you decide by using PV Sol software.
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How Solar Batteries Work
It works like this: your solar system will produce electricity whenever the sun is shining. That electricity will be used by your house to power any appliances or your HVAC system. There will also be times when your solar panel system will produce more electricity than your home needs.
If you have a home solar battery backup system, that excess energy will be stored in the battery for later use. So when the sun goes down later in the day, instead of having to pull from the electricity grid, you can still use clean solar power stored by your solar battery. You will be able to enjoy free, green power any time of day thanks to your solar storage system.
Faq: How Much Do Solar Batteries Cost
Solar Choice has access to the most accurate guide on solar and battery pricing through the Solar Choice Price Index and the Home Battery Price index. This is based on average costs from over 200 installers in Solar Choices network and we have been updating the figures on a monthly basis since 2012.
As a rule of thumb, currently residential solar battery storage prices are around $1,000 per kWh including installation and GST. This varies with the size and brand of battery, the solar installers used to complete the works and whether additional works are required to make the battery compatible with your system .
The below table shows our current price index which excludes all of the state-based rebates:
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Want Home Battery Storage
Youre not alone many Australian households have expressed a desire to buy solar batteries to reduce their dependence on the traditional power companies that have had a stranglehold over them for decades!
View our full range here. Or contact our friendly battery experts for advice on the best solution for you and latest prices.
If youre considering going solar but buying home battery storage in the future, acquiring a battery-ready or upgradeable system is important one that includes an energy monitor chat with our storage experts about your needs by calling 1800 EMATTERS .
What Is Your Feed
A feed-in-tariff is a rebate on your energy bill for each kWh of electricity that a household solar system generates but doesnt actually use, meaning its fed back into the energy grid. This raises the question if youre getting paid for your excess solar power, why should you store it? Its a good question, but while some areas of Australia receive high tariff rates , some states have reduced or completely removed their feed-in-tariff subsidies, meaning the rate youre paid is usually around 4-6c/kWh.
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Amazonbasics Aa Rechargeable Solar Light Batteries
These solar light batteries from AmazonBasics have Ni-MH, which ensures their high-value performance and operation. Additionally, during purchase, eight rechargeable AA batteries are included each with a capacity of 2000 mAh which ensures that it will serve you for extended periods of lighting. They are also pre-charged, and therefore you can use these solar batteries without charging them immediately after purchase. Finally, these solar batteries can withstand low temperatures and therefore can be used in outdoor places.
Pros You can recharge them for up to 1000 times
Cons May leak after some period of usage
How Much Solar Battery Storage Do I Need
Solar batteries come in a number of sizes to suit a range of needs. Some models, such as the Aquion AHI battery, can even stack upon one another to increase overall storage size to suit your needs. Most solar batteries within a reasonable price bracket will not be able to completely cover your electricity demand. Remember that the larger the battery, the more expensive it will usually be, so only purchase what you think you will need.
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Are Home Solar Batteries A Worthwhile Investment
For most homes, we think a battery doesn’t make complete economic sense yet. Batteries are still relatively expensive and the payback time will often be longer than the warranty period of the battery.
Currently, a lithium-ion battery and hybrid inverter will typically cost between $8000 and $15,000 , depending on capacity and brand. As the electricity market changes over the next few years, and battery prices improve, it may mean that in future it will make good economic sense for the average home to include a storage battery with their solar PV system.
Results from an Australian-based multi-year trial of solar storage batteries are not encouraging, with a high failure rate and difficulties with manufacturer support in some cases.
Nevertheless, for some homes, a storage battery can make economic sense. Households with high power consumption that are savvy about using their solar-generated and stored power can make the battery pay for itself in less than 10 years.
And many people are investing in home battery storage now, or at least ensuring their solar PV systems are battery-ready. Batteries are often seen as being less about the pure economics and more about being as independent from the grid as possible. This is especially the case for homes in areas with frequent blackouts or other power supply problems.
Rebates, subsidies and Virtual Power Plants
How Long Do Solar Batteries Last
In principle, most solar battery types should be able to last 10 years or so under normal usage and if not subjected to extreme temperatures. That is, they should be able to last as long as their warranty period, which for most models is 10 years.
However, there isn’t enough market data to show whether modern solar batteries typically last that long in real-world home installations recent generations of batteries have only been around for a few years.
Lab testing of battery durability and lifespan has not been encouraging. A recent solar battery trial in Australia has indicated a high rate of failure. Of the 18 batteries in that trial, only six operated without any major problems. The other 12 batteries either had operational problems, or failed and needed to be replaced, or failed and couldn’t be replaced .
However, all that said, from looking at consumer reviews on a variety of websites, it seems that most households with storage batteries are happy with them so far, especially with the major brands. Some customers report problems with battery failure or with customer support from the supplier, but in most cases it appears that the batteries are performing as expected.
How Do Home Solar Batteries Work
The concept of home battery storage isn’t new. Off-grid solar photovoltaic and wind electricity generation on remote properties has long used battery storage to capture the unused electricity for later use. Storage batteries are increasingly popular with new solar installations, and it’s possible that within the next five to 10 years, most homes with solar panels will have a battery system.
A battery captures any unused solar power generated during the day for later use at night and on low-sunlight days. Installations that include batteries are increasingly popular. There’s a real attraction to being as independent as possible from the grid for most people it’s not just an economic decision, but also an environmental one, and for some it’s an expression of their wish to be independent of energy companies.
If your solar panel array and battery are large enough, you can run your home substantially on solar power. Using electricity from your battery can be cheaper per kilowatt-hour than using electricity from the grid, depending on the time of day and electricity tariffs in your area.
As of 2020, according to solar analytics company Sunwiz, there were about 110,000 home storage batteries installed in Australia, and about 9% of new solar installations in 2020 included a battery.
See some of our other articles on home batteries:
How Much Does A Home Solar Battery Cost
Costs vary significantly for solar batteries, but generally, the higher the battery capacity, the more you can expect to pay.
Here are typical battery costs for some common nominal capacity sizes .
- 5kWh: from $5000
- 10kWh: from $10,000
- 13kWh: from $12,000
As an example, one of the most popular batteries is the 14kWh Tesla Powerwall 2. This currently costs $13,700, plus installation costs which bring the total cost to about $15,000 .
The lower-end prices tend to be for a battery pack only . Higher-end prices often mean that the battery system has a built-in battery inverter and other integrated components as well. When getting quotes, make sure it’s clear whether the cost of a new inverter and extra electrical work are factored in.
It can be more cost-effective to buy a battery as part of an entire new solar panel system package than to retrofit it to an existing system, especially if the existing system is several years old it may need substantial upgrading to accommodate the battery.
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Battery Life And Degradation
Home energy storage battery systems have only been widely available for around eight years so real-world performance and degradation data is still incomplete. However, our data gathered so far through testing and monitoring of various home battery systems suggests an 8 to 15+ year lifespan. The life of a battery is generally determined by either the number of charge and discharge cycles, or total energy throughput . All batteries lose capacity over time with the end-of-life generally after a lithium battery has lost around 30% of its original capacity, this generally occurs after 10 years, based on one full charge cycle per day. However, lithium battery cell technology is constantly advancing and some batteries, such as the Lithium Titanate variety from Zenaji, can last well over 20 years.
ITP Renewables based in Canberra Australia has been conducting battery performance tests since 2016. The accelerated testing program is performed in a variable climate-controlled lab to simulate real-world conditions and has produced some very interesting results. Lithium cell degradation is dependent on a number of factors including temperature, depth of discharge, and rate of charge. Based on the currently available data from ITP, battery end-of-life is estimated to be 3000 to 4000 cycles or 9 to 12 years. See our detailed Home Battery Storage Guide for a more detailed explanation.
A Note On Battery Warranties
Some solar batteries in the table have different warranties for components within the unit. For example, some all in one home battery storage systems warrant the battery cells for 10 years, but the internal inverter only has a warranty of 5 years.
We use the weakest link warranted figure when calculating the cost per warranted kWh.
Disclaimer: Although we strive to review the information in this comparison table regularly to keep it up to date and as accurate as possible, mistakes may be made and prices and other figures/specifications can change very quickly given the solar battery storage scene is quickly evolving in 2022.
Check with home battery manufacturers before making any solar storage purchase decisions based on information provided in this table.
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What Are The Different Types Of Solar Batteries
As you may have noticed, there are a variety of different types of batteries for solar panels. In this context, type refers mostly to the chemical composition of the battery. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type, but you may also hear about lead-acid batteries, AGM batteries, gel batteries, deep cycle batteries and more.
Home Energy Storage Comes Of Age
Lithium-ion based residential energy storage has been around for a couple of years. There are also open concepts that work with most solar battery technologies and any existing grid connect inverter, such as SMAs Sunny Home Manager Flexible Storage System.
However, the home battery system that sparked the current storage revolution is the Tesla Powerwall now available via Energy Matters .
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What Does A Solar Batterys Efficiency Refer To
Efficiency in the context of solar batteries refers to how much energy is successfully stored and converted to useable electricity. Its currently impossible for a solar battery to be perfectly efficient, but some models come much closer than others. Take for example, Teslas Powerwall which has an efficiency of 92.5 per cent, meaning it loses 7.5 per cent of solar generated electricity in the storage process. This is still considerably higher than some models on the market.
What It Means To Be Energy Independent
You may be wondering what energy independence is all about. Basically, energy independence means being tied to your utility companys grid for power.
Being tied to the grid can be great for things like Net Metering. With Net Metering, utility companies will credit your account for any extra energy your panels produce, which would go towards future electricity bills.
However, there is still one major downside of being completely dependent on the grid.
When theres a power outage, your house goes lights out just like everyone elses on your block. No matter how much energy your panels produce for you, youll be unable to use it. Especially for people living in areas with severe weather, this is a problem.
And this is where solar batteries offer energy independence.
Note: while you cant be completely dependent of the grid unless youre going off-grid , you can be more energy independent with solar panels and a solar battery backup.
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How To Get The Most Out Of A Solar Battery
To maximise the potential savings of a solar storage battery, its important to ensure you have a suitable electricity tariff. Households with a controlled load or time of use tariff stand to save the most, while customers on a single rate tariff may be unable to get the same value.
Time of use and other flexible rate tariffs charge different rates at certain times, meaning electricity is usually the cheapest during normal working hours and very late at night. Electricity is more expensive during peak demand periods generally between 4pm and 8pm. Flexible rate or time of use customers with a solar battery can benefit from lower rates for most of the day, and use their stored solar power to cover peak period energy usage, rather than relying on the grid and paying higher peak rates. Most solar storage units can be set to automatically kick in between these hours, while some systems are compatible with apps that let you monitor and control when or how your stored solar power is used.
A controlled load tariff can also speed-up your solar battery savings as household appliances connected to this tariff only require electricity for a few hours a day, usually late at night. Customers can even connect their solar battery to a controlled load and charge their battery overnight with grid electricity thats at a cheaper rate. By morning, they can use their charged battery, rather than pay the full price for electricity.