Solar Storage Batteries

The benefits of solar storage batteries and safety

Lindsay Parker

More Australians are embracing the benefits of solar storage batteries than ever before, and by installing batteries they can store electricity generated by their solar panels for use when the sun isn’t shining.

A solar storage battery system can:

  • Help reduce your reliance on electricity from the grid
  • Maximise your solar panels by allowing you to capture solar energy that would normally be sent to the grid and save it for your own usage later in the day
  • Offset the increased cost of power used during peak times
  • Save money by storing energy from the grid overnight when prices are low to use during peak times when prices are high (depending on your power agreement)
  • Provide electricity to your home during power outages (depending on your system)
  • Reduce your exposure to future electricity price rises

A range of solar storage battery technologies are available in Australia. This could include, but not be limited to, the following technology types:

  • lead-acid (advanced, flooded-cell and sealed)
  • lithium (ion and polymer)
  • nickel-based (metal hydrides and cadmium)
  • flow (zinc bromine and vanadium redox)
  • hybrid ion.

Different solar storage battery technologies and chemistries have different performance capabilities, and different requirements for installation, operation and maintenance.

Use the appropriate technology to suit your solar battery energy storage system requirements. There are three main types:

  • a pre-packaged battery module (enclosed factory connected batteries)
  • a pre-packaged system (enclosed factory connected batteries with other components such as a charger control or inverter)
  • a custom-made battery bank (individual batteries installed with other components and interconnected).

Your decision to use a specific BESS type will likely be influenced by factors such as price, available space and ease of installation and operation and maintenance. Several factors influence the overall design of the BESS, including your customer’s required energy storage capacity, their budget and the battery technology and type. You should also consider the system’s intended lifespan.

When designing a solar storage battery system, take into consideration your knowledge and experience, applicable standards, industry guidelines for best practice and the manufacturer’s recommendations. You should also think about:

  • the physical size required for the installation
  • necessary building modifications, which may need local council approval
  • the type of electrical switching and protection devices, cable sizes, inverter size and the overall reliability and compatibility of the various electrical components in the system
  • compatibility with an existing solar PV system or local electricity grid
  • whether the system will export electricity to the local grid to maximise tariff returns
  • a suitable emergency plan that you can manage.
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About the Author

Lindsay Parker

Lindsay is the CEO of GoSolar Newcastle. His business has installed over 7000 solar energy systems in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, and Hunter Valley area since 2010.
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