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Lithium-ion Solar Powered Battery Storage - Get the Info!

Enphase AC Batteries

Written by Kristy Hoare, Edited by Ben McConnell

Lithium-ion solar powered battery storage has reached our fair shores, and its high time we embraced it.

There has been a lot of hype in the solar power market with all things concerning solar power battery storage. There are plenty of examples within New Zealand of off-grid homes that have been fitted with lead-acid batteries, previously essential for off grid living. Now, with the arrival of litium-ion battery storage, batteries can be enjoyed by those solar power users who are still connected to the grid. What does this mean? Simply, you can store power for later use, such as at night or in power outages, but still have the convenience of being connected to the grid (if you are so inclined). 

We’re guessing you have heard about the Tesla Powerwall, it was first onto the market and there was a lot of hype around this product.  Flash forward a few months and there are a lot more options available; LG Chem, Panasonic, Samsung and many others.   All of these products offer 5 – 8 kWh of useable storage, which is enough for the average home in New Zealand to store their excess solar power.

Tesla Power Wall Installed on Family Home on the home exterior

These products are really helpful for solar powered homes. If solar powered homes aren’t using their solar power during the day (which is when solar power is created), then they would be exporting their solar power to the grid.  Which would be a good thing, because someone else can use their clean green solar power and the home owner can get paid for it.  But electricity retailers have recently dropped the price they are willing to pay for exported solar power, which makes home owners return on investment drop off significantly.

For a lot of people who are at work or school during the day it makes sense for them to store their solar power so they can use it later at night, simple really.

Though these batteries are still expensive, they are not as expensive as they use to be. The new storage units use lithium-ion batteries, the same type of batteries used in cell phones, laptops and other portable devices.  Because of the portable device industry pushing innovation into lithium-ion batteries, the technology has become a lot light and a lot cheaper.  Industry commentators predict that these batteries will get 20% cheaper each year.

Vector, the lines company in Auckland, loves this new technology, and they are now partnered with Tesla and are distributing the Tesla Powerwall. We wouldn’t blame you for assuming lines companies would be against solar power and battery storage, because lines companies like to sell you more power, producing your own power kills off their profits.

But because lines companies have a huge cost in getting power to households at specific times of the day, normally between 5pm and 8pm, then they have to build their lines network to cater for the peak demand time. Most of the time their network isn’t being used to full capacity, so therefore they would benefit if consumers took the load off them and used their own stored solar power. 

A battery storage system on the market that is environmentally friendly uses salt water instead of lithium-ion.  The product is available in New Zealand and has been installed in the 10star home in Papamoa, Tauranga.  The technology isn’t as impressive as lithium-ion batteries as it has a low power output, but still, it is a fantastic option to consider.

Acquion sodium solar power battery storage

As mentioned earlier, the cost is not cheap, the LG Chem comes in around $9,995 for the unit along with installation, this unit has 5.12kWh of usable battery storage. The SolaX-Box has 3.84kWh of usable battery storage but potential to add more capacity is also around the $9,995 mark.  Many customers are opting to get a solar power system installed that is ‘battery ready’; to start saving on their power bills now and plan to buy the storage part of the system in a few years time.  Being ‘battery ready’ means you have the right solar inverter, monitoring and power management system installed that is compatible with a battery unit.

Lg Chem installed on home exterior

If you have any questions about battery storage, head over to My Solar Quotes and send us your thoughts, questions and comments.  

Showing 1 Comment

Posted by Tony Harvey on 29/04/2018 08:15 AM

All about doing the maths. A self sustaining electric life in suburbia is not for The average family. The cost of an 8kW system, a lithium battery and an EV will take years to pay off and is way beyond surburbian dwellers. The answer is making it economically feasible for us to buy into reusable energy like solar and leave the hydro and geothermal to be the battery....

Until the Power Companies Mafia is broken and a reasonable FIT is paid that won’t happen....

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