How Much Do Solar Batteries Cost?

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How much do solar batteries cost?

Switching to solar energy is an effective and much-needed initiative to save the planet. Now that you have decided to turn eco-friendly, it is time to get to the technicality of it. How much do solar batteries cost?

How soon will the money you invested break even?

Solar batteries come in a variety of sizes from small ones for your remote control to utility batteries for storing solar energy. A 13.5kWh solar battery costs between $5,000 and $7,000. Another way to find out the cost is by measuring the energy used at $400 to $750 per kWh. The cost changes depending on your location and the brand of choice.

Let’s take a look in detail how a solar battery will enhance your solar panels and extend the use of clean energy.

Are solar batteries worth it?

The popularity of solar batteries has gained momentum recently as state governments reduced the feed in tariff rates for home owners. The interest in solar batteries has increased as homeowners plan to save solar energy during non-peak periods and use it during peak periods to lower the overall electricity bills.

Before we answer the question, let’s understand two types of solar battery storage setups.

Off-grid – This is when house is not connected to any local or state electricity grid, you survive using solar energy generated by your rooftop panels exclusively. As you need to plan ahead for poor weather you need to be able to story large amounts of energy generated so you will require a lot of battery storage space. The price for this setup begins at $30,000. People who live in rural areas choose this option as it normally works out cheaper than getting Aus Grid out to run cables to your home and connect you to the regular grid.

Hybrid solar system – Your house is connected to an electricity grid, but the system will prioritize to use the stored solar energy. As you will generally use little power when the panels are producing their peak amount of energy, it is worth storing the energy to use after the sun goes down. On average, this setup costs $10,000 all in. It will take you years to fully pay back your initial outlay costs, but your investment won’t be wasted.

Coming back to the question – are solar batteries worth it? The answer is, yes they are absolutely worth the price you pay. Although it will take a few year to pay back, once you get past that initial period it’s basically free energy from then on. If you live in a rural area, there’s a good chance it will be cheaper to off-grid with lots of battery backup then pay Aus Grid to connect your home to the network. The hybrid option is a great choice for city or suburban houses to lower their expenses and making a switch to clean energy.

What batteries are best for solar storage?

You have three solar battery options for your house, including lead acid, lithium ion, and saltwater. Lithium-ion batteries are the most efficient, but they are also expensive. The other two are more affordable. If you are not sure about the type of battery to go for, here’s a quick explanation to help you out:

1. Lithium-ion batteries

One of the latest solar battery technology, lithium-ion batteries are lightweight and compact in size. They are the most expensive out of the three, but they have a longer product life and a higher Degree of Depletion (DoD). They are the gold standard in battery storage and the best choice.

2. Lead acid batteries

Lead acid batteries are commonly used in off-grid systems, but they have a short product life and has a lower DoD compared to the other two. They make a good option if you are looking for an affordable alternative to lithium-ion batteries. If you are planning to go completely off-grid and need to install several batteries to sustain a normal schedule, lead-acid batteries should be your first voice.

3. Saltwater batteries

Saltwater batteries are a recent innovation and a more eco-friendly option as it doesn’t contain any heavy materials. Instead, it uses saltwater electrolytes. The battery is easy to recycle, but requires a special process to dispose of it. Despite its good features, we don’t recommend you to use saltwater batteries because they haven’t undergone extensive testing nor have they been in the market long. They are probably the best option for larger installations such as for commercial buildings though.

Out of these, lithium-ion batteries are the best choice because they last longer, are smaller and lighter weight. However, if you are low on budget, but still want to turn eco-friendly while saving money at the same time, lead-acid batteries are a good choice.

Are solar batteries cost effective?

When we talk about judging whether solar batteries are cost-effective or not, we first need to compare its cost with the benefits. The first question you need to ask is – will I be able to recover the cost of the entire system including the panels, inverter and batteries?

Since 2010, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has reduced by 80 per cent, making them more affordable. Despite the reduction, it will take you anywhere between 10 to 12 years to recover the cost of the batteries, which is longer than the warranty period.

If you were to just get a solar system without the battery, your payback period would be about 4 years depending on the system size, your personal use and feed in tariffs you are being paid by energy retailers for excess energy.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits. If your house uses a lot of energy, then you will get good use out of the batteries, making it worth the price you pay. You can use it to save surplus energy, which you can utilize during the night. However, if you use only little solar power, it doesn’t make sense to invest $5,000 to $7,000 in a battery that you will rarely use. Solar batteries are cost-effective only if you are generating enough energy to make it worthwhile.

Lithium-ion vs. Lead acid

Modern humans have been using lead acid batteries for more than 150 years. We have developed a comparison chart along with an in-depth difference between the two to help you pick the right one:

 

Lithium-ion batteries Lead-acid battery
Chemistry try (metal used inside) lithium lead
Cost per battery $5,000 to $15,000 $2,000 to @7,000
Average weight 13 kilograms 40 kilograms
Amp hours 100 110
Life span (daily cycles) 2,000 to 5,000 5,00-1,000
Cost spent on battery for 10 years $1,300 $3,736
Winner Yes No

Lithium-ion and lead acid solar batteries direct comparison

1. Useable capacity

Lithium-ion – When you use it regularly, a lithium-ion battery has a rated capacity of more than 85 per cent. For example, if you have a 100 amp hour battery, it will store 85 amp hours or more energy.

Lead acid – It has a low rated capacity of 30 to 50 per cent, making it inefficient storage. This means a 100 amp hour battery will only store up to 50 amp hours of energy.

Winner: Lithium-ion

 

2. Efficiency of charging

Lithium-ion – You can fast charge 100 per cent of the battery. If you have a good charger, it will take less than half time lead acid batteries take. If you are unable to charge it to 100 per cent every time, it won’t damage the battery.

Lithium-ion was a great breakthrough in technology when first invented as it does not have a “battery memory”. This means you do not have to deep cycle it each time you charge and discharge.

Lead acid – Considering it is an old technology, charging the battery is a little complicated. You can bulk charge 80 per cent of the battery using a smart three-stage charger, but the remaining 20 per cent can’t be fast charged. If you check the time taken, the 20 per cent charge takes the same time it takes to charge the first 80 per cent of the battery.

Winner: Lithium-ion

 

3. Life cycle

Lithium-ion – You can effectively use lithium-ion batteries as they have an extended life cycle of 2,000 to 5,000 cycles. After 2,000 cycles, it will continue to deliver 75 per cent of its capacity.

Lead acid – Even the best lead-acid batteries have a limited life cycle of 500-1000 cycles. If you regularly use the battery, you will have to replace it in less than 4 years.

Winner: Lithium-ion

 

4. Maintenance requirements

Lithium-ion – It is virtually maintenance free once you complete the balancing procedure. To make things easier, this is done by your solar installer and everything can be monitored by yourself from the app. It ensures that all cells in the battery are charged automatically using the Battery Management System.

Lead acid – It is difficult to maintain as it needs to be topped off with distilled water regularly. Even though gel cells and AGM are maintenance free, they are flooded with water if you overcharge them.

Basically a nightmare if you are after a set and forget setup.

Winner: Lithium-ion

 

5. Energy wastage

Lithium-ion – The latest models of lithium-ion batteries are almost 100 per cent efficient. It is crucial because your goal is to store as much solar energy as possible, especially when its winter or autumn and energy creation is at a minimum because there is less daylight and the angle of the sun is suboptimal.

Lead acid – On the other hand, lead acid batteries are only 85 per cent efficient at best and begin to drop off from there quite quickly.

Winner: Lithium-ion

 

6. Climate resistance

Lithium-ion – Both batteries lose their efficiency in cold temperatures, but lithium-ion battery is still more efficient than lead-acid battery. At – 20 degree Celsius, it will remain 80 per cent efficient.

Lead acid – It is only 30 per cent efficient at – 20 degree Celsius. You are wasting a lot of money by opting for lead-acid batteries. The efficiency is affected similarly at extremely high temperatures as well.

How many solar batteries will I need to power my house?

To find the number of solar batteries your house will require, you need to calculate the household electrical consumption, which is measured in kilowatt-hours. The typical Australian home consumes about 23kWh of energy each day on average. This will fluctuate in times of need like hot days when you are using your air conditioning. Your house’s electricity bill will tell you the energy your house consumes.

As about 70% of all energy is used at night when people are home, it is wise to store about 70% of your average daily consumption to sue at night. If we are taking the national average that is about 16kWh.

How much do some popular solar batteries cost?

The cost of the solar battery you choose depends on your daily energy use, amount of excess energy your solar panel produces during the day, and the type of system — off-grid or hybrid. On average, solar batteries cost $5000, which comes to around $105/month for five years.

For example, if you use 16 kWh of energy every day, 6 kWh of which is used during the day, then you will need 10 kWh of battery for using it in the night.

10kWh Batteries
Senec. Home Li 10 is an excellent 10 kWh battery costs $15,202,
Redflow ZCell costs $12,600.

If you pay 30c per kWh to your local electricity board, you can save around $1.50 per day by installing a 5 kWh battery. It totals to $547.50 per year, and if the battery lasts for ten years, you save $5,475. A 5 kWh battery costs $3800, so you end up saving $1,675. It decreases with a smaller system and increases with a bigger battery.

How much does it cost to install a Tesla Powerwall?

Tesla Motors launched Tesla Powerwall in 2015. It is a part of the company’s sustainable energy vision along with Tesla Solar Roof. The Powerwall 2.0 battery currently costs $6,700 without installation charges. Equipment and hardware cost adds another $1,100, while installation increases the total cost by $2,000 to $8,000. Tesla decides the final installation cost depending on your location and

You can add financial incentives to the cost to reduce the price. If you plan to install the Powerwall as part of a solar-plus-storage system, the model with cost between $8,500 and $16,000. It sounds like a huge investment, but it is worth the price you pay because it will turn your house into a self-sufficient and sustainable system.

Will solar batteries come down in price?

For the past 20 years, the price of solar batteries has dropped considerably, and the pattern will continue in the future. According to 8minutenergy, solar storage is cheaper than gas backup, so if you have a storm or hurricane and there’s a power outage, you can use solar energy and run all major appliances.

Total cost, including the solar batteries and installation, is dropping by nine per cent every year. In 2017, a 5kW system cost $3,850. It dropped to $3,311 in 2019. At the same time, electricity cost is increasing by at least six per cent a year. If you paid $2,600 in electricity for a year in 2017, you would be paying $3,096 in 2020. If you aren’t ready to pay a huge price right now, you can start with a hybrid system and slowly convert into an off-grid system.

You can benefit from reducing prices while saving some money simultaneously. You will make a return on investment of 25 per cent after installing the solar system. You can get good use out of them if you live in a strategic location.

Even though installing solar systems might not be an economical choice, it will save you money in the future. You can power up your entire house using solar energy and not feel bad about using excessive electricity.