From the category archives:

Batteries & Energy Storage

Let’s talk about ‘energy throughput’: Should it replace battery ‘cycle life’?

December 5, 2016
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Australians households are fairly solar-savvy lot. With a solar panel for every human being in the country, Australia is a world leader in solar uptake, and there’s tons of information online about how to shop for solar (Solar Choice is one case in point). It wouldn’t take anyone too long to learn to talk meaningfully in […]

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What’s a partial off-grid solar-plus-storage system?

November 30, 2016
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Going partially off the grid is a smart alternative for homes who want to become completely energy self-sufficient. A partial off-grid solar system is one that runs a few essential electrical loads – for example, the refrigerator, lights and television – on a separate electrical circuit that has no physical connection to the grid mains. […]

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Power vs energy in home battery storage systems

November 29, 2016
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Different battery storage products have different specifications and capabilities, making them better or less well-suited for various applications. In this article we’ll talk about ‘power batteries’ vs ‘energy batteries’ – two terms that are sometimes used to describe battery products. Power batteries Power is a term generally used describe instantaneous electrical output. You can think […]

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Kilowatts vs kilowatt-hours in solar power & battery storage: Power, energy or capacity?

November 28, 2016
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If you’re shopping around for solar panels or a battery storage for your home, you’re undoubtedly come across the terms ‘kilowatt’ (abbreviated as kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh). These terms might be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve written this article to explain these terms and make them easy to understand. Power vs energy (vs capacity) When […]

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Battery storage take-up in Australia to snowball forward

November 23, 2016
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A NSW-based community solar and battery storage bulk buy program has been so successful that the promoters believe the battery storage sector may be in the early stages of mass-market uptake. The campaign, led by Suncrowd, has attracted thousands of people at roadshows in regional towns in New South Wales in the last few months, […]

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Why depth of discharge matters in solar battery storage system selection

November 23, 2016
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Depth of discharge (DoD) is one of the key figures to keep in mind when selecting batteries for a solar energy system. What is depth of discharge and how should it play into your choice of batteries? What is depth of discharge? The term ‘depth of discharge’ is fairly self-explanatory – it describes the degree […]

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Can you go off the grid with a 10kW solar system plus battery storage?

November 22, 2016
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We previously wrote an article about the feasibility of an Australian home going off-grid with a 3kW solar system – quite a small system size for such an ambitious endeavour. In this article, we’ll look at the case for going off-grid with a 10kW solar system – the unofficial upper limit for residential solar system […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

November 18, 2016
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When it comes to solar power in Australia, lots of things have changed in the last few years. If you’re currently shopping around for a solar system, perhaps the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this: You’ll get the most out of your solar panels by consuming the energy they produce while it […]

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How Trump could be great for battery storage

November 16, 2016
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Deutsche Bank has described the global battery market as being at an inflection point, with global consumption expected to treble from 70Gwh in 2015 to 210GWh by 2018, and then more than double again to 535GWh by 2025. The report, published on Thursday, said falling costs of technology – and particularly in the case of […]

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BYD’s B-Box: Battery storage from the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer

November 14, 2016
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BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, and has a long history in the production of batteries for a range of other applications as well. The company’s signature battery bank product is the B-Box, which is set to rival competitors on both price and quality. This article takes a look at BYD’s B-Box […]

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Solar and battery energy storage in Perth, WA

November 11, 2016
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Approximately 25-30% of the homes in the Perth area have solar PV systems on their roofs according to the APVI – many of these households are interested in installing a battery storage system as well. This article takes a look at the basics of battery storage for residential solar systems in and around Perth, WA. […]

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Battery storage: Retrofit or new build with solar?

November 10, 2016
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If you’re considering installing battery storage for your grid-connected home, you probably find yourself in one of two situations: You’ve already got a solar PV system on your roof and want to add batteries to it (possibly with the addition of a few more solar panels), or You don’t have solar yet, so you’re going to install both […]

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Solar battery storage in Sydney: Compare prices & options

November 9, 2016
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Solar battery storage is becoming an increasingly attractive and viable option for homes in Sydney, NSW. Fortunately, you can now compare battery storage options & prices from solar installers in Sydney with Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Quote Comparisons. What else do you need to know to make a decision about energy storage in Sydney? Getting […]

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Battery storage could seriously disrupt fossil fuel industry: Report

November 8, 2016
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A new report from global credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings has warned that battery storage is showing serious potential to “displace current technology far more rapidly than anticipated.” The report, Disruptive Technology: Batteries, notes that one of the key technologies that will be a major factor in how quickly the energy transition unfolds is on […]

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Is Tesla’s Powerwall 2 the cheapest lithium battery for homes?

November 4, 2016
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Tesla is selling second generation lithium-ion batteries at retail prices that are cheaper than the average manufacturing cost at most companies, setting a pace for the industry that is beating some of the most optimistic of price projections. According to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the Powerwall 2 just “may be the […]

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‘No more energy bills’ with solar? Buyer beware

November 3, 2016
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“Eliminate your energy bills!” is a phrase – frequently used in solar sales pitches – that Australian consumers should greet with a high degree of scepticism. If someone is making a promise that sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Let’s shed a bit of light on these claims so that you’ll know […]

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Proposed tariff would keep solar households connected to the grid

October 30, 2016
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Australia’s main network lobby hopes to encourage more than one million households with solar and storage to stay connected to the main networks, rather than quit the grid, with the proposal of a new tariff for stand-alone power systems. A new report commissioned by the Energy Networks Association predicts that by 2050 some 10 per […]

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US grid-scale energy storage developer to setup base in Australia

October 29, 2016
AMBRI battery

A US grid-scale energy storage developer is looking to set up a collaborative research base in Australia, and possibly a manufacturing hub, as it begins to test its liquid metal batteries technology at scale. The company – which was originally called Liquid Metal Batteries, after the technology, but is now called Ambri – was spun […]

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Are you a home battery storage early adopter?

October 26, 2016
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The age of grid-connected home battery storage is upon us. While battery price points aren’t yet low enough for us to start seeing mass uptake, they are low enough to be attractive for a disparate group of people lumped into the category of ‘early adopters’. Early adopters of home battery storage systems may come from […]

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LG Chem’s range of battery storage banks in Australia

October 25, 2016
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LG Chem is one of the clear leaders in Australia’s burgeoning home battery storage market. The company’s RESU lithium battery made a big splash when it was introduced last year as an affordable, high-quality competitor with Telsa’s much vaunted Powerwall. LG Chem has not rested on its laurels, however, having already introduced the next generation of […]

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At what point will home battery storage become a ‘no brainer’ investment?

October 24, 2016
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Home battery storage prices are coming down, bringing this increasingly sought-after technology closer to mass affordability. Early adopters are already getting their batteries installed around the country, and it’s only a matter of time before more solar homes begin following suit. How much further do battery storage prices need to drop before they make pure financial […]

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NSW Solar Bonus Scheme feed-in tariffs end this year: What are your options?

October 20, 2016
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On December 31 2016, recipients of NSW Solar Bonus Scheme will cease to receive bill credits for their exported solar energy. The Solar Bonus Scheme (which closed to new applications in 2011) offered 60c per kilowatt-hour or 20c/kWh, depending on the signup date. Once the scheme ends, these rates will drop significantly, to as low as low […]

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Choosing the best battery size for your energy consumption habits

October 18, 2016
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Each household uses different amounts of electricity in different patterns throughout the day. Understanding consumption patterns can help in determining the best solar system and battery bank size for a home. In this article we take a look a few examples of how system size interacts with consumption patterns. Home consumption patterns: A rough guide Household electricity […]

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Are flow batteries the future of home energy storage? Q&A with Redflow’s Simon Hackett

October 17, 2016
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Redflow’s ZCell is one of the most is one of the most in-demand battery storage products on the Australian market; it also stands out for being one of the only ‘flow batteries‘ currently available. Solar Choice had the opportunity to catch up with Redflow CEO Simon Hackett about the role of flow batteries (and the […]

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Should you get battery storage? Advice from three experts

October 13, 2016

Should you get battery storage for your home? And if you do, what should you get? Opinions differ, but there is plenty of good advice out there. Here are three different expert points of view. 1. The energy analyst: Energeia As a specialist energy market researcher, Energeia falls into the category of ‘very few households […]

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What’s the best solar panel orientation for home battery charging?

October 13, 2016
LG Chem RESU3.3

We know that the tilt and orientation of your solar panels can make a difference when it comes to solar PV system energy yields, but what impact do these factors have when you use your solar panels to charge a battery bank? We’ve taken a look in this article. There are numerous factors that need to […]

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Can your home solar batteries be recycled?

October 12, 2016

Battery storage system numbers are expected to skyrocket in Australia in the coming years. But despite their association with clean energy and as a key facilitator of renewables, the environmental-friendliness of batteries ultimately depends in large part on their ability to be broken down and recycled. We caught up with two experts to get their […]

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Solar energy battery storage in Brisbane: Compare installers & prices

October 11, 2016
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Interest in battery storage for solar energy among Brisbane residents has skyrocketed in the last year, with Solar Choice reporting a 90% increase increase in battery-related traffic between 2015 and 2016. What are the benefits of installing batteries for Brisbane residents, and what are the key questions to ask for households considering a home energy […]

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Solar Choice’s Solar Calculator Resource Library

October 4, 2016
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Over the years, Solar Choice has developed a range of interactive solar and battery storage-related calculator tools. This resource library acts as a homepage for these calculators, to make it easier to identify and access the calculator that best suits your needs. Please keep in mind that all calculator outputs are indicative only. Recommend on […]

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Advice for shopping for the Tesla Powerwall in Australia

October 4, 2016
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Tesla’s Powerwall is the most sought-after home battery storage device in Australia, thanks in great part to its association with American electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and its visionary chief Elon Musk. The Powerwall not only represents ‘a piece of Tesla’ – containing the same type of batteries as those inside the company’s high-end sports […]

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Home battery storage keeps the lights on in SA blackout

September 30, 2016

One of the promises of home battery storage was realised during South Australia’s historic blackout yesterday: Homes with batteries were able to keep the lights on even as surrounding building swam in a sea of darkness. The most high-profile of these was the home of Simon Hackett, head of Australia-based flow battery developer Redflow, whose […]

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