From the category archives:

Solar System Products

Is home solar battery storage worth it? (Jan 2018 update)

January 18, 2018
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2018? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. We then had an August 2017 update, followed by […]

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Sungrow PowCube battery storage system (Analysis & review)

January 17, 2018
Sungrow PowCube battery

Inverter manufacturer Sungrow has recently introduced its PowCube battery storage system into the Australian market. The PowCube system consists of a Sungrow SH5K Hybrid inverter and up to 3x SPB4K8 battery units, which have been developed as part of a joint venture between Sungrow and battery manufacturer Samsung SDI. The PowCube system promises to be […]

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Second Tesla “big battery” to power Victorian farm

January 15, 2018
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French renewables developer Neoen has once again selected US battery maker Tesla to partner with it on another ground-breaking Australian project – the construction of a wind farm and battery storage facility that will help power a regional Victoria farming business. The wind and battery project, first flagged in mid-2017, will pair the 204MW Bulgana […]

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

January 15, 2018
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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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2018: When battery storage will get a grip on the grid

December 20, 2017
Battery forecast

A new forecast on battery storage growth in Australia has predicted an additional 800MWh of utility scale batteries installed or in construction by this time next year, and almost as much battery installed behind the meter by the end of 2018. The forecast comes from Ray Wills: a Western Australian energy expert and “futurist” with […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – December 2017

December 13, 2017
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Welcome to the second edition of Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index – the companion to our Solar PV Price Index, which covers solar system installation prices around Australia. The aim of the Battery Storage Price Index is to assist you in determining whether batteries are right for your home. Average battery system prices for […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – December 2017

December 12, 2017
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The average price per watt ($/W) for primary offerings was $1.30 this month – down slightly from November and a new low since we began tracking prices in 2012. The average for a premium system was $1.54/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.86/W. December marks the second month using our new Solar […]

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ATA launches free home solar and battery sizing tool

December 6, 2017
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Australian homes looking to install solar and battery storage systems can now access a free-to-use tool offering them key guidance on the system size, expected energy bill savings and payback times. The online service – available here – was launched by not-for-profit Alternative Technology Association (ATA) on Tuesday. It aims to bridge a knowledge gap […]

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Solar-plus-storage: How much battery capacity do you need?

December 5, 2017
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Lots of Solar Choice customers ask about battery storage for solar power, but not many have a clear idea of how much battery capacity they need. This article takes a look at the factors that come into play when considering how to choose the right amount of battery capacity for your solar-plus-storage system. Note that this article […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

December 4, 2017
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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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ARENA still has $700m to spend, to bring down cost of storage

November 29, 2017
ARENA battery portfolio

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has tipped 2018 to be a big year for large-scale energy storage, as the Agency focuses its efforts and remaining funds on the integration of large-scale solar and wind. In an address to the Large Scale Solar and Storage conference in Sydney on Monday, ARENA investment director Dan Sturrock said […]

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Sizing residential solar & battery systems: A quick guide

November 27, 2017
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What size solar panel array do you need for your home? And if you’re considering battery storage, what size battery bank would be most appropriate? This article includes tables that provide an at-a-glance guide, as well as links to more comprehensive calculators. [Note that this article was originally published in April 2017.] Solar system sizing […]

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New solution turns forklifts into commercial solar batteries

November 22, 2017
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RossiniEnergy has developed a device that transforms underused forklifts into energy storage systems for businesses. The solution, called Nuvolino, is already in commercial operation in Italy and France – and has recently made its debut in Australia. Energy storage: A powerful solution with just one problem The transition to a resilient, sustainable power generation will […]

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Is public uncertainty holding back Australia’s home battery boom?

November 22, 2017
Battery storage knowledge

Australians love the idea of battery storage, in the much the same spirit with which they embraced rooftop solar – as another way to cut electricity bills, gain control over their own power, help save the environment, and/or stick it to the man. But they don’t quite get it. Yet. That is one of the […]

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Introducing Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index (and a major overhaul of our Solar PV Price Index)

November 16, 2017
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Since the beginning of 2017, there have been over half a million views of battery storage-related pages on the Solar Choice website and well over 3,000 customer enquiries about batteries. These offer a fairly clear indication that people looking into solar are also interested in battery storage. A lot of this is thanks to coverage […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – November 2017

November 14, 2017
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We’re excited to announce that we have at long last published our first Battery Storage Price Index – a generalised view of what it costs to have a battery storage system installed in Australia. If you’ve done any research into the battery storage market at all, you’ve probably already worked out that batteries are complicated. […]

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How much money can you save with Enphase’s AC Battery?

November 9, 2017
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We recently published an article on the topic of how much money a household could save with a Tesla Powerwall 2. Soon thereafter, we received two separate requests to do a similar analysis for Enphase’s AC Battery – also one of the most popular battery storage offerings available in Australia, but without as much media […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – November 2017

November 7, 2017
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We’ve introduced some major improvements to this month’s Solar PV Price Index. Namely: We’ve added 7kW solar systems to all tables We’ve included in new tables & data for ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ system offerings We’ve drawn clearer distinctions between ‘primary’, ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ pricing We’ve dropped 1.5kW systems from our data tracking (because so few […]

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Whyalla steel city goes green with 1GW of solar and storage

November 2, 2017
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UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has announced massive investments in solar and storage that will knock 40 per cent off electricity costs for his newly acquired Australian steel business. Gupta said on Monday he would build 1GW of dispatchable renewables – a suite of technologies including solar, battery storage, pumped hydro and demand management – in […]

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Upsolar solar panels in Australia

October 31, 2017
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Upsolar is a leading international developer and producer of quality solar photovoltaic (PV) modules at competitive prices. The company was founded in 2006 in Hong Kong, and has offices in Australia, the Americas and Europe. Upsolar solar modules: One of the best ‘quality-to-cost’ ratios on the market Upsolar develops and produces solar photovoltaic (PV) modules […]

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How much money can you save on power bills with a Tesla Powerwall 2?

October 26, 2017
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Previously we’ve looked at the question of payback periods for home battery systems such as Tesla’s Powerwall 2, LG Chem’s RESU and Alpha ESS’s Storion Eco. These articles focused primarily on the investment case for installing a battery bank (usually with a 5kW solar system) and looked at meaningful numbers like ‘payback period’ and ‘internal […]

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Sonnen announces ‘suburban microgrid’ model for new-build Australian estates

October 25, 2017
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A new Australian housing estate that will use solar and battery storage to create a kind of suburban microgrid is set to be announced by German home battery storage giant Sonnen. In a visit to Australia this week, Sonnen CEO Philip Schroeder said the SonnecCity concept – which is also being rolled out in Arizona, […]

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Getting the upper hand on your electricity bills with energy monitoring & management

October 19, 2017
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Do you have a clear picture of what’s actually using electricity in your home and how much that costs? If you’re like most Australians, you almost certainly don’t. Historically, this hasn’t been an issue because electricity bills weren’t a major concern for most households – and in any case, the number of devices was probably […]

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New poll confirms that battery is popularity skyrocketing

September 28, 2017
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A new poll has confirmed the increasing popularity of home battery storage in Australia, as households look to reduce their dependence on expensive grid-supplied electricity, and cut soaring power bills. The Reachtel poll, commissioned by the Climate Council, found that 74 per cent of people surveyed from across Australia expect household batteries to be commonplace […]

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Our presentation to Ryde City Council (NSW) about solar & batteries

September 21, 2017
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A couple of months ago I was invited by the local council of Ryde, NSW to give a presentation about the state of the market for solar & batteries in Australia. Ryde City Council has some great sustainability initiatives, including a free Home Waste & Sustainability Advisory Service, which includes a home audit for people […]

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Standards Australia likely to dump proposed ‘battery bunker’ requirement

September 20, 2017
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A controversial battery storage installation guideline that threatened to ban lithium-ion battery systems from being put in Australian homes or garages, looks likely to be dumped by Standards Australia, after a round-table meeting on the matter last week. The meeting comes after an extended period of uncertainty for Australia’s residential battery storage industry, following the […]

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Residential battery storage installations ‘surge’ in 2017: Sunwiz

September 20, 2017
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Home battery storage uptake in Australia is surging in 2017, as homes and small businesses seek to minimise their grid electricity usage, and maximise consumption of rooftop solar, to beat power price hikes. New data from industry analysts SunWiz shows more than 7000 battery storage systems were installed across Australia in the first six months […]

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Looking beyond solar feed-in tariffs: How to pick an electricity retailer

September 18, 2017
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When solar system owners shop around for an electricity retailer, the first thing they tend to look at is the solar feed-in tariff rate that the retailer offers. The fact is, however, that solar feed-in tariffs are no longer as important as they once were – so what else should solar system owners look for in […]

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Can I add more panels to my existing solar system?

September 18, 2017
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Some of the most common questions we receive at Solar Choice are about adding solar panels to an existing solar PV system. This article takes a look at the situations in which you might want to add panels, and what you need to bear in mind before making a decision. Possible reasons for adding more panels […]

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Let’s follow Turnbull’s lead on solar & storage to keep the lights on

September 13, 2017

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is proud of the upgraded 14kW rooftop solar array and 14kWh  battery storage system installed at his harbourside mansion in Sydney’s Point Piper: “My son Alex is very knowledgeable on renewables, energy economics generally, and we had solar panels for a long time,” Turnbull told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in a radio interview on Thursday. […]

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Backup power with home solar battery storage: What are your options?

September 12, 2017
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Home battery storage is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, and one of the most in-demand features is backup power, which provides electricity to a home even when the grid is down. In this article we take a look at the main approaches to battery storage that you’ll come across as you shop around for a […]

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