From the category archives:

Batteries & Energy Storage

I’m (finally) going to live in a solar-powered home

August 15, 2017
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After nearly a decade working in Australia’s solar industry, I’m finally getting in on the action on a personal level. From next week I’m moving to Newcastle and will be living in a home with solar panels on the roof. Moving into a house that’s already got solar is something that must happen a lot. […]

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What are the best cities for home solar battery storage? (August 2017 update)

August 7, 2017
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Having just published an article on the state of Australia’s battery storage market at the beginning of 2017 (recently updated), we decided we would endeavour to shed a bit more light on payback period differences between each capital city. Which cities have the best conditions for home solar battery storage? We’ve ranked them below (with an […]

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Is home solar battery storage worth it in 2017? (August update)

August 7, 2017
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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 2017? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. It was last updated on 7 August 2017 to […]

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Battery safety standards decision looms large over industry

August 2, 2017
Tesla Powerwall 2

Standards Australia will soon decide whether to allow home lithium battery banks to be installed in a garage or external wall – or whether they’ll be required to live in ‘battery bunker’ in your back yard, accessible only to ‘authorised persons’. The consultation period for input on the proposed changes closes on 14 August, with […]

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Interested in batteries? NSW Government’s Home Solar Battery Guide is a must-read – no matter which state you live in

July 27, 2017
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Earlier this year the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment commissioned Total Environment Centre, Alternative Technology Association and Zumio to produce a guidebook for state residents interested in battery storage for their home. The end product – the NSW Home Solar Battery Guide – was released earlier this month and is an essential […]

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Introducing our new Home Solar & Battery Storage Systems Guide

July 19, 2017
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Over the years Solar Choice has published thousands of articles on the topic of solar power and (more recently) battery storage. Much of this knowledge is spread across various parts of our website (mainly our blog), so we’re recently taken some time to consolidate all the most relevant materials in one place. The result is […]

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Big improvements to our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool

July 13, 2017
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It’s been well over a year since we first released our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool in February 2016. Through its life so far, this handy tool has been visited by over 50,000 people trying to determine whether solar battery storage is worth the the money. As a first effort, this tool was […]

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Newly formed battery giant Fluence aims to take on Tesla

July 11, 2017
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Energy giants AES and Siemens have combined their energy storage divisions to take on upstarts like Tesla and other industry rivals, in an effort to dominate the soaring global battery storage market. The jointly owned entity, Fluence, will focus exclusively on grid-level storage, rather than in the household market, with a minimum size of 100kW. […]

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A guide to community microgrids

July 11, 2017
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carbonTRACK Community microgrids are a way for neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities to meet their energy needs locally. Increasingly, community microgrids are being eyed as an option even in areas where a larger grid already exists, mainly as a way to increase local energy independence and resilience. This article covers community microgrid basics, from the reasons […]

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Walnut Energy: Battery solutions for commercial, industrial & grid-scale applications

July 11, 2017
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Walnut Energy is an Australian developer of containerised battery storage solutions for medium to large-scale commercial and industrial premises – not to mention power plants and microgrids. Their battery storage products can be deployed in on-grid, edge-of-grid and off-grid applications to deliver a range of capabilities which include storing energy, providing black out protection, voltage […]

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Ampetus Super Lithium: Modular, cost-competitive battery bank for homes

July 10, 2017
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Ampetus Energy is an Australian battery storage system developer offering one of the most cost-effective battery products currently available: the Ampetus Super Lithium battery. The battery comes with a 10 year warranty that is extendable to 15 years, and can be installed ‘loose’ or as part of a fully-integrated cabinet package. The company aims for […]

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sonnenFlat: sonnen’s ‘free’ / flat-rate electricity plan looks great. Is it worth it?

July 6, 2017
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German battery system maker sonnen has launched its ground-breaking sonnenFlat package – a retail electricity offer available to anyone with at least a 5kW solar system and a sonnen battery system with a minimum of 8kWh of capacity. sonnenFlat customers pay only a single monthly fee (starting at $30) to sonnen instead of having a conventional […]

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Retrofitting battery storage in Sydney: Some example case studies

July 6, 2017
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You are a solar PV system owner who is now considering adding battery storage. The options you have depend on a number of factors, and there are a range of situations that warrant different approaches – and have different outcomes. In this article we take a look at some example situations that solar system owners […]

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sonnen launches battery-driven plan to take retailers ‘out of business’

July 5, 2017
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German battery storage developer sonen has described this month’s near 20 per cent jump in the cost of grid power around Australia as “perfect” timing for the rollout of its new battery storage retail power plan. “It was perfect. We said: ‘Thankyou very much’,” sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann told journalists at the launch of the […]

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7 good reasons to install battery storage now

June 28, 2017
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There are now dozens of home battery storage product options to choose from on the Australian market. Prices are coming down quickly, and as electricity prices rise (as they are set to do in most states) batteries are beginning to look quite attractive. As a counterweight to our article about reasons to wait to install […]

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Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition 2017: Roundup

June 20, 2017
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Every June for the last three years I’ve attended the Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition in Sydney. This year the event took place on 14-15th at Sydney’s new Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICC Sydney) in Darling Harbour. It was held concomitantly with the Renewable Cities conference. As in the style of previous years (e.g. 2015 […]

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Add more solar panels or get batteries? A customer case study

June 1, 2017
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Being a nation-wide advice & comparison service for rooftop solar, Solar Choice regularly receives enquiries from customers from people all over the country. We recently received a call from a NSW-based customer approaching retirement; her query was about whether it would make more sense for her to install a 3kWh battery bank for around $5,000, or […]

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Diversification the key to a resilient energy market

June 1, 2017
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Australia’s energy markets are becoming more complex due to battery storage and rooftop solar, and diversifying the mix of energy sources can ensure the grid remains resilient, according to Dr Michael Ottaviano, CEO and Managing Director of Carnegie Clean Energy. For the last ten years, Carnegie Energy has been developing utility-scale solar power, wave energy […]

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Peer-to-peer trading with solar & batteries: What to look for

May 31, 2017
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‘Peer-to-peer energy trading’ is a buzzword that is thrown around quite a bit in Australia as the number of solar & battery storage systems grows. What is peer-to-peer energy trading and how can it benefit you? We caught up with Localvolts founder Jitendra Tomar to gain a fuller understanding of the concept – and to […]

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Battery storage: Retrofit or new build with solar?

May 29, 2017
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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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Retrofitting battery storage to an existing solar PV system: What to consider

May 29, 2017
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Lots of Australian homes are expected to install battery storage in the coming years. Many of these homes will install brand new solar-plus-storage systems, but quite a few will be retrofitting batteries onto a pre-existing system. What do you need to keep in mind for a battery storage system retrofit? Considerations for retrofitting energy storage […]

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Empowered energy customers support the grid

May 24, 2017
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With the right technology, homeowners and businesses with solar and battery storage systems have the potential to play a vital role in stabilising a grid with high renewable generation, according to Luke Osborne, Chief Operations Officer for Reposit Power. By integrating innovative software with solar battery systems, Reposit Power helps customers who invest in these […]

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Levelised cost of storage: A better way to compare battery value

May 23, 2017
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When it comes to choosing batteries for home or commercial battery storage, it can be difficult to sift through the multitude of options to find the IDEAL battery for your application. The options range from different operating voltages, amp-hour (Ah) storage capacities, sizes, weights, brands and – to make things even more complicated – different […]

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Could distributed battery systems ‘blackstart’ the grid?

May 17, 2017
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Solar Choice recently received a comment from a visitor to our site asking about whether distributed battery storage systems – using Reposit Power‘s battery management technology – could be used to restart the grid in the event of a blackout. We reached out to Reposit for a response, and they came back to us with […]

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

May 16, 2017
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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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Avoiding the boom and bust for a sustainable energy storage market

May 15, 2017
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By studying the successes and challenges experienced by overseas projects and markets, and using them to inform better policy and decision-making, Australia’s energy market transformation could be the best-practice example that other countries seek to emulate, according to Mark Leslie, Asia Market Leader at AES Energy Storage. AES Energy Storage has been deploying utility-scale energy […]

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

May 8, 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. How much energy independence […]

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Sizing residential solar & battery systems: A quick guide

April 26, 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. Solar system sizing table (no batteries) If you’re considering solar panels for your […]

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How much can you really save with ‘selective export’ of solar & battery energy?

April 7, 2017
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Now that solar feed-in tariff rates are so low across the country, there’s little reason for a solar system owner to send their energy back into the grid, as they will almost always save more money by ‘self-consuming‘ their solar energy. This is one of the reasons that the popularity of battery storage systems has grown so […]

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‘No more energy bills’ with solar? Buyer beware

April 3, 2017
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Rooftop solar panels are a fantastic investment in Australia, but be realistic in your expectations “Eliminate your energy bills!” is a phrase – sometimes used in solar sales pitches – that Australian consumers should greet with a healthy degree of scepticism. If someone is making a promise that sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly […]

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Is home solar battery storage a good match and your energy consumption habits?

March 16, 2017
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Each household uses different amounts of electricity in different patterns throughout the day. Some consumption patterns are more conducive to battery storage as an investment, and knowing your consumption habits can help you to decide on the best solar system and battery bank size for your home. In this article we take a look a few […]

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