From the category archives:

Batteries & Energy Storage

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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What are the best cities for home solar battery storage?

June 6, 2017
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Having just published an article on the state of Australia’s battery storage market at the beginning of 2017, 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 explanation of […]

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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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Can I add more panels to my existing solar system?

March 16, 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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Aquion Energy files for chapter 11 bankruptcy

March 9, 2017
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US ‘saltwater’ battery manufacturer Aquion Energy has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a press release issued by the company overnight. Chapter 11 bankruptcy, sometimes referred to as ‘reorganisation’ bankruptcy, gives the company protection from creditors while it endeavours to restructure itself and sell off its remaining assets. The company may continue operating if […]

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

March 8, 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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An overview of battery storage system specifications: How to read a battery spec sheet

March 6, 2017
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Talking about home battery storage can be confusing, and if you’re confused you’re unlikely to feel confident about making a big investment like a home battery bank. There are quite a few different terms & specifications that you’ll hear when shopping around for battery products. We’ve gathered them all here in attempt to bring some clarity to […]

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Is home solar battery storage worth it in 2017?

March 2, 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. Battery storage & payback periods in Australia Batteries are in high demand thanks to the promise of […]

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Believe the Hype: Australia’s Battery Market set to skyrocket

March 1, 2017
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For quite some time I’d dismissed the hype about the attractiveness of installing grid-connected batteries in Australia. Yes, everyone loves the idea of energy independence, and would love to give the middle finger to the electricity retailers who buy excess solar power at a fifth of the price they themselves charge. But I thought there would […]

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Batteries with benefits: How Reposit Power customers are maximising battery value

February 27, 2017
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Reposit Power is an Australian battery technology company whose name has become synonymous with battery storage value maximisation. The company’s software does two important things for homes with battery storage systems: it makes sure that batteries are always charged in the most cost-effective way possible (whether that be solar or off-peak grid electricity), and it […]

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Tesla’s Powerwall 2 in Australia: Advice for shoppers

February 7, 2017
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Tesla leapfrogged its competitors last year with the announcement of its new generation of battery storage product: Powerwall 2. Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is a more powerful and sophisticated version of the company’s original Powerwall, which itself set a benchmark in Australia for both battery storage pricing and performance. It’s on sale for roughly the same […]

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Solar battery storage in Melbourne, Vic: Compare prices & installers

February 5, 2017
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As prices fall, a growing number of Melbourne households are becoming interested in installing battery storage for solar energy. It is now possible to compare battery storage installers and prices in Melbourne by requesting a Battery Storage Quote Comparison from Solar Choice. What else do Melbourne homeowners need to consider before deciding on an installer and […]

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A comparison of home energy management systems in Australia

January 26, 2017
EMS

Solar PV systems are already commonplace and affordable in Australia, and battery storage is getting there quickly as well. Increasingly, Australia’s solar homes are looking for ways to maximise the value that solar & storage are able to deliver. Home energy management systems (sometimes referred to as EMSs or HEMS) are fast becoming a popular […]

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Solar battery storage in Canberra, ACT

January 7, 2017
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Battery storage for residential solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Australia – including in Canberra, ACT. If you’re a Canberra resident looking to install a battery storage system for your home, what are the main things that you need to consider? Solar Choice has developed a number of large-scale solar projects in the ACT, […]

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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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