From the category archives:

Batteries & Energy Storage

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

September 11, 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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Time of use vs flat rate electricity tariffs with solar & batteries

August 30, 2017
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If you’re connected to the grid and own your home, you pay for electricity. In most places, in Australia, there are basically two types of tariffs: Flat rate tariffs (aka ‘peak only’ tariffs), where you pay a fixed amount for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy that your home draws from the grid, or Time of use […]

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Retrofitting battery storage in Brisbane: Some example case studies

August 29, 2017
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We recently published an article containing a number of example case studies about retrofitting solar battery storage in Sydney. This time around we’ll be taking a look at the case for retrofitting batteries in sunny Brisbane. In addition to the fact that Brisbane gets more sun, the circumstances around retrofitting batteries in Brisbane – and […]

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VSUN to launch vanadium flow battery for homes

August 29, 2017
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ASX-listed mining group Australian Vanadium has firmed up plans to target Australia’s energy storage market via its vanadium redox flow battery offshoot, VSUN Energy, and catch the wave of home solar and storage. In a media release, the company said it was looking to offer home battery systems – most likely starting with a base model of […]

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Sunwiz survey reveals ranking of battery manufacturers by quality & brand recognition

August 28, 2017
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When it comes to energy storage, Australia has captured the world’s attention and is a testing ground for battery products and sales strategies that will ultimately be rolled out across the world. SunWiz is currently conducting research that will assist in accelerating the battery market, by helping companies understand the market, successful sales strategies, and […]

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SA to install 30MW battery bank

August 25, 2017
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South Australia is set to install another large-scale battery storage system, this time to be located on the Yorke Peninsula in, as part of a renewables-based mini-grid with the nearby Wattle Point wind farm. The $30 million, 30MW/80MWh project, which will get $12 million grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, is the result of […]

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In response to ‘battery bunker’ standards debacle, AEMC recommends new body to oversee distributed energy

August 25, 2017
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The Australian Energy Market Commission has called for the creation of a new regulatory body to oversee the distributed energy generation market, including storage technology. In its final report on the Distribution Market Model, the energy market rule maker indicated the draft standards for battery storage, put together by Standards Australia, were not “fit for […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

August 23, 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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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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