Opal Storage Battery: An Independent Review by Solar Choice

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Background On Opal Storage – Company History 

Solar Juice is an Australian retailer of Solar Photovoltaic panels, converters, parts, and complete solar systems founded by Andrew Burgess. Burgess and his co-directors have considerable solar industry expertise dating back to the 1990s when they held important positions at Solarex Pty Ltd, BP Solar Pty Ltd, Conergy Pty Ltd, Shell Solar, and Siemens Solar.

Furthermore, Solar Juice’s headquarters are in Wetherill Park, Sydney, NSW, and they have facilities in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Townsville, and Brisbane. Solar Juice aspires to be a true wholesale partner and always striving to deliver great quality products and services.

Solar Juice serves a nationwide system of clients in every state and region in Australia. Also, Solar Juice became a part of Solar Power, Inc. or “SPI” in May 2015, a global pioneer in providing photovoltaic (PV) systems for corporate, household, government, and municipal users and shareholders.

Solar Power Inc. is a company that concentrates on the downstream photovoltaic industry, including the development, procurement, implementation, operation, and marketing of equipment and domestic solar power plants in China, Japan, Europe, and North America. 

Furthermore, SPI also runs a unique online power eCommerce and investment system that allows shareholders to buy revolutionary Photovoltaic investments and other goods. The company’s headquarters are in Shanghai, and it has international operations in Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia.

On the latest joint forces of Solar Juice and Scheletter, CEO and Solar Juice Founder Andrew Burgess highlights the value of the collaboration:  “As a photovoltaic distributor, we offer a variety of quality solar goods to clients across Australia, including panels, converters, the Balance Of System (BOS) components, and photovoltaic kits.”

Basics of Opal Storage All-In-One Storage Solution

Opal Solar is a company that operates under the brand name Solar Juice. The last time they came out with Opal Storage, they introduced an all-in-one home battery solution. Transparent data storage comes with complete backup capability and comes in two sizes: a more extensive version that costs about $12,000 and a smaller one for less than $10,000.

Furthermore, the small-sized product has a single modular battery rather than two and is expected to cost between $2,500 to $3,000 less. In addition, Opal Solar / Solar Juice emphasizes the simplicity of the installation, which should make the price of their products lower.

It’s not always clear when it comes to Opal Storage’s warranty; it depends on the individual components.

  • The battery and inverter management unit have a 5-year guarantee, and the warranty may be extended for an additional five years.
  • Metal Cabinet — 1-year warranty
  • If the 10-year-end condition or the 40,000-kilowatt-hour limit for the bigger version of LG Chem batteries is not met, LG Chem batteries—10 years or, for the bigger version, until it delivers 40,000 kilowatt-hours of capacity. To have it survive the whole ten years, you’ll need to use less than 10 kilowatt-hours of power, on average each day.

After the release of Solar Juice, the company received over 100 orders within two months after the debut. As a result, supply could not match demand at first, but increasing production and purchasing new equipment has eliminated a waiting time.

Opal Storage– Key Featuresopal storage

There are several features of Opal Storage that are worth mentioning:

Power And Endurance

During normal operating conditions, the SolaX inverter of the Opal Storage system is certified at 4.6 kilowatts as per their datasheet. However, when the grid goes down, this inverter can only provide 4 kilowatts. A standard household will be able to operate their electronics (televisions, computers, fans, etc.), as well as a refrigerator and air conditioner. Still, they should avoid or be cautious about using equipment with higher-draw, including electric stoves, electric heaters, and clothes dryers. Only 3 kilowatts of battery power are available at any one moment.

Depth Of Discharge

The storage capacity that is most easily accessed at different depth-of-discharge levels for the extensive system are:

  • 100% depth at discharge — 13 kWh
  • The maximum permitted depth of discharge of 95% – around 12.35 kWh.
  • More than 90% of the depth of discharge (max.) is allowed at 12.1 kWh.
  • 90% depth of discharge — 11.7 kWh (the value used in the Battery Comparison Table).
  • A depth of discharge of 80% – 10.4 kWh.

At the time when Opal Storage’s batteries are new, these capacities are not available. Over time, users will slowly decrease, and they will no longer be relevant. It guarantees that they’ll still have at least 60% of their normal strength after the warranty period. Even if the battery has a guarantee, the number of times it may be discharged doesn’t matter.

Operating Temperature

Batteries are often used in Australia. Thus, they may operate between -10°C to 45°C. However, when the ambient temperature is over 40°C, the inverter will be derated. When either batteries or solar panels are used, the maximum quantity of transformer output power will decrease. Also, if the temperature exceeds 45ºC, the battery capacity that will be left is only 75%. By then, it will have been liquid-cooled to just 50% of its initial strength.

How Much Do Opal Storage Cost?

We’ve reached out to Opal Solar for the wholesale cost of their batteries and will update this section when they back to us.

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Australian Warranty Terms For Opal Storage

You will get a standard 5-year warranty on the SolaX battery and inverter management unit, but you may pay to prolong it to up to 10 years. The cost will exceed $300. This statement can be made much longer, all of the ways up to 20 years, but you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons carefully before proceeding.

Furthermore, the SolaX warranty is only offered to customers outside of Australia. Luckily, a version of this application is available for download at Solar Juice.

Read more about Opal Storage’s Warranty Documentation Here

Opal Battery Technical Specs

Nominal Capacity [kWh] in total13kWh [2*6.5kWh]
Max Charge/Discharge Power [kW] in total6.0kw
Round Trip Efficiency [%]  95
Operating Temperature Range [oC] -10 °C~45 °C
Optimal Operating Temperature [oC] 15 °C~30 °C
Battery TypeLithium-ion
Warranty 5 years inverter & BMU security, and ten years partial battery warranty

Read About Home Battery Government Schemes Across Australia

South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Australian Capital Territory all currently have a home battery scheme in place.

The South Australian Home Battery Scheme enables eligible South Australian residents to receive up to $4,000 per installed battery.

The New South Wales Home Battery Scheme offers an interest-free loan up to $9000 for eligible households looking to install a solar battery.

The Victorian Government under the Solar Homes Program provides to those eligible, a maximum discount of $4,174 off the battery sale price. The next release of battery rebates is on the 2nd of September 2020.

The Australian Capital Territory Government under the Next Generation Energy Storage program provides a rebate of $825 per kilowatt (kW). An average household with a 5kW system would be eligible for approximately $4,000.

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Jeff Sykes