Solar & Home Battery Energy Storage

The energy storage revolution is well and truly underway as the demand for coal-fired power continues to fall, renewable energy sources like wind and solar are rapidly increasing in market share.

Advancements in solar PV technology are making home solar power systems much more efficient at producing power. The next logical step in the renewable energy revolution is the ability to store energy from renewable sources for on-demand use.

Storing electricity from solar or wind systems is nothing new and has been possible for many years however the deep cycle batteries and associated system components have made doing so an expensive and in many cases economically unviable option.

For many years off-grid battery storage systems have mainly been used by people living in remote areas where there is no local power grid available.

Enter the lithium-ion battery, this type of battery has been a game changer in the home energy storage market, the price of this type of battery and its associated components are continuing to fall as market demand increases, and battery manufacturing meets that demand.

The new phase of energy storage systems like Tesla Powerwall, sonnenBatterie and Enphase AC Battery is on the rise, and similar systems will dominate the market in the future.

How does home battery storage work?

Most new generation grid-connect home energy storage systems are simple to understand. The individual system control components are hi-tech electronic devices though.

The diagram below shows the very basics of the setup:

how home energy storage works
  • 1. Solar panels produce DC electrical current from the sun.
  • 2. Any surplus power not used in the home can power a battery like the Tesla Powerwall.
  • 3. The power inverter converts the DC form the solar panels and the battery into AC for home use.
  • 4. The inverter also can have the ability to turn AC into DC to charge the battery or Powerwall taking advantage of low-cost off-peak electricity rates.

A Tesla Powerwall designed for daily use is both single and three phase compatible with a 7kWh capacity and 3.3kWs of continuous peak output capacity. Powerwall is wall mounted with liquid thermal control weighing in at 100kg. Compared to now old school deep cycle batteries Powerwall is a much more efficient storage device.

Up to 9 6.4kWh Tesla Powerwalls may be installed together providing at least two days power supply for an average Australian home, SolarEdge is expected to release a new inverter model sometime in 2016 that will support multiple Powerwall configurations.

How much can you save with a battery storage system?

Based on a system installed in Sydney, it is possible to reduce your power bill by up to 80% using a solar and battery storage system. Many variables can affect your savings outcome like your location and when and how you consume power in your home.