How do you choose the best solar batteries for your home? And how many are there to choose from?
When choosing a lithium home battery the choice is vast and varied. The reputable Solar Quotes website has listed the lithium home batteries available on the Australian market at forty and they haven’t listed them all. Many from companies most of us have never heard of and quite possibly, we suspect, many we will never hear from again.
We know through experience batteries for homes will need manufacture’s support, they will need software updates, monitoring and need to have spare parts available over the long term. We don’t think anyone would expect any man-made product as complex as Lithium home batteries to be served free. Especially over an expected life span of 15 to 20 years. Unless the support is there you will be replacing a very expensive bit of kit well before you should be. So do your research. Speak to your Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer, check the credentials of the Home Battery manufacturer and your retailer.
As a retailer, we at Clean NRG Solar are in the same boat. We need guaranteed support for the brands we sell. The last thing we want is to sell hundreds of solar batteries for homes only to find out the manufacturer has gone broke or disappeared from the Australian market. Unfortunately, this has been our experience with some inverter and solar panel manufacturers so we are very gun shy when it comes to the reputation of the manufacturers we support.
So what do we look for in a manufacturer?
- Global presence. Is the company represented in many countries around the world? Do they have a good reputation for service and backup in these countries? Are they well respected?
- Australian presence. Do they have an Australian office? Have they invested in Australia with local staff and warehousing?
- Are they financially stable in their own right? Who is their parent company? What is their Market capitalisation?
- Is it a marketable product? Is it popular with consumers and can we sell this product? Are the features of their batteries for home what our Clean NRG Solar customers are looking for?
This year, we at Clean NRG Solar have narrowed the available brands down to these five (5) core companies offering world-class lithium home batteries
Senec Home battery
Enphase Home battery
Delta home battery
BYD home battery
We think these brands tick all the boxes. That’s not to say others don’t but at Clean NRG Solar, these are the brands we have chosen to support. These brands have also chosen Clean NRG Solar as a part of their preferred dealer network. Being world-class brands, this was no mean feat. It’s usually a vigorous process to become a ‘preferred dealer’ not an easy and simple process. This is how the manufacturers eliminate the cowboys when it comes to lithium home batteries. For example, the Tesla Powerwall 2 Perth dealership or the approved Tesla retailer was a very detailed process with a very technical selection process.
So for our customers, it then comes down to the individual requirements, circumstances and the preferred features and benefits they want for their batteries for home. This is where a personal consultation is important. One of our friendly staff will sit down with you and help make the decision. Important things to know are:
- Do you have an existing Solar PV system? If so how much power are you sending back to the grid?
- Do you have a three-phase or singles phase connection?
- Is backup power important to you?
- What suitable space do you have to install Lithium home batteries?
- How big is your current power bill?
Armed with this information we can make a solid recommendation and give you some accurate pricing. We will also give you the payback period and a time frame for installation.
For most homes, we think lithium home batteries don’t make complete economic sense yet and are not viable from a financial perspective. Batteries are still relatively expensive and the payback time will often be longer than the warranty period of the battery. Currently, a lithium-ion battery and hybrid inverter will typically cost between $6,000 and $16,000 (installed), depending on capacity and brand. However, prices are falling and in two or three years it may well be the right decision to include a storage battery with any solar PV system. Sooner if the WA government decides to implement a subsidy program like other states in Australia. We also think the savings a battery will make will be greater than the price drops that are likely to occur.
Nevertheless, many people are investing in batteries for homes now. Like the Tesla Powerwall 2 or the Senec Home battery at least ensuring their solar PV systems are battery-ready. We recommend you work through quotes from reputable approved solar retailers like Clean NRG Solar installers before committing to a battery installation.
Government lithium home batteries rebate schemes, and energy trading systems such as Reposit, can definitely make batteries economically viable. Beyond the usual Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) financial incentive for batteries, there are currently rebates or special loan schemes in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and the ACT. Unfortunately, as of July 2019, WA has no home battery rebate program in place.
When you’re doing the sums to decide whether batteries for home makes sense for you and your family, remember to consider the feed-in tariff (FiT). In WA it’s 7.13c/kWh. This is the amount you’re paid for any excess power generated by your solar panels and fed into the grid. For every kWh diverted instead into charging your battery, you’ll forgo the feed-in tariff. While the FiT is generally quite low in most parts of Australia, considering the cost to buy electricity in WA is 28.32c per kWh, it’s still an opportunity cost you should consider.
Terminology: Watt (W) and kilowatt (kW) are units used to quantify the rate of energy transfer. One kilowatt = 1000 watts. With solar panels, the rating in watts specifies the maximum power the panel can deliver at any point in time. With batteries, the power rating specifies how much power the battery can deliver. Watt-hours (Wh) and kilowatt-hours (kWh) are measures of energy production or consumption over time. The kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the unit you’ll see on your electricity bill because you’re billed for your electricity usage over time. A solar panel producing 300W for one hour would deliver 300Wh (or 0.3kWh) of energy. For lithium home batteries, the capacity in kWh is how much energy the battery can store.
BESS (battery energy storage system). This describes the complete package of lithium home batteries, integrated electronics, and software to manage the charge, discharge, DoD level and more.
Whatever your choice we believe brands like Senec Home battery, Tesla Powerwall 2, Enphase Home battery, Delta Home battery and BYD home battery are well suited to WA conditions and well-supported brands that are here to stay… just like Clean NRG Solar.
So who are these companies keen to sell batteries in Australia and what sort of companies are they?
Tesla is seen as a pioneering company by many. This USA based company led by their charismatic CEO Elon Musk is credited as almost single handily making electric cars mainstream. Tesla market cap as of June 26, 2019, is $38.18 Billion.
Senec Home Battery. Since March 2018, SENEC has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, one of the largest energy supply companies in Germany and Europe. Backed by this financially strong parent company with extensive power supply know-how, SENEC offers comprehensive expertise in decentralised energy solutions. EnBW is resolutely focused on the transition towards a renewable energy future – with the tradition of the company always focusing on the customer.
Delta Group is a company that is deeply dedicated to sustainability. Founded in 1971, Delta is committed to its mission statement “To provide innovative, clean and energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow” by providing seven total integrated energy solutions. These are Industrial Automation Solutions, Building Automation Solutions, Datacentre Solutions, Telecom Power Solutions, Renewable Energy Solutions, Display and Monitoring Solutions, EV Charging solutions Delta’s commitment to sustainability has seen their customers save nearly 17.3 billion kWh of electricity and have reduced carbon emissions by approximately 9.2 million tons of CO2e from 2010 to 2015.
Delta group has 153 sales offices, 40 plant sites and 61 R&D centres throughout the world. In Australia, Delta extends its commitment to providing “smarter” products with high efficiency. It helps them make possible a “greener” and more environment-friendly way of life. Delta explains that they ‘collaborate with their partners, by listening to their needs, to accomplish our mission “together”’. Delta Group Market Cap: $13.6 billion
Enphase Energy is a NASDAQ-listed energy technology company headquartered in Fremont, California. Enphase designs and manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span solar generation, home energy storage and web-based monitoring and control. Enphase has shipped about ten million solar micro-inverters. Primarily into the residential and commercial markets in North America, Europe and Australia. Enphase Energy Market Cap: $2.032 Billion
BYD Co Ltd is a Chinese manufacturer of automobiles, battery-powered bicycles, buses, forklifts, rechargeable batteries and trucks. BYD has its corporate headquarters in Shenzhen. It has two major subsidiaries, BYD Automobile and BYD Electronic and was founded in February 1995. BYD topped the 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek Tech 100 list, a list of large, fast-growing tech companies. BYD Market Cap: $16.14 Billion
We hope we have helped you with your journey to choosing the best solar batteries for your home.
Whether it be the Tesla Powerwall 2, Fronius home battery or any of these other carefully selected world-class brands. Clean NRG Solar can help you make a final call. Clean NRG is at the forefront of Perth’s Battery Storage revolution. To receive your tailored battery storage quote from our range of lithium home batteries, phone our friendly staff on 9244 9200 or contact us today!