With feed-in tariffs steadily dropping, it may be the right time to invest in a solar battery storage system. Though, as you know, it’s not exactly easy to drop thousands of dollars on a system that takes a while to see a return on the investment. But don’t worry, if instant gratification is what you’re after, there are some cheaper options on the market that’ll speed up that payback process – depending on your situation, of course. You’re here for prices, so let’s not ramble any further – read on to discover some of the cheapest solar batteries on the Australian market.
How does solar battery storage work?
We won’t go into too much detail here because we already have in our solar battery guide and numerous storage system reviews. But for those feeling a little bit lost, essentially what a solar battery does is store the electricity produced by your solar panels throughout the day for use when the sun goes down, or when it’s cloudy out. They’re designed to help you rely less on the grid, essentially saving you from having to pay steep power bills.
How much do solar batteries cost?
It depends entirely on the size of system and brand, but an average-capacity battery (6kWh+) might set you back between $5,000 and $10,000. Though, generally speaking, investing in solar is getting cheaper. When it comes to solar batteries, you could be eligible for a hefty rebate that can reach as high as $6,000, depending on your situation and location, of course.
Given that a standard family might require 10kWh or more of electricity to completely cover their usage throughout the night, it makes sense that a larger system, such as the Tesla Powerwall 2, would be a good fit. However, given that the cost of this system disqualifies it from the ‘cheap’ label (we’re talking 10k+ here), this option may be out of reach for a lot of Aussies.
Read on for a breakdown of the cheapest batteries currently on the market.
Cheap Solar Batteries in Australia
We’ve compiled a list of solar batteries that are estimated to cost less than $6,000, without factoring in any installation costs. This list and prices are compiled from our friends over at SolarQuotes. Where there are multiple batteries from the same retailer under budget, we’ve listed the storage system with a higher capacity.
|Model||Nominal Storage Capacity||Usable Storage Capacity||Weight||Estimated Price|
|SolarWatt MyReserve Matrix||2.4kWh||2.4kWh||25kg||$2,000|
|Enphase AC Battery||1.2kWh||1.2kWh||25kg||$2,000|
|Aquion Aspen 48s-2.2||2.2kWh||2.2kWh||118kg||$2,200|
|GenZ 48V 3kWh||3kWh (per module)||2.25kWh (per module)||35kg||$3,450|
|PowerPlus Energy LiFe Premium Series||3.3kWh||2.64kWh||41kg||$3,550|
|GCL E-KwBe 5.6||5.6kWh||5.6kWh||47.5kg||$3,650|
|SolaX Triple Power 6.3||6.3kWh||5.67kWh||67.5kg||$4,000|
|Arvio Sirius Capacitor Model||3.55kWh||3.55kWh||73kg||$4,686|
|SimpliPhi PHI3.4 Smart-Tech battery||3.4Kwh||3.4kWh||38kg||$4,700|
|LG Chem RESU 6.5||6.5kWh||5.9kWh||52kg||$5,807|
Source: SolarQuotes. Correct as of September 2019
Worth noting is that most of these batteries are on the smaller-end of the spectrum and might better be suited to homes with more modest energy usage. For larger households consuming more power, these systems will function better as an aid for hefty power bills rather than a complete solution.
Not all installers will work with every brand above, so it’s best to do your own research and figure out what your best options are. This could be as simple as calling a local installation company and asking for more information or requesting a few quotes.
Are cheap solar batteries worse quality?
The quality of your solar battery will depend on many factors – and price isn’t necessarily the biggest chess piece. Frequency of use, installation and general maintenance will all play a part in the longevity of your investment.
Like any battery, functionality will start to decline with time, and in this case, the estimated lifespan of a solar storage system is between five and 15 years. Make sure you’ve got at least 10 years’ warranty on the battery when purchasing for real peace of mind.
For those truly concerned that their battery will suddenly malfunction and leave them in the dark, it’ll come as good news that even with a storage system you’re still connected to the energy grid (in most cases), drawing power out when you’ve drained what’s in storage.
Image credits: Frank Peters/Shutterstock.com, Suz7/shutterstock.com, petrmalinak/shutterstock.com