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How do I add battery storage to my existing solar system?

How do I add battery storage to my existing solar system?

By Carly Nichols

How do I add battery storage to my existing solar systems? 

Adding battery storage to your solar system allows you to tap into additional energy created throughout the day and use it at night.

Power your night time electricity costs, or earn credit back from the grid. The potential benefits allow you to take advantage of the unused energy created throughout the day.

Why should I add batteries to my existing solar panels?

Once you have decided why you want to add a battery to your current system, you will then be able to determine what size your system needs to be.

For instance, adding solar batteries to your existing solar system can help:

  • Reduce electricity bills
  • Be self-sufficient
  • A back-up energy source when there is a power failure  

There are many reasons to take the next step of adding batteries to your existing solar panels.  Whatever your motivation is for making this decision, the below information will empower you with the knowledge of how to proceed. 

How do I add batteries to my current system? 

Your solar provider is the best person to talk to to get this done. They will take into account your solar system, current inverter, energy usage and other factors in determining the best solution for your household situation.

For instance, a hybrid inverter will be able to run DC power into a battery, as well as convert your power into AC power so it can be utilised by your household appliances.  If you don’t have a hybrid inverter your solar provider will be able to help you find the best solution for your household.   

What size battery do I need? 

Battery size will be determined through your household energy requirements.

You can determine your household usage through your energy bills. By understanding your energy, you will know how much you need to produce and stored in batteries for use at night.   

There are many online calculators that are able to work out the size of the solar panel system you require from your energy consumption.  For instance, check out Energy Matters calculator here

Can I monitor my system?

An Energy Management System (EMS) controls and monitors how your energy is used.  There is a wide range of EMSs with varying capabilities.  Some EMSs can take the energy produced from your solar panels and divert it to either be stored in your batteries, to be used by your home appliances or to be fed back into the power grid.  This can be driven by economics (Feed-In-Tariffs, Time Of Use costs) or household usage patterns.  They can also control how much your batteries discharge and how many cycles they use in a day.

According to Foskett, "Our customers can save up to 30% on utility bills by ensuring that their home's appliances are utilised in the most intelligent, efficient way possible when combined with PV solar, thus increasing the ROI of the system."

Would you like to add a battery? Check out our available vendors in your area

Sources: Choice, 2017  https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/energy-saving/reducing-your-carbon-footprint/articles/home-energy-management-systems
Energy Matters, https://www.energymatters.com.au/residential-solar/home-solar-sizing/
Carbon Track, https://carbontrack.com.au/guides/energy-efficiency-guide/home-energy-management-systems

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