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

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

By Carly Nichols

24 June 2020

Why should I add a solar battery to my existing solar panel system?

Adding battery storage to your solar system allows you to store any excess energy created during the day and use it at night or at a time when your solar system is not generating enough power to meet your needs. You could also earn credit by feeding energy into the electricity grid.

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

Adding solar batteries to your existing solar system can:

  • Reduce your electricity bills
  • Increase your self-sufficiency
  • Be a backup energy source when there is a power failure  

There are many reasons to take the next step of adding a battery to your existing solar panels. Whatever your motivation, the below information will empower you with the knowledge of how to proceed. 

How do I add a solar battery to my current system? 

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

For instance, a hybrid inverter will be able to run DC power into a solar 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 solar battery do I need? 

The right battery size for you will depend on your household energy requirements.

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

There are many online calculators that can help you work out the size of the solar panel system you require based on your energy consumption.  For instance, check out Energy Matters' calculator here.

Can I monitor my energy 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 solar battery 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.

Andrew Foskett, general manager of CarbonTrack, says: "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 panels, thus increasing the ROI of the system."

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

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The information provided in this article is general in nature and does not constitute advice. Please consider your own personal circumstances prior to making any decisions.