As the sun sets on another day, homeowners and businesses across Australia are turning to solar batteries to store their renewable energy. The question on many minds is: How much do solar batteries cost? At Sunmate Solar, we understand the importance of this investment and are here to provide a detailed breakdown of solar battery pricing to empower your decision.
Many Australian households are deciding to buy solar batteries and reduce their dependence on traditional power companies that have had a stronghold over them for years. If you have decided to add a new battery to your residential or commercial solar unit, you might ask how much it costs to install a new one in Australia.
To help find an accurate answer to your queries, we have developed a comprehensive guide on solar storage units. This guide will help you understand the prices of solar batteries, their benefits, storage options, and the working process.
Before going into the details of solar battery prices, here is our comprehensive analysis of how these units work.
What Are Solar Batteries and How Do They Work?
Solar batteries or storage units are simple devices you can add to your solar power systems to store the excess electricity your systems generate. You can use this stored energy to power your home and offices when your solar power units don’t generate enough electricity, including during cloudy days, nights, or power outages. The prime objective of solar batteries is to help you use the maximum of solar energy your systems generate.
You can find different types of solar batteries in Australia. Lithium-ion solar batteries are the most popular type of solar storage unit available in the market. These batteries work through a chemical reaction to store chemical energy before converting it to electrical power.
Working of Solar Batteries with a Solar Power System
When you integrate a battery with a DC-coupled solar power system, it works in the following ways to store electricity:
- Sunlight hits your solar power system, converting the energy to DC electricity.
- The DC electricity then leaves the solar battery and enters an inverter, attached with your solar system to get converted into AC electricity.
- The inverter converts DC electricity to AC to be used by homeowners.
But the process is slightly different if you have an AC-coupled system in your home. Here is a breakdown of what happens with an AC-coupled system:
- Sunlight hits your solar panels, converting the energy to DC electricity.
- The electricity then enters an inverter to be converted into AC electricity.
- Excess AC electricity again enters the inverter to change back into DC so that it can be stored for later use.
- When you need that stored energy, it flows through another inverter to change into AC electricity.
You can buy a high-tech battery like Tesla Powerwall to make the process easier. This battery comes with a built-in inverter that is simple to connect to the main switchboard like any other AC appliance.
Working with Solar Batteries with a Hybrid Inverter
A hybrid inverter is a valuable device that can convert DC electricity into AC electricity and, again AC electricity into DC electricity. If you have a hybrid system, you don’t need to invest in two inverters for your photovoltaic (PV) system-solar inverter to convert electricity from your solar unit and a battery inverter to convert electricity from the solar battery.
Benefits of Using Solar Batteries in Residential and Commercial Areas
Although solar power units are being installed in enterprises and houses, there is widespread doubt about the financing aspects of installing these units. Installing a solar panel system with a battery may seem like a significant investment, but they offer many benefits.
Installing a new solar battery can be an ideal option if you want to get the most out of your solar energy systems. It helps you store extra electricity generated by your solar panels to improve the performance and efficiency of your power-generating system throughout the year.
Most homeowners with solar power systems tend to sell their surplus kilowatt-hours back to the power company-this approach is called feed-a-tariff. You might ask, if you’re getting paid for excess solar energy, then why do you need a solar battery to store extra electricity? The answer is most power companies charge much more than for what they buy from customers. It means each kilowatt stored in solar batteries is worth more than sending it back to the grid. You can use this stored energy in case of an emergency or when the power goes off.
Here are some of the advantages of adding a battery to your solar power units:
- Independence from Fossil Fuels
You can reduce dependence on the traditional power company by installing a solar battery. This is especially beneficial if you live in an area prone to blackouts. A solar battery will keep your phones and lights on, even if your electricity goes out.
During power outages and cloudy days, your solar panel systems usually cease producing enough electricity to prevent feedback to the grid. But if you add a battery to your solar system, it stores the excess electricity and continues to power your home when the power is out.
- Reduce Noise Pollution
Unlike generators, solar panel systems with batteries don’t produce noise to disturb the quality of life of you and your neighbours. This 100% noiseless backup power storage option allows you to benefit from maintenance-free clean energy.
- Reduce Carbon Impact
If you use solar energy with a solar battery, you have to rely on the electricity grid, which is often powered by fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. These fossil fuels account for approximately 90% of the electricity generation in Australia. It creates a lot of filthy energy, along with heft electricity bills.
Being green should be the prime objective of every household in Australia. Installing a solar energy unit with a high-tech battery is an excellent approach to reducing your home’s carbon impact.
- Save on High Energy Bills
Adding a battery to your solar power unit can help you save money on your expensive energy bills. You can choose to use your stored solar energy when the power is most expensive.
Solar Battery Storage Technologies
The following main types of batteries are used to store solar energy:
- Lead-Acid Solar Batteries
Lead-acid batteries are the oldest solar batteries that have been developed for landside clean energy resources. These solar batteries come in two different types. One is sealed lead acid batteries that are used to release the use of oxygen gas into the atmosphere during their charging process. And the second type is flooded lead acid batteries.
Lead acid solar batteries are considered one of the cheapest solar energy storage options. They require regular maintenance because they have shorter depth-of-discharge compared to other solar batteries.
- Lithium-Ion Solar Batteries
Lithium-ion solar batteries are relatively new to the market but have proved to be a greater solar energy storage option. These solar batteries are massively popular among homeowners due to their:
- Longer lifespan
- Lightweight and small design
- Less regular maintenance
Along with the above-mentioned features, lithium-ion solar batteries can handle 80% or more deep discharges. It means they have a higher usable capacity. It is also worth mentioning that lithium-ion solar batteries can catch fire if not installed correctly.
- Nickel Cadmium Solar Batteries
Nickel-cadmium batteries are another tested solution to store excess solar energy. These solar batteries are famous for operating at extreme temperatures without any complex battery management system. Nickel-cadmium batteries are equally popular among commercial and residential solar panel projects.
It is worth mentioning that nickel solar batteries use old technology. That’s why they are banned in numerous countries.
- Flow Solar Batteries
Flow solar batteries are also new to energy storage solutions, but they are popular among households for their advanced features. They have 100% depth of charge so that you can use the entire stored electricity. Unlike nickel-cadmium batteries, the flow batteries’ water-based formula makes them non-toxic.
On the downside, flow batteries are a new kid on the block but are more expensive than other batteries of the same class. Due to their less storage capacity, the flow batteries also occupy more space.
You can also use time-frame to segment solar batteries available in the market. The short-term battery storage option refers to an operation that needs to be completed in as little as a few minutes. This battery storage option ensures your solar system works despite a passing cloud.
In contrast, long-term battery storage refers to a longer time frame, providing supplies for weeks.
Solar Batteries Cost in Australia
You might ask what is the cost of solar batteries in Australia if you’re installing a solar battery for the first time. It is difficult to answer this question accurately because there are many variables at play when installing a solar battery.
The average price of solar battery storage is between $800 per kWh and $2000 kWh, depending on where you live, how much energy you want to store, and the backup you need when the grid is down. For a smaller Enphase system, the price of solar battery storage may start at $5000 or about $105 per month over 5 years. Whereas Tesla battery costs up to $18,000 when fully installed.
Average Battery Installation Prices
The following table will help you understand how much you will have to pay for installing a solar battery in Australia.
Battery Price Only
Battery + Inverter
Comparing the Price Range of Different Solar Batteries
Here is a quick look at the price range of a few high-tech batteries available on the market.
$17500 to $19000
Seamless blackout protection and advanced safety
SolarEdge Energy Bank
Additional cost for backup functionality
Sungrow SBR HV
Compatible with Sungrow hybrid inverters
Alpha ESS SMILES
5 years product warranty
Alpha ESS SMILES
5 years product warranty
LG Chem RESU
$8000 to $10000
Compatible with a select range of hybrid inverters
Households with lower energy needs and solar power systems smaller than 5kW can rely on Enphase batteries. Enphase has announced that they are soon releasing a new battery in Australia to cater to the needs of people looking for smaller solar power storage options. Smaller solar batteries are designed to store extra power during the daytime to use at night. They don’t feature any backup functionalities.
If you have a solar system of at least 5kW, Tesla Powerwall will be a great option. These solar batteries are already available in the Australian market with a price tag of $19,000, but the price is expected to increase again this summer.
Federal and State Incentive Programs for Solar Batteries
With local rebates and incentives, the financial case of solar batteries can be improved. These programs can range from demand response rebates to upfront rebates. In Australia, you can enjoy several battery programs, which may vary from state to state. The active battery incentives are:
- The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) provided a solar battery rebate of $825 per kW of power capacity, up to 30 kW.
- If you live in South Australia, you can enjoy a battery rebate of up to $3,000 and get an opportunity to participate in a virtual power plant (VPP). When you participate in a virtual power plant, you let the power company use your battery capacity in exchange for power bill credits.
- You can also enjoy an interest-free loan of up to $14,000 if you deploy a solar power system with batteries and $9,000 for adding solar batteries to an existing installation.
These incentives and rebates can significantly improve the feasibility of using solar batteries.
Factors That Affect Solar Battery Cost
Solar batteries are vital for solar panel units, as they work as power backups and guarantee maximum leverage of solar energy by storing the excess power for later use. Solar batteries offer endless benefits if chosen wisely. Before investing in a solar battery, it is vital to understand the following factors that can affect your home battery price:
- Battery Capacity
Battery capacity is the most critical factor that affects solar batteries price in Australia. It is the ability of a power backup to store the amount of energy. Generally, solar batteries for residential usage have a capacity range of 10 kWh to 20 kWh.
The backup time of a solar battery may vary depending on several factors, such as solar panel size, battery storage capacity, or amount of converted solar energy. That’s why professionals recommend opting for a solar battery with high capacity for longer backup times.
- Backup Gateway
A backup gateway is essential for protecting your home’s electric grid from fluctuation shocks caused by unexpected power outages. A backup gateway works as a power transfer for solar batteries. So, opt for a solar battery with a power gateway for a reliable power backup without providing power to the electric grid.
- DC Vs AC Batteries
You can choose a direct current (DC) battery or an alternative current (AC) battery, depending on your needs. Generally, DC solar batteries are more efficient and economical and less complex. They are good options if you prefer solar PV installation with power backup.
In contrast, AC batteries have built-in inverters but more complicated mechanisms. These power backups are a little costlier but easier to install. AC battery coupling is the best option for connecting with pre-installed solar systems, as they are compatible with the pre-installed solar PVs.
- Solar Technicians
The type of solar technician you choose also contributes to the average installation cost of solar batteries in Australia. Power backups are generally high-cost devices; that’s why you need assistance from expert solar technicians to install them properly. An inexperienced technician may be unable to understand the solar systems’ technicalities, resulting in inefficient systems and waste of your hard-earned money.
- Solar Battery Incentives
The solar battery incentives offered by the local states also play a significant role in the price of a solar battery. Your local and federal government may offer incentives and rebates to reduce the initial cost of solar battery installation, depending on where you live in Australia. For example, in Australia, you can enjoy a battery rebate of 50% of the battery price or $3,500, excluding GST. In South Australia, you can get an opportunity to participate in a virtual power plant (VPP), while enjoying a solar battery rebate of up to $3,000.
Sizing the Solar Batteries
When buying a new solar battery, size is the first and foremost factor to consider. If you choose a larger size of solar battery, it will not be able to be fully charged from your solar panels. But if you install a solar battery of a smaller size, it might not be able to store an adequate amount of energy to satisfy your energy needs when your solar panel is receiving the lowest amount of sunlight.
The following table will help you choose the right battery size to enjoy the maximum use of your stored energy.
Average usage per day
Solar system size
Solar output in winter
Solar output in summer
Size of solar battery
Big energy users
35 kWh per day
62 kWh per day
Retirees/ young family
18 kWh per day
18 kWh per day
Young adults/ older family
13 kWh per day
13 kWh per day
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: The Tesla Powerwall was launched in 2017, with the cheapest price tag of $9,000 for 13.5 kWh. But, the higher demand for solar batteries and increasing prices for materials have increased the prices of Tesla Powerwall by a significant number. In Australia, you may expect to pay between $17,000 and $19,000 for Tesla Powerwall , excluding solar panels and any battery incentive that might be available in your state.
Answer: In general, installation of solar batteries may cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per kWh capacity, including GST and installation, but the average cost may vary depending on some factors, such as:
- Battery capacity
- Type of battery
- Solar battery incentives
You can contact us for more personalized quotes for solar battery installation costs in Australia.
Answer: A solar battery is worth your investment due to the following benefits:
- Divesting your property from coal and gas
- Protection from the higher energy bills
- Run your homes 24/7, even when the power goes down
- Blackout protection
The Bottom Line
Solar batteries have become increasingly popular among Australian homeowners due to their exclusive benefits. They store the excess electricity generated by your solar panels, so you can use this energy to light up your home when the electricity goes down. Even though solar batteries are a significant investment, they help reduce your carbon footprint and save on costlier energy bills.
The cost of solar batteries varies significantly depending on numerous factors. Contact us to get personalized quotes about solar battery installation costs in Australia.