“I’m thinking about installing ‘Solar Batteries – Are they worth it?”

My answer to you is ‘Definitely not at this stage!’

And as for the foreseeable future, my opinion is not for some time (a good few years yet)

Tesla Powerwall vs LG Chem battery

Decisions, decisions, Tesla Powerwall or the LG Chem? I say neither.

Why are batteries for solar not good?

They are so expensive to buy and install in 2016, around $10,000 and all you get is a battery that hold around 7kw/hrs, and they get worse and deteriorate from day one. The ROI (Return On Investment) on batteries is not even outlasting the warranty on these things.

If a Battery stores  7kw at the moment, and a kw is only worth around 26cents,,

let’s do the maths…

7kw of  stored energy @ 26cents purchase price per KW/hr =  $1.82 saved per day. That sure ain’t a lot of return per day, on the best possible scenario!

“What do you mean by ‘best possible scenario’? Batteries are surely worth it and a good thing?”

Just because many solar companies are out there actively promoting solar power storage and batteries for solar power systems in Brisbane doesn’t make them a good thing. It just means they are selling batteries for solar systems. Solar companies are selling batteries to make money. Money goes hand-in-hand with greed.

You only get that $1.82 per day if you actually produce enough power to fill the battery up – AND USE IT ALL!

What happens if it is a cloudy day, and your 6kw Solar system doesn’t produce enough power to fill the solar battery up to it’s storage capacity? Maybe the battery has only 3kw of storage saved in the tank from that dark, cold miserable day. Good day to run some heating at night from your stored energy, but oh my… Our Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem, or GCL Batteries – Whatever the flavour you have, has only managed to half-fill your solar battery, so the mathematics on that scenario go something like this;

3kw of energy stored, used to power appliances and Reverse system at night @ 26 cents = .78 cents.

Then we also run into another problem, what about the scenario where the battery actually all fills up. This is a situation where the solar panels and solar battery are functioning perfectly and come Sundown you have yourself 7kw of bottled energy you harvested from the sun, all that ‘free energy’ to use. But, your flight for a week-long get away in Sydney to catch up with the extended family, leaves tonight – All that clean energy harvested from the sun going to waste.  But hey, you can still brag to the knob you live to next door that your solar system has a battery attached – or does that make you the knob? Haha!

With Solar power you forgo your Feed in Tariff as you don’t sell the power stored

Also, you can sell the power for 6-10cents (6 cents with AGL, 8 Cents with Origin and 10 cents with Click Energy) without even having to buy batteries, so that automatically devalues your energy saved by over a whopping 33%. Put simply, you haven’t saved 7kw’s of energy worth 26 cents, it’s only worth 16cents, as you are already getting up to 10cents for your power exported to the grid!

So if a small FIT is still available, the maximum return is 7kw of power stored, with power being worth 16 cents;

[email protected] = $1.12 maximum saving per day – How much are you thinking of spending on one of those liabilities (We haven’t even gotten to the liability part yet)

Are Solar Batteries safe?

Like any battery – they can explode. with explosions, come fire. Houses and fire are not a good match. The truth is solar and batteries haven’t been around very long at all, they are a very new concept and we cannot comment on the safety of solar batteries that are on offer and sold in Australia at the moment. It would be safe to say that you minimize the risk of a house fire by not installing a 7kw battery in your home.

Could installing a solar battery contribute to an event that would see the Fire Brigade attend to your solar system in the case of an emergency?

Could installing a solar battery contribute to an event that would see the Fire Brigade attend to your solar system in the case of an emergency?

How good are the Warranties for Solar Batteries?

The warranties for solar batteries at the moment are not very good – They are not even lasting until the customers Return on Investment!
For Example the most commonly talked about solar battery for home storage is the Tesla Powerwall – This battery storage system has a warranty period of 10 years in Australia.

We don’t even know yet how good the batteries last. Do they last 20 years? Do they only last 5 years in actual fact? Are the Solar battery Manufacturing customers coming to the party with warranty claims? Just too many uncertainties around batteries for solar systems, and a non-existent Return on Investment that leaves only the mathematically challenged or full-blown ‘Green Energy nerds’ buying batteries in 2016. I’m not against anyone buying batteries, just as long as they fully install the benefits Vs non-benefits when it comes to installing batteries on their home solar system.

Does Qld Solar and Lighting sell and install battery storage?

Yes and no. We do have the ability to install batteries, but we are not so skilled at Sales, that we can sell a battery system to the average household in Brisbane. It would be literally like selling Ice-to-Eskimo’s. If you do insist on buying batteries from us, we would make you sign a waiver form agreeing that you bought the batteries for your PV Solar system, totally against our advice.

Even Choice magazine have got it right (for once) about the viability of these solar batteries.