An incredible 90% of existing Enphase customers have indicated that they are interested in adding batteries to their system at some stage in the future. But as solar battery storage is still quite new to Australia, many people are not ready to invest in a full hybrid solar system.
That doesn’t mean you should hold off on installing solar though, far from it. Solar power has never been this cheap, and with generous government rebates still available the sooner you install solar, the sooner you can be saving significant money on your power bills.
The problem a number of people are facing is that not all solar systems are battery ready or expandable, and so it is important to know what options are available to you when you decide on installing solar. There is a lot of confusion (mainly as a result of marketing hype from solar installers around what constitutes a ‘battery ready’ or ‘hybrid’ solar system – in other words, whether you can add storage capacity later.
In fact, at the time of writing, there are numerous solar inverters being sold (at a hefty premium, of course) that are ‘hybrid’ or ‘battery ready’, however, the most common batteries installed in Australia now come with their own inverter, and are connected directly into the meter board. This is known as AC coupling. Essentially, this means that batteries can be added to any existing solar system so you may not even need a hybrid solar inverter.
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Enphase Micro Inverter Systems
An Enphase Micro Inverter System is the preferred option if you are considering batteries because it is easily expandable.
This allows Solaray customers the opportunity to add panels when they install batteries at some stage in the future. Unlike centralised inverters that would need to be replaced, Enphase Micro Inverters are installed under each panel, which means you can add any panels you like to your existing system, allowing you to take advantage of any gains in efficiency between now and when you add to your array.
This is an absolute game changer, and it is why we recommend you go with an Enphase system if you are even remotely considering battery storage. Of course, this panel level output helps considerably in patchy shade, and it allows us to install panels on multiple roofs when needed.
The innovative Enphase Energy Management System combines energy generation from your solar system with battery storage, control, and management into one complete solution. It’s smarter and more connected than ever before.
The response to the new Enphase Power Storage System has been incredible! We knew that interest in battery storage was going to explode this year, but we have seen an even greater demand than what we expected.
The Enphase Energy Management System is unlike anything else currently available because of its compatibility. Enphase Batteries are connected directly to the meter board, where we install a control hub that manages power consumption and storage in the home. This allows the Enphase power storage system to be compatible with any existing solar system. This is in stark contrast to other battery systems that typically connect directly to an expensive hybrid solar inverter and have limited compatibility.
The system itself has been designed to be modular, expandable, easily installed and can be tailored to each customer’s usage profile. A household or business will be able to monitor their usage, solar generation and peak times, and install more battery capacity knowing that it will pay for itself in the quickest possible time.
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A Standard Solar Inverter
For certain households looking to install batteries, installing a centralised string inverter is still a viable option, and if you are looking at the fastest possible return on your money a string inverter is a great option thanks to its low price. The main issue with a standard inverter is that they are not expandable.
This means that when you size up a solar system for your home, you will need to take into account your 24-hour energy consumption, not just the daytime component. Until you add a battery to the system, you will be sending a lot of excess solar power out to the grid. This isn’t such a bad setup though, in fact, a lot of our customers are doing this and have negotiated a high feed-in tariff with their energy retailer – as much as 16 cents per kWh.
Having a larger solar system also gives you time to get a good sense of how much excess solar power you are sending to the grid each day. We can then accurately size up the battery’s capacity based on this, ensuring the battery isn’t too large.
Because buying a string inverter system can limit your options, and because there are a few catches that don’t make these systems future proof, we recommend you give the Solaray Team a call. We would be happy to talk through the pros and cons of the systems currently available and importantly what you will get for your money.