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18 November 2023

Do I Need a Battery For My Home?

With the current energy market being a bit of a mess, many home owners are asking the question;

“Should we get a battery?”

Whether it’s a whole new hybrid system or just retrofitting a new battery to an existing solar system, this is something that is brought up regularly by our clients at KDEC HQ. Whilst many people are quick to dismiss the economics of a battery system, there is bit more to it than just saying no. Let’s explore a little further;

One of the main reasons people look into batteries is to help boost their savings offered by their solar system however many people are expecting an unstable energy grid and are turning to batteries to help insulate their homes and families, should the grid drop out unexpectedly.

Whilst a home battery is by no means a “silver bullet” for going off the grid, the right product can help offer backup power supply to critical power circuits in the event of a blackout. Depending on how power hungry your house is, this battery can last anywhere from a couple of hours up to the whole day.

Keep in mind that it is important to have your consultant/electrician design this battery system properly for your home.

Too often at KDEC, we see battery systems that either do not offer the right solution to backup existing solar inverters or just simply off no power protection at all! If you have the opportunity to install a new hybrid system as opposed to retrofit a battery to an existing system, this is generally a good idea as the inverter is the central hub that controls both the panels and the battery to offer a seamless solution that can supply power not only just from the battery but also the PV array on your roof, thus greatly enhancing the duration of how long your system can supply energy for.

A great example of this is the Fronius GEN24 PLUS hybrid solar inverter. This inverter can be installed with a battery system straight away or simply installed on it’s own with the option to add the batteries down the line. A stackable battery tower comprised of LiFePO4 Lithium Ion Phosphate batteries means you can safely and easily add batteries to your system in multiple stages to ease costs or as your needs grow.

With the number of VPP’s (Virtual Power Plants) growing exponentially, many battery and inverter manufacturers are implementing the option to integrate your system in with any of these VPP’s. A good example of this is something like Amber electric with the wholesale energy market.

Should you wish to enter into these markets, your system will have the smarts to make the decision to either charge or discharge the battery as grid prices fluctuate. Doing so means the basic return of investment on a battery can be flipped on its head and start to make financial sense.

Be aware that having your battery take part of this market means that you may get caught out with an empty battery if the energy market is in high demand and your battery decides to discharge to maximise profit.

Talking to your installer and asking to set a baseline “reserve limit” means that the battery will be only able to play with a certain percentage of your storage capacity. This limits the returns but ensures power supply if the grid outage should occur.

Finally, there is also the future to take into account. What do you plan for your household down the line? Electric vehicles and hot water systems can also act as a battery system, soaking up surplus energy from your solar array albeit without energy backup.

Better yet, having a smart home where all these appliances talk together means you are ready for whatever may come.

Here at Team KDEC, we believe that there is a lot more to the battery conversation than “does it save me money”, as explained above. Why? Because Tomorrow Matters.

Come in and see us today to discuss the viability of a battery for your home or business and check out the battery systems we have on display in our showroom. After all, is a motorbike worth it financially? No, but I still want one!

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