Solar is an emerging market in the UK and with an increasing interest in wanting to store and use captured energy as opposed to running your home off the grid it’s a good idea to look into the types of solar batteries that are available and what you should look out for when buying solar batteries and solar energy storage systems. Solar panels batteries for the home are used to capture energy generated by solar panels on the outside of your home.
Solar batteries function for later use by storing energy provided by your solar panels. Solar batteries have their own inverter in some instances and provide integrated energy conversion. The excess energy that is generated goes towards charging your storage batteries if your solar panels generate more electricity than you need.
Big technology companies such as Samsung and Tesla provide home-energy storage solutions and nationwide energy companies such as EDF Energy, Eon and Ovo are also offering packages for domestic solar panels and energy storage.
EDF Energy is offering Powervault solar batteries and claims consumers will get a discount in exchange for helping EDF to balance their grid. They say they’re trying to build a ‘small-scale network’ of battery storage to help offset the fluctuations of power generation vs customer demand on the network.
In addition to solar panels, Eon sells batteries so that consumers can store any excess electricity that is generated or they can charge their electric car. It also pays clients for the surplus energy they are supplying to the grid, which is a great added bonus.
When power is cheaper and less carbon-intensive, Ovo sells a home energy storage unit that charges from the grid and discharges it to operate appliances when electricity is more expensive and more carbon-intensive. If you produce your own energy at home, but could use more of it, or intend to start using more electricity for whatever purpose, this relatively new technology might be worth considering investing in.
Carry on reading to find out how much solar batteries cost, are solar batteries worth it in the UK, how many solar batteries you will need to power your home and how much an entire battery storage system costs. Let’s get started.
How Much Does A Solar Battery Cost In The UK?
Solar panels are usually fitted on the roof of a house where it can get more exposure to direct sunlight. Each panel contains solar cells that convert the energy of the sun into DC electricity, which is then converted into AC electricity using an inverter. Excess electricity that is generated can then be used to power part of – or your entire home and is especially useful to use on days where there is little charge from your panels due to a lack of sunshine.
If you don’t use all of your energy, it could also be sent back to the grid and redistributed to homes in other locations. Most solar systems only allow for the home to be powered while there is charge and while the sun is still shining, however, solar storage batteries allow you to store this energy so you can use it when you need it, not when it’s available to you.
Solar Battery Storage System Cost
The cost of a solar energy storage system battery is currently between £500 and £10k+, and installation of the solar battery storage could be in a much higher price bracket depending on how many solar battery storage systems you need, which solar battery you want to purchase and which solar panel battery option is best for you and your home.
You will also have to add the cost of an inverter to the cost of your solar panels if retrofitting. This may add an extra £1,000 to your overall costs. There are many new ‘hybrid’ systems that combine an inverter and battery storage. These may save you a few pounds and should definitely not be dismissed.
Here is a quick price guide to the batteries and inverters available for solar panels so you
can compare costs.
Battery Prices (As of December 2020)
Solax Triple Power
LG Chem Resu
Sonnen Batterie Eco
Currently, depending on the power, chemical composite of the battery, and its life cycle, the costs of each battery generally vary between £1k and £6k.
The cost of solar batteries is close to the same costs as when solar panel technology was fresh out of the box. If solar battery storage systems are embraced and become more common, their cost will inevitably follow the same downward trend as the cost of solar panels.
The most conventional and cost-effective batteries going into 2021 are still lithium-ion solar batteries which have remained the cheapest available for some time.
Are Solar Batteries Worth It UK?
This is a very common question and in short, Yes. The reason we believe that solar batteries are worth getting is because instead of all of your excess energy being sent off to the national grid, why not simply store it or at least more of it and use yourself at night time. Stuff the power companies, don’t buy it back cheaper at night, just store it and use it when you need to! Right? Well no, not exactly, if you came up with the idea of buying batteries to save yourself some money then we would say don’t buy them just yet.
Here we will go over some of the misunderstandings about buying solar panel batteries for your home and go over some of the misunderstandings that some homeowners may have about solar energy storage.
- Too costly at the moment – as the market grows (which it will) prices will come down. Your batteries will be able to pay for themselves much faster if you wait out the market and get them at a better price.
- You don’t need to support the market with your money – Though it’s true that early adaptors keep small businesses going. The solar energy storage and better charging battery market is being propped up by the sales of electric vehicles and it’s happening all over the world from China to the USA. Don’t feel like there won’t be an emerging market simply because you haven’t adapted early and paid over the odds for your system. They will be just fine without you for now.
- A rise in energy prices won’t decrease the cost – In theory, this is true – the more expensive grid electricity is, the more valuable it is to store solar energy in batteries for use at night. However – in practice, the more energy prices rise, the more solar feed in tariffs (what you’re paid for exporting excess solar generation to the grid) rises. This is because the rate you’re paid for solar fed into the grid is meant to reflect the cost of generating electricity.
You don’t actually need to wait for batteries as such so if you can’t really afford them you could either consider adding a DIY home solar storage system with solar storage batteries from sites like Amazon and Aliexpress or you could simply invest in your solar panels first and then add on batteries at a later date.
Here is one of the best DIY solar panel kits you could use temporarily or permanently on your home before the higher tech products come down in price:
ECO-WORTHY 100 Watt 12V Solar Panels Kit + 20A Charge Controller for Off-Grid 12 Volt Battery System
How Many Solar Batteries Are Needed To Power A House?
The electrical consumption of households is estimated in kilowatt-hours. The amount of energy necessary to power a 1-kilowatt device for one hour or a 100-watt device for 10 hours corresponds to a kilowatt-hour. Your monthly energy bill shows you how many kilowatt-hours you have consumed, and your bill can also include previous months’ consumption statistics to give you a sense of how much you consume per calendar month.
Constructing a battery bank able to supply the electrical needs of a house for several days is unrealistic. For a few days, a practical system would supply household power to account for any disturbances to the primary energy system. You must decide how many days you plan to be without power while planning your battery bank. For example, if you live in the country where extreme storms often cause power failures, you may have three days of battery power to size your device.
Solar storage batteries are often designed to generate a particular voltage and are approved for a certain amount of amp-hours. A 400 amp-hour battery, for example, will provide 4 amps of current for 100 hours. The battery voltage is considered to be fairly constant, but when the battery is discharged, the voltage gradually decreases. To calculate how many batteries you need to multiply the average operating voltage by the amp-hour rating to measure the energy capacity of a battery in kilowatt-hours, then divide it by 1,000. Around 2.4 kilowatt-hours can be supplied by a 400 amp-hour battery that produces 6 volts.
It would be sufficient for a battery bank built to power an average British household for three days and to provide 90 kilowatt-hours of electricity however each household is different in terms of their monthly energy consumption so do some calculations first.
The Best Energy Storage Options
Lead Acid Batteries
Batteries are usually manufactured of one of three chemical compositions used in home energy storage: lead-acid, lithium-ion, and saltwater. Lithium-ion batteries are the best choice for a solar panel system in most situations, but other batteries may be more affordable, and research is always recommended.
Lithium Ion Batteries
Most modern home energy storage technologies, such as the chemical composition of some form of lithium-ion, are used. Batteries with lithium ions are lighter and more compact than batteries with lead-acid. When compared to lead-acid batteries, they also have a greater DoD and longer lifetime. Lithium-ion batteries, however, are more costly than their counterparts with lead-acid.
Saltwater batteries do not contain heavy metals, unlike other home energy storage solutions, relying instead on saltwater electrolytes. A saltwater battery can be quickly recycled, whereas batteries containing heavy metals, including lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, must be disposed of using special processes. However, saltwater batteries are largely untested as a new technology and may not be readily available on the market.
More Advanced Storage Technology
If you’re looking to spend a fortune to get the best solar battery storage installation for your home then there are a few great companies and products available that work great, look great and could earn you the “early adopter” for buying a new tech solar battery storage system to take your home off grid!
Let’s take a look at one of the most technologically advanced solar battery storage systems and indulge ourselves in one of the best energy storage systems on the market.
The Tesla Powerwall
After the inspiring presentation by Elon Musk at the launch of the Tesla Powerwall, showing how the switch to a fossil fuel-free earth can be done with only Solar & Batteries, the world went wild with battery storage. It’s a huge leap forward in terms of solar battery technology. The Powerwall is incredibly good value, with up to 13.5kWh of storage and able to produce 5kW of power continuously and up to 7kW for 10-second intervals, as the price per kWh of storage is one of the lowest on the market.
Both Powerwall models also come with a ‘gateway’ backup, which means you can get electricity if there is a power outage. It will keep working with lamps, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens and hobs. The gateway also disconnects heavy load devices such as EV chargers and heat pumps automatically, so you have ample power for the essentials.
The Tesla Powerwall is now one of the most popular solar energy storage systems to have installed in your home and is reviewed fanatically on Youtube and promoted by celebrities, business people and homeowners around the world. Being able to use the Powerwall to charge your actual Tesla is also a Bonus and the large battery capacity makes it, in our eyes, the best solar storage battery system available on the market for household use. Multiple powerwalls can be installed and though a full electrical refit is required for installation, the reviews definitely make us think that it’s worth it – regardless of how costly it is.
We hope you found this blog post about solar panel batteries for the home. You can read more articles about solar energy, feed in tariff information, home battery systems, hot water solar systems and other renewable energy info. We hope we covered everything you need to consider before buying a battery system to store energy for your home.
Wanting to reduce the amount of carbon you emit, increase your solar storage capacity and lower your electricity bills and feed back to the grid rather than taking from it – then you probably got all the information you need but if we missed anything – please let us know in a comment below and we will do our absolute best to cover it for you either in the next blog topic or in a direct answer to your question.
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