Should I add a battery to my existing solar panel system?

Published On: December 21st, 2022|5 min read|

With all the news about bill shock, cost of living and the ever-present threat of climate change events, you may be wondering if there is more you can do to future-proof your home and lifestyle. If you have already installed solar, it’s a wise move, but did you know there is an extra step you can take that will help you maximise the use of your panels and further protect you from the uncertainties of life?

What is a battery and why add it to my solar system?

A battery is a way to store the excess power generated from your solar system during the day. The power stored in your battery can then be used in the evening or at night when the sun goes down, meaning that you are not buying power from the grid.

The benefits are threefold:

Solar panels on the roof. Green energy and money savings concept.

What should I consider when adding a battery to my existing solar system?

Firstly, get in touch with a trusted installer, or we can help you find one here. There are many factors to consider when chatting with your installer such as:

Is your current solar system large enough to power a battery, or should you add more panels to your roof (if you have the space)

Your electricity usage

What part of the day do you use the most electricity (day, evening or night)

Your budget and how much a battery will save you

If your family and electricity needs will grow

What you would need to keep running in your home in the event of a blackout

We also recommend chatting to your installer about battery performance over the year as summer and winter can produce very different results depending on the orientation of the rooftop panels. This will help you work out how much energy you may capture from the sun and hence how much battery storage you are likely to need.

Lastly, ask your installer about tariff and pricing plans.

2 tradesmen installing Redback Technologies product

What if I’ve had my panels for a long time and how can I be sure a battery will be robust?

The good news is that solar panels typically have a very long lifespan, around 25 years. If you have had your panels for a while, they may still match up with the lifespan of a battery which is warranted by Redback for 10 years, but with good battery hygiene, they are likely to last longer. This will assure you that the battery should work well with your solar panels for the length of time you expect.

Our batteries use a lithium iron phosphate battery chemistry, proven to be one of the safest battery chemistries. Redback batteries can be installed in a garage, or outside thanks to the weather rating of each system. There are some limitations to ensure your battery lasts as long as possible – speak to your installer about where they believe the best place will be.

Have a chat with your installer to see if you have enough solar panels to power a battery. They will be able to tailor a system to suit you.

Customers standing near their solar battery installation

What benefits will I be likely to notice?

Australia is blessed with an abundance of sunlight. We are arguably the best-placed country for solar uptake, so it makes sense to make the most of this awesome natural power. How lucky we are that we can capture and channel this clean power to our advantage!

Harnessing the energy from your panels and storing excess in your battery should help you see a reduction in your electricity bill. You should notice that you are already on the road to self-sufficiency after one or two bills, depending on your energy usage and the battery system you have. With feed-in tariffs (the payment you receive from feeding power from your solar panels to the grid) being so historically low in most areas of Australia, this is an excellent way to save money.

On sunny days you may notice your battery gets fully charged early, ready to power you through the evening and free you from the grid. This means you can happily use appliances at night rather than always programming them for use during daylight hours to align with the production of energy from your panels.

If you have enough battery power, then transitioning from the grid to the battery should be seamless in the event of a blackout. You may not even notice you are experiencing an outage. If you have battery power available, certain key home appliances will be kept running. You can choose which circuits you’d like to connect to backup power for when the grid goes down.

Family in garden with a Solar Battery visible in the back

As you can see, these days it makes sense to augment your solar system with a battery. Talk to your installer today to see how you can go a step further to enhance the usage of your own clean energy and be independent from the grid.