Top Solar Energy Storage Systems
- Solar batteries allow you to reduce your energy bill by up to 35%.
- A home solar battery system will cost around around £2,000 - £3,700. A 4kW solar panel and battery will cost around £10,000 - £12,000.
- Compare prices of solar panels and battery systems using the form above.
How does solar battery storage work?
There is one main catch with running your household on solar energy. Solar panels require sunlight to create energy which poses a problem when it’s dark and cloudy and when we most need light and heat.
In recent years we have seen developments in solar battery storage which could smooth out the challenges with solar energy and provide a means to further reduce the cost and reliance on traditional and expensive energy sources.
An average household will also not use all of the energy created by their solar panels over the course of a day which means that the excess needs to be sold back to the grid. Solar battery storage works by taking the excess solar power created by the panels and using it to charge the battery during the day.
This battery can then supply energy to your home during the night and on cloudy days on the excess supply.
Solar power battery storage could be the answer to more solar powered homes in the near future and big savings on energy bills.
Who makes the best solar batteries?
The solar battery market is rapidly growing as more manufacturers start looking at ways to innovate and address some of the challenges within the solar power industry.The leading manufacturers available to the UK market are listed below.
Electric car company, Tesla, launched their solar storage battery, Powerwall in 2015 which has a 6.4 to 10 kWh storage capacity and claims to power a home for eight hours. In October 2016 Tesla launched the Powerwall 2.0 with 14 kWh of storage. Typically the average household uses 11 kWh a day.
The Powerwall has a minimalist design that mounts onto the wall and moves away from the ugly and bulky batteries of the past. It is widely considered to be one of the best home solar batteries available.
The Powervault could be described as the UK’s answer to Tesla’s Powerwall. It has been designed specifically to suit the average British household with a unit the same size as a washing machine. It claims to be the lowest cost energy storage product available in the UK and has a storage capacity of around 2 to 6 kWh.
The SonnenBatterie is a German innovation and claims to have a minimum lifespan of 10,000 charging cycles. It comes in storage sizes ranging from 2 kWh to 16 kWh depending on the size and energy needs of your household
How much will a solar battery cost?
Tesla’s 10 kWh Powerwall is quoted at approximately £3,700 including the installation of a converter. The Powervault costs from £2,000 up to £2,800 for a 2-6 kWh battery.
Many UK solar installers now offer combined solar panel and battery deals. A 4kW solar panel system with a 4kW energy storage battery typically costs between £10,000 and £12,000.
It is worth noting that as the solar battery storage system is a relatively new technology, households will still be reliant on the main energy grid and will therefore still receive energy bills for power unable to be supplied from solar. Whilst these bills will be reduced, it may be some years before you start to see a return on investment.
As this technology develops, it is likely that the price of a battery will lower and we will see a significant reduction in the cost of running solar power.
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Battery storage for solar panels
Most solar panel installation companies will be able to advise you on what size battery system you would need and whether your existing solar panels are compatible with the new storage products.
It is very important that you install a battery with the correct voltage capabilities. A wrong size battery can be very dangerous. It is recommended that you always seek professional help when choosing and installing a solar power storage system to advise you on what you need.
There are two main ways of linking a battery storage system into such a system, AC Coupled and DC Coupled.
If you are fitting a battery storage system to existing solar panels, you will probably be offered an AC-coupled system which are easier to retrofit. DC coupled systems are still possible to fit to existing panels but may require more equipment.
Tesla Powerwall vs Powervault
The Powervault comes from more humble beginnings compared with the Powerwall from US electric-car giant, Tesla. However, they both share a purpose and an ambition to help people reduce their reliance on the world’s fossil fuels by harnessing the full potential of solar energy.
In terms of set-up and installation, the Powervault claims to offer several advantages with its self-contained system which includes the battery, charger, inverter and control unit. It can be installed in a home in under two hours and is compatible with all solar panel systems.
In comparison, Tesla’s Powerwall does not come with an inverter but explains that this is due to the solar power systems instead having inverters that can connect to the battery. It is also not compatible with all solar systems and is more labour-intensive to install.
The key difference between the two batteries is the amount of power each can store. As the Powervault has been specifically designed to physically fit the British home, it has smaller storage capacity to the Powerwall. You could argue that this is also relative and therefore the British homeowner would not require a huge unit in any case.
There are also other design differences with the Powerwall fitting to the wall and the Powervault free-standing almost like an extra washing machine.
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