Renewables and Energy Technology

Wind turbines, solar panels, home battery storage - if it's discussion about renewable energy you're after, you'll find it here.

Wind turbines, solar panels, home battery storage - if it's discussion about renewable energy you're after, you'll find it here.

Home battery storage


Hey guys! I'm keen to hear what people think about battery storage? I think this is going to be a pretty important space moving forward, and it’s one that is showing some serious potential already. Some of the pioneers and entrepreneurs are already talking like these are going to be commonplace within just a few years!

I read this article recently ( and think it’s pretty exciting. Is there anything else happening in this space? Are local utilities planning anything here in Australia?



Will be the way to go, once battery costs come down. Current available technology is quite expensive, requiring a philosophical commitment beyond the economic.


There are many developments happening with production capacity (Li ion factories planned / under construction, just one of which that will expand worldwide production capacity by factor of threefold on its own) and with battery technology - likely to see some interesting things within a couple of years, but the usual early adopter cost vs wait to capacity increases and prices drop factors. Adopt, and reduce power consumption costs vs Wait, and install for less but pay all the power consumption costs while you wait.


Mind you, if I had the cash I would install now to maximise the benefit of my solar system (currently none from my supplier).


I wouldn't expect too much from the utilities until they work out how to maximise their cash flow beyond just sales of systems, and then I would expect their motive to be company cash flow / bottom line, rather than efficient, cost effective energy for consumers and flow on benefits to the state.


Deep cycle batteries arnt that reliable and warranties are pathetic. The new orbital's arnt much better.

Efficiency is so so and look at replacing every three years.

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Being privileged to work in the solar industry for some years now, it is interesting to know the feedback from customers!


An estimated 5% would want battery storage regardless of the price - techy guys. 55% have oversized solar systems exporting more of the power generated by the solar system to the grid than they use and would need a solution to maximize their self consumption. 60% have structural constraint with east or west roof orientations which have maximum solar irradiance limited to the morning and afternoon hours respectively. A solution in battery storage to help redestribute the energy across the day would make some sense and also encourage customers to install larger systems on east and west orientations. 15% requested for allowance on their roof for future expansion when batteries become available.  40% of solar customers in the last 12 months requested for solar systems with battery-ready inverters.


With about 2 million systems installed in Australia, the frustration of some customers for the reasons above is an opportunity for energy retailers to reshuffle the market share to their advantage.


No doubt, there is a ready market for batteries!


Please note, estimates are just off the top of my head and should not be relied on for any academic or commercial use.


I think it is an excellent idea provided it makes economic sense!


AGL suprised a bit when they stated that at least their storage solution can be recharged from the off peak grid - this means both morning load could be covered by stored (off peak costed load) and your excess daily solar goes first to toping up your storage and secondly to the grid; meaning your storage system only has to be enough to cover your peak eveing usage (and evening shoulder if you wish it).  That brings down the size of soultion you require by about 30% - 40% I would model.


What I don't see yet in the AGL solution is a modular, scalable soultion.  Its 7.6 kWh* (kind of -> read AGL's reply to battery cycle depth limits in my thread on solar economic calculators) and you can only have one.  Its maximum output has been corrected to 3.0 kW in any hour (up to the discharge / re-charge limits needed to preserve the 5,000 guaranteed cycles.


Compare this to say Enphase where each unit is 1.2 kWh at 500W and you can add as many as you want - in series or parallel; so I can do a say 4 * 1, 2 * 2 or 1 * 4 configuration depening on whether I need a little current for a long while, a lot of current for a short while or a moderate amount for a moderate time.  Also I can add more units to the Enphase solution whenever I need - thatis modular scalability.


No one is revealing cost yet, but pilots are only a few months away now.  I can see from my econmic modelling that a solution that can't be recharged fromthe grid has to be larger than 7.6 kWh for my size family and would save around $720 per year from load displacement (I don't have Summer Solar and Grid data in my modelling yet).  A system that is grid off-peak rechargable could be smaller an might save us $850 a year.


A large part of the solution's achieved economics and lifestyle improvement capabilities depends on how clever and Web configurable / accessible it is.  By this I mean is it


  1. easy anywhere in the world to review and configure your home's energy management configuration to suit your needs
  2. Powerful to set effective, time of day, balance of power flows, level of storage capacity rules to whether power is stored or released from the storage solution.

Let's look at that last part more.  Will a system be offered that can:


  1. Have time of day rules that are aware of your providers teired rate structure?
  2. Have public holiday rules that match your providers teired rate structure?
  3. Be aware of daylight savings changes?
  4. Allow for a different set of higher priority (higher precedent rules) that apply when the grid is down that over ride normal rules?
  5. Have Home owner away rules (e.g. - don't recharge or only half re-charge my storage if depleted overnight whilst I am away for the next two weeks)
  6. Have home owner away rules that say don't charge my storage past x% from solar during the day because I am away and won't need peak capacity storage)?
  7. Are local weather aware from the web to make informed choices about battery versus grid storage flows?
  8. Can raise alerts via SMS to the home owners mobile (e.g. batteries low and bad wether forecast for 2 days - recharge from gird and preserve for peak next day usage only y/n?)?
  9. Can grow in intelligence and understanding of your cyclic usage patterns (Summer vs winter, week day vs weekend, holidays etc) to make better storage management determinations?
  10. Share and review your economic achievements and compare this on an opt in basis with other solution providers achievements to see / benchmark if your settings for storage management are optimal?

And many more possible tweaks that I could think of.  All these are yet to be announced by AGL.  Think I will ask them!




I want a 10 kWh battery so I can ‘load shift’ and power my house during peak times (7am to 11pm). I can then feed-in to the grid ALL my solar electricity during the day. Currently some of my solar electricity powers the house. This incurs a loss of over $400 per year. I plan to keep my solar system separate from the battery.


Lithium-ion storage batteries currently cost about US$100 per kWh. Tesla’s new Powerwall is a rip-off at US$350 per kWh.


What is the peak output current of the batteries that AGL is sourcing? I assume the control box will switchover to the grid when I turn on my 30A electric oven.

AGL Employee

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