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If you’re new to exploring the world of solar battery storage systems, there’s a lot to know. One of the most important lessons to learn is that the upfront cost of the system is not the best way to measure up different products.

It’s important to measure the upfront cost, against the energy the battery will be able to deliver over its design lifetime. This is where cycle life comes in...

Not all Lithium batteries are the same

Batteries have been around for a long time but in the last decade or so, lithium ion batteries have grown in popularity. Lithium batteries can store more energy in a smaller space, compared to their lead acid counterparts, so they have become a more popular option. 

However, there are a number of different lithium ion chemistries available and each chemistry has its own characteristics.

“Some lithium ion batteries have better power, energy and performance capabilities. Others utilise compositions which makes them less powerful but more stable, which means they could be safer.”

Remember, safety first

When you’re choosing the right type of battery for your home, Chris advises that cheaper isn’t always better, particularly ¬when you’re looking for large amounts of energy to be stored. “Lithium is an extremely volatile material and if the chemical reaction required for the battery to operate is not controlled, it can – in extreme circumstances – lead to thermal runaway and sometimes fire.” 

The technology around these batteries is relatively immature and the legislation governing the safe manufacture and installation of the residential battery systems is still catching up. That’s why Chris recommends choosing a safe system over a cheap system.

Road sign "Safety begins with you"

Find the best battery for your needs

There’s much more to finding the right battery than simply comparing the cycle life, capacity and the costs. Find out why you need to factor in total energy throughput.

Some of the key players in the home battery market are Fronius, Tesla, LG Chem and Enphase. Here’s an overview of some of the features and benefits of each type to help you make an informed decision. 

Please note, this information was correct at the time it was published by may be subject to change.

Tesla (generation 1) LG Chem Enphase
The chemistry... Made using Lithium Ion Phosphate technology and needs to be floor mounted. It offers one of the safest kind of lithium chemistry at a reasonable cost.  Made utilising Lithium Nickle Manganese Cobalt and is wall-mounted. This type of battery is often used for electric vehicles and power tools.
Made utilising Lithium Nickle Manganese Cobalt and is floor and wall mounted.
Similarly to the Fronius, this battery is made of Lithium Ion Phosphate. This offers one of the safest lithium chemistry at a reasonable cost. 
DC voltage  120V to 460V 350V to 450V 51.8V for capacity sizes 3.3 to 9.8 kWh. 
350 to 450V for capacity size 7 to 9.8 KWh.
 184V to 276V
Power rating 2.4 - 6.4 kW
depending on the model
3.3 kWh 3-5 kWh
depending on the model
 0.260 kWh per unit
Energy capacity 6.4 kWh
depending on model
6.4kWh 3.3-9.8 kWh
depending on model
 1.2 kWh per unit

Total energy throughput of 1.2 kWh * 38.4 MWh
for the 6 kWh battery (useable capacity of 4.8 kWh)
for the 6.4kWh battery
23.4 MWh
for the 6.5 kWh battery
8.322 MWh
Up to 17 of these can be installed onto a 20A circuit making it scaleable.
 Cycle life  8,000 @ 80% DoD  Not provided.  3,200 @ 90% DoD 7,300 at 95% DoD

 7 years or 5 years with extra coverage, including coverage for capacity degradation.  10 years 10 years or 20mWh, whichever comes first (for the 6.5 kWh model) including coverage for the capacity degradation.

 10 years or 7,300 cycles

* Estimated only, this does not include degradation

Battery comparison disclaimer: The above model classifications are printed as per the information provided in the battery model product guide. As the throughput for each model is variable on a range of external influences including degradation over time, calculations are estimates only.

Do you know how much could be saving with solar?

The average Aussie household could save up to $706 a year on electricity with a 2 KW SolarReturn system alone. Think about the future size of your bill, with batteries just around the corner.

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