Should I Buy a Solar Battery Now or Wait?

The cost of waiting is higher than buying a solar storage battery now.  A bold statement perhaps, but if you look at history and analyse the figures it’s true.  The value of an energy storage battery is that it reduces your electricity bill by 90% or more in some cases.  Just do the maths!  Any discount has to be high to be worth waiting for.

It also provides freedom and control in the face of rising prices and on-going issues with our very old electricity grid. You keep your lights on in power cuts; you can sell your excess power back to the grid and in the future you will have the chance to sell your excess solar into virtual power plants and to people who want renewable energy but can’t produce it themselves.

Customers of ours who bought the LG RESU and Tesla Powerwall 1 batteries when they first entered the market are so far ahead in energy savings and control of their own power that they tell us frequently they don’t regret buying when they chose to.

There are several battery options to suit different needs.  Tesla Powerwall 2 is slick looking and has high storage capacity.  We have some special deals going on the Powerwalls & gateways right now.

The sonnenBatterie shown in the photo is also a great choice.  It’s the only battery currently available that was specifically designed for home use.  It has 10 years of reliable history behind it and is able to cycle more times than the other batteries.  This makes it a good option for the future if you are thinking of producing solar to sell.  Purchasing a sonnenBatterie gives you an option to join sonnenFlat which is a community of solar producers and gives you a discounted monthly electricity price.

Also available are the smaller LG RESU and VARTA batteries.  We will find the battery that suits your needs and budget.  Give us a call, visit the web site or come to our showroom in Allambie Heights.  We have the largest selection in Sydney of solar panels, storage batteries, inverters and other equipment on display.


Sonnen Solar Battery Manufactured in Australia

Sonnen, the World’s leading manufacturer of solar storage batteries, has shown its commitment to Australia with the opening of its battery manufacturing facility in Adelaide.   This will benefit the whole of Australia.  50,000 energy storage systems are expected to be built in the next five years for Australian and export markets.  Sonnen’s Chief Executive Officer, Christoph Ostermann, has committed to participating in making Australia the number one market globally for energy storage systems.

Sonnen batteries are super smart energy storage systems that provide double the kilowatt-hours of competitors.  The intelligent storage system automatically adjusts the energy use so that most of your self-generated energy stays in your home.  For battery owners who choose to join sonnenFlat; stored energy that you don’t need is used by other sonnenFlat members who need it at that time and excess energy is made available to you by others when you need it.  The shared system is administered by sonnen and paves the way for Virtual Power Plants.

Creating a Virtual Power Plant

Sonnen is creating a “Virtual Power Plant” in South Australia to support the State and National Grid infrastructure. The Company already runs a ‘virtual power plant’ in Germany, connecting thousands of households with PV (photovoltaic) storage systems. Sonnen’s intention is to have a network of batteries of sufficient scale to enable it to sell the equivalent of a gas-fired peaking power station into the National Grid. Mr Ostermann said, “sonnen will bring great benefits to South Australia through jobs at its Australian Head Office and the factory in Elizabeth, lower energy prices for households that take up the battery programme, and increased retail energy competition, decreasing energy prices for everyone. Furthermore, we expect to contribute to increased grid reliability through the ability of the network of sonnenBatteries to store energy and act as a Virtual Power Plant in a decentralised grid.”

Smart Solar & Batteries Showroom

The sonnenBatterie is one of four solar storage batteries in Australia that have been approved as Virtual Power Plant ready.  The others are Tesla Powerwall 2, LG RESU and VARTA.  Solarpro has a showroom on Sydney’s Northern Beaches where you can view all these batteries and other examples of smart solar technology like SolarEdge optimised inverters.

Charge an electric vehicle with a solar inverter

SolarEdge has introduced an electric vehicle (EV) charging single phase solar inverter.  It enables households with solar power systems to charge their electric vehicles directly from the solar inverter without having to buy a separate EV charger.  They will also benefit from the ability to charge EVs up to 2.5 times faster than a standard EV charger through an innovative solar boost mode that uses grid and solar charging simultaneously.  The EV charging inverter is fully integrated with the SolarEdge monitoring platform.

Depending on your solar energy production, SolarEdge estimates the boosted inverter will give you 35 to 40kms/1 hour of charging compared to 8 to 15kms from a standard EV charger.

sonnenCharger for EVs linked to sonnenCommunity

Another innovative EV charger solution comes from German-based, solar battery manufacturer, sonnen which in early 2018 introduced the sonnenCharger in Europe.  It is a smart home charge point that charges your electric car from your own cheap solar power.  It is connected to the internet and sonnen’s mobile app.

The innovative thing is that it is linked to the Company’s community of energy storage devices. This means that if a member of the sonnenCommunity with an electric vehicle needs to charge but doesn’t have sufficient solar power, they can use excess energy from other sonnenCommunity members to cover their shortfall and still power their EV with clean solar power.

In Australia, people who have purchased a sonnenBatterie eco and joined sonnenFlat are already members of the pool of 10s of thousands of people who are coming together to form the World’s largest virtual power plant of its kind.  The introduction of the sonnenCharger in Europe brings transport in the shape of electric vehicles into a system that is already meeting energy needs previously provided by fossil fuels.

Whether you already have an electric car or think you might in the future, contact us to discuss your options.


How to reduce your electricity costs

Here’s how to completely remove or substantially reduce your electricity bill using sonnenFlat, Reposit, SolarEdge appliance control devices and being smart. In 2015/16 the average Australian electricity bill was $1,524 and 48% of it went to our old and failing grid.  Your electricity retail company got 24% which includes both their profits and costs, including advertising!  Generators (wholesalers) got 22% for electricity produced predominantly from coal or gas.  In 2017, electricity bills increased by 20% and it is anticipated they will rise year on year.

The price you pay for your electricity includes the tariff, fees and other charges that apply under your current plan and contract. Usually GST is added to your total bill.  Prices are subject to government regulation in some states.  However, here in NSW the electricity retailers set their own prices.  The amount you pay is based on your electricity consumption.  This is measured by how much power you use over an hour.  This is known as the watt hour (Wh).  A thousand watt hours is one kilowatt hour (kWh).  A smart meter will measure your consumption every 30 minutes.

Your electricity bill will have the total number of kilowatt hours used over a period of time – usually three months.

SonnenFlat – $0 electricity bill

You can reduce the amount you pay to retailers and wholesalers by investing in solar and being smart with how you use your power as detailed below.  However, the only way to avoid paying for what is often described as an ageing grid with good money being thrown after bad, is to go completely off-grid or change to a more modern system.  A system that not only saves you money with a low capped fee instead of an electricity bill but also eases the pressure on our ageing electricity infrastructure.

Relatively new to Australia, sonnenFlat is well established in Germany and over 30,000 people in Europe are already members.  It is basically a network of solar power generating homes which become a huge power station with control of their own power.  Sonnen coordinates it for a capped monthly fee which also guarantees an additional amount of kWh should you need it to supplement your own production. To become a member of the sonnen solar community you have to have a solar power system, purchase a sonnenBatterie eco and apply to join sonnenFlat.  Learn more…

Reducing how much you pay

You can act now to reduce how much you pay for electricity even without renewable energy.  Here are a couple of tips:

  • Work out how much energy your household uses and when
  • Time your energy hungry appliances to come on when electricity prices are lowest

If you have or are thinking of installing a solar power system you can time your energy hungry appliances such as the dishwasher or washing machine to come on when your panels are producing more energy than is being consumed by your household.  This can be made easy by using smart systems such as Reposit or SolarEdge appliance control devices.

Please call or contact us through our web site to discuss how much money can be saved using solar energy.