Considering the ongoing demand for energy sustainability, sunshine isn’t there for picnics and beach days anymore. It’s a potent source of energy waiting to be harnessed! And a solar battery is a powerful tool to store the sun’s energy both to brighten up your days and store some of it for a rainy day.
This article will explain the science behind solar batteries and explore the best performers on the market. This way, you could get an idea of the solar battery price for your home.
And for the most informed decision, you’ll need to consult a professional you can trust. Yet the process of finding vetted solar panel installers on your own can march on for days and even weeks. You’ll need to sacrifice precious free time for googling, reading the reviews, and calling the installers.
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A solar battery is a device that you can incorporate into your solar panel system to store any excess electricity generated by your solar panels. This means you have electricity stored that you use during times when your solar panels don’t meet your demands, or during power outages.
Usually, this is electricity generated from the sun, making it a perfect addition to solar panels for your home. Solar batteries, sometimes referred to as a home battery storage or energy-storage system, can also store electricity from the grid if need be.
Solar battery storage can come in handy during power outages, so you can continue to use your home appliances non-stop without relying on the grid. This means you could potentially upgrade your home by using solar panels for off-grid living!
You can find out more about solar panel batteries in our video guide below:
First of all, how your solar battery works depends on how your solar panels are wired to your solar battery storage system. This could be either direct current (DC) coupling or alternating current (AC) coupling.
Before we get into the step-by-step process, it’s important to highlight that solar cells create DC electricity while the appliances in your home use AC electricity. Furthermore, solar batteries can only store DC electricity.
This means that the electricity will need to be converted, but at which point it’s converted depends on whether your battery has DC or AC coupling.
In addition to these steps, it is also possible to convert AC electricity from the grid into DC electricity to be stored in your battery. It’s advisable to do this at night when electricity from the National Grid is typically cheaper.
Depending on your energy supplier, you can also convert your stored DC electricity into AC electricity to be sold back to the grid.
There is also the option of having a hybrid inverter, which is a single device that can convert DC electricity into AC electricity and vice versa. Hybrid inverters are growing in popularity as it means you only need one inverter for your home.
When choosing between an AC-coupled or a DC-coupled battery storage system for your home, there are two important things to consider.
The DC-coupled system is typically more efficient due to the fact the energy goes through an inverter less often. However, DC-coupled systems are also more complex to install, making the initial costs of an AC-coupled system usually cheaper.
If you’re unsure which system to pick, you’ll need an opinion from a trusted solar installer. Instead of enjoying time with your family, you can end up spending hours in front of your computer reading installer reviews and reaching out to them. However, such independent searches can’t boast high chances of finding an experienced professional.
Say goodbye to the hassle of endless research and let us simplify the process for you. Fill out our 30-second form to get up to 4 free, no-obligation quotes from local solar installers. Compare the prices with no obligation to place any orders. Click below to get started.
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As well as deciding whether you want an AC-coupled or a DC-coupled solar battery, you also need to consider the type of battery chemistry. Below we’ll break down each of the solar battery types to help you decide which is best for your personal situation.
Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most popular type of solar batteries on the UK market. Popular solar panel batteries like the Tesla Powerwall in the UK use this form as their choice of solar battery. It’s also the same technology that’s being used in your smartphone.
They are generally the most expensive solar battery type, however, the price is justifiable. They are considered to be the most efficient battery type, have the longest battery life, and also have a higher usable capacity as they can easily handle discharges of 80% or more.
One factor to be mindful of, however, is that if they are not installed properly, they can pose a fire hazard. This is why it’s so important to contact a qualified installer so you can rest assured that your solar battery is functioning properly and safely.
Lead-acid batteries are the oldest and cheapest type of available battery. As battery technology is improving, lead-acid batteries are being replaced by other types of batteries with longer warranties. However, they are still a viable option for many homeowners.
They comprise of lead plates immersed within an electrolyte solution containing sulfuric acid. As the battery charges, a chemical process transforms electrical energy into chemical potential, ready for storage. During discharge, however, the accumulated chemical potential makes its voltaic comeback, converting it into electrical energy once again.
While being the most economical choice among various types, lead-acid batteries do come with a comparatively shorter overall lifespan, a lower depth of discharge, and the necessity for frequent check-ups due to the potential release of hydrogen gas during operation.
Solar professionals advise against allowing lead-acid batteries to reach a depth of discharge exceeding 50% to prevent detrimental impacts on their longevity.
Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries belong to the lithium-ion battery family and employ lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material to hold lithium ions.
During charging, lithium ions (Li+) are liberated from the cathode and traverse the electrolyte to reach the anode. Discharge entails the movement of lithium ions from the anode to the cathode, consequently releasing energy.
LiFePO4 batteries are esteemed for their heightened energy density, compact form, and extended lifespan. They’re also recognised for their safety benefits over other lithium-ion counterparts, attributed to their reduced susceptibility to overheating and thermal runaway.
Moreover, LiFePO4 batteries exhibit better tolerance to temperature ranges but need a battery management system to guarantee proper charging and discharging.
Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries represent a form of rechargeable battery employing nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium electrodes within a potassium hydroxide alkaline electrolyte.
Ni-Cd batteries boast an extended cycle life, allowing for multiple charge and discharge cycles with minimal capacity loss. Historically, they found widespread use in applications like portable power tools, photography equipment, flashlights, and emergency lighting.
Additionally, they exhibit a low self-discharge rate, enabling them to maintain their charge over prolonged periods of inactivity. However, they are susceptible to the memory effect – when incomplete discharge before recharging can lead to gradual capacity decline over time.
A flow battery is also recognised as a redox flow battery. It represents a type of rechargeable battery that functions by employing two chemical components dissolved within flowing liquids, divided by a membrane within the system.
Flow batteries offer a suite of advantages including prolonged cycle life, scalability, and the capacity to stockpile substantial energy reserves. These batteries find utility across diverse domains such as renewable energy storage, grid stabilisation, and backup power solutions.
The dynamics of flow batteries revolve around the orchestrated flow of two electrolyte solutions through an electrochemical chamber, catalysing chemical reactions that facilitate energy storage and release. Their hallmark lies in adaptability, making them apt for a variety of energy storage needs.
Solar batteries offer a host of advantages, such as energy independence. By allowing you to store surplus energy generated by your solar panels, solar batteries provide a reliable power source even when the sun takes a break.
Reduced energy bills are another benefit of solar batteries. Solar panels increase the value of your home and solar batteries do, too! Also, they cut down carbon emissions, contributing to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable energy system.
However, the upfront cost can be quite hefty, as you’ll need to invest in the battery system and its installation. Solar batteries can only store a limited amount of energy, which may not be sufficient for power-hungry households or extended periods with little sunlight.
If you’re unsure how solar battery storage will benefit your home, consulting a solar professional is a must.
Most homeowners will spend hours researching which installers service their area, tediously calling up several of these local installers and then individually requesting comparison quotes. But we know that no one wants to spend their time doing this.
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Currently, solar batteries roughly cost between £1,200 and £14,800. These prices vary widely due to factors such as differences in capacity and battery type. This also means that you’re likely to find a solar battery that fits your home’s energy needs.
Despite the fact that there have been some fluctuations in cost, the overall trend of solar battery prices is decreasing. This is a similar situation to when photovoltaic systems were new.
As technology improves and solar batteries increase in popularity, the costs will naturally decline. Therefore, these current prices are predicted to decrease further.
Below is a table of some of the most popular batteries on the market and an estimation of what they cost in 2023:
|Solar Battery||Usable Capacity (kWh)||Approx. Cost (excl. Installation)|
|Tesla Powerwall 2||13.5||£9,390|
|Powervault 3||4.1 – 20.5||£4,700 – £14,800|
|LG Chem Resu 10H||9.3||£5,100|
|Enphase Encharge 10T||10.08||£7,990|
|Duracell Energy Bank||3.3||£4,499|
|Varta Pulse 3 and 6||3.3 – 6.5||£3,950 – £5,350|
Even though the initial price of batteries for solar panels can be high, a plus is that they require little to no maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about any potential future costs.
The prices in the table above are simply an estimation and don’t take installation costs or potential solar inverter costs into account. Installation costs can vary depending on factors such as the size of your battery and whether it’s AC- or DC-coupled.
Another thing to consider is that it is also usually more cost-effective to set up your solar battery system at the same time as installing solar panels.
If you’re interested in solar batteries for your home, then it’s a good idea to compare the total costs of installing different solar battery systems. This way you make sure you get the best deal. You can click the button below to compare up to 4 solar batteries from installers in your area without any obligation.
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Furthermore, for those of you who want to make some extra money, in the UK it’s possible to sell your solar battery’s stored surplus energy back to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).
You can qualify based on your income and additional considerations, including property age and condition.
Consider talking to a professional solar engineer to check whether you qualify for this grant.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO4) scheme provides funding for energy efficiency improvements, including solar panels and battery storage, for eligible homeowners in England, Scotland, and Wales. Read more about this in our ‘free solar panels in wales‘ guide.
ECO4 is accessible to homeowners possessing solar panels of up to 5MW capacity, granted that a smart meter is installed in the property.
At GreenMatch, we have a large network of qualified solar panel installers across the UK. This means we can easily connect you with up to 4 professional installers in your area so that you can easily compare their prices and choose the best solar panels for your home.
If you want to avoid wasting time and money on overpriced installation companies, then fill in our 30-second form and receive up to 4 free quotes. Our service is completely free and non-binding, so what are you waiting for? Click the button below to find the best solar panels for your home.
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Before you compare the specs of various solar batteries, it’s important to understand which specs you should pay close attention to and what exactly they all mean.
Battery size. A battery’s capacity size is the amount of electricity a battery is able to store. Battery size is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), therefore, it expresses how long a battery will be able to power your home.
In particular, you should look out for a battery’s “usable capacity”, as this tells you how much of the stored electricity you can actually access.
Power rating. A battery’s power rating is expressed in kilowatts (kW) and tells you how many and what types of appliances you can power at once.
Round-trip efficiency. As mentioned earlier, you can lose energy by converting it from DC to AC electricity and back. Therefore, round-trip efficiency measures how well your battery and inverter convert and store electricity. It specifically tells you the percentage of energy put into the storage that can be retrieved again.
Depth of Discharge (DoD). Over time as batteries are used they lose their ability to hold charge. DoD is a calculation of the remaining charge hold.
This means that the full energy storage capacity the battery has at purchase will deplete over years of use. Therefore, when buying a solar battery it’s generally better to buy a battery with a higher DoD.
Battery life-cycle and warranty. A battery’s life-cycle measures the number of times you can charge and discharge a battery before it loses performance. In regards to the warranty, some manufacturers, like Tesla, provide an unlimited cycle guarantee, however, most give a figure which can range from 1,800 to 10,000 cycles.
|What size solar battery do I need?|
|Number of bedrooms||Typical daily electricity use (kWh)||Required battery size (kWh)|
|Flat or 1-bedroom||4||5|
Check your electricity bills to get your monthly power consumption (in kWh). Engaging with a professional solar installer is advisable, as they can analyse your energy usage, space availability, and other pertinent factors to provide tailored guidance on the optimal size for your solar battery.
When deciding on the suitability of a solar battery for your home, it’s crucial to assess its advantages and disadvantages. In the end, the choice to incorporate a solar battery into your household relies on your individual energy requirements, financial constraints, and the space at your disposal.
When deciding on a solar battery installation, key factors include capacity (storage amount), efficiency (usable energy), depth of discharge (usable capacity), warranty, initial cost, maintenance, space requirements, location, battery life, and energy needs. By keeping these factors in mind, you can find the best solar battery for your personal needs.
Seeking advice from a professional installer, capable of evaluating your circumstances and offering tailored guidance, could prove advantageous.
You can search for installers and collect the information yourself, but how time-consuming and stressful would that be? Would you know if the installer you spent hours to find was certified and had all the necessary expertise?
Thankfully, GreenMatch can do the legwork for you. Fill out our 30-second form to obtain up to 4 quotes from our extensive network of vetted solar panel installers. No hidden fees or obligations to accept any offers. Simply click the button below to receive up to 4 free quotes to compare.
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