Westpoint Exeter Sat 18th Sun 19th April 2020
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Why you Need to Choose your Battery Wisely

There are a range of batteries available on the market and it’s vital to choose a battery that suits you.

We’re often asked about the different types of batteries available and unfortunately we do come across people who’ve been sold a battery that doesn’t suit their needs.

It’s really important, when you choose your battery, to have a full understanding of its advantages and disadvantages.

In some cases a smaller, cheaper battery will make sense and we do install a range of batteries, according to our customers’ preferences and needs.

But, it’s worth understanding a little about the different brands and what they do and don’t offer. Put simply, you often get what you pay for.

There are several decent battery brands available. As an accredited Tesla supplier, most of the calls we get tend to be about Tesla batteries. In fact, we’ve already sold out of our second shipment of Tesla’s latest battery, the Powerwall 2, and they haven’t even been delivered yet! Our customers are buying the Powerwall 2 for their homes but also for their businesses.

So, what’s all the fuss about?

Your battery’s capacity
The Powerwall 2 has a large capacity compared to many other batteries. People often ask us why they’d need a battery with that much capacity. It’s true that today a battery that size won’t suit everyone’s usage and energy needs and it is really important to size a battery according to the site.

The Powerwall 2 can store 13.5kW. To put this in perspective, it’s been estimated that the average household uses between 3500 and 5500 kWh of energy a year. That’s 9.5kWh a day at the lower end, or 15kW a day at the higher end. Of course, if you have solar PV some of your energy will be provided free from your system. But, even for users at that lower end a battery with a larger capacity can contribute more to your energy needs.

For instance, if there’s a sunnier day, where your solar generates well, followed by a couple of cloudy days with lower solar generation, a bigger battery can fill up with more solar energy on the sunnier day, to keep you going with free solar energy for that bit longer.

What you pay per kWh
We’ve done the price analysis and, per kWh, the Powerwall 2 works out cheaper than most competitors. So, yes the Powerwall 2 is larger than most competitor systems, so on up front cost it’s one of the more expensive brands. But, the cost per kWh is actually quite a bit lower than some other brands.

Future revenue from your battery
What other reasons are there to pay for the larger capacity? Well, it may pay dividends in the future. It’s expected that home batteries will soon be able save their owners even more by taking advantage of time of use tariffs. Your battery will buy in energy from the grid when it’s cheaper and store it so it can then be used at peak times, to save you paying more later.
Also, home batteries will likely be able to provide grid services in future. This means that you’ll be paid to allow a portion of your battery’s extra capacity to provide energy back to the grid, giving you an additional income stream.
If your battery’s not set up to do this, or it doesn’t have the capacity required, you’ll miss out on these future developments.

The output of your battery
Another key consideration when choosing your battery is output. Regardless of a battery’s capacity, remember it can only provide a certain amount of energy at a given time. For instance, if you put several of your appliances on at once (and most of us do), then even if your battery has enough energy actually stored to power them all, it might not be able to release that energy quickly enough. In this case, you’d still have to buy energy in from the grid.

Can your battery provide backup power?
It’s also worth checking that your battery provides backup power i.e. that if there’s a power cut, your battery will kick in to keep your lights on.

The upshot
Energy storage is a hugely exciting area and lots of our customers are getting involved. But, please do take care to understand what you’re buying and its advantages and disadvantages.

This blog was provided by Sungift Solar.