Not all battery inverters are equal

With the installation of energy storage systems most people look at the battery and concentrate on that but in reality the battery inverter is an integral part of any energy storage system and will dictate much of the energy storage systems operations.

Often when an energy storage system isn’t working properly the fault lies with the inverter and not the battery.

Inverter power is measured in kVA or volt amps.

The battery inverter takes power from the solar PV array (solar inverter or MPPT) and battery which can be of different voltages and converts it to 240V for household of business use.

Solar inverters are designed to work with solar PV arrays and battery inverters are designed to work with energy storage batteries. Hybrid inverters are also coming onto the market that combine both solar PV and battery conversions.

Continue reading “Not all battery inverters are equal”

Why will I choose energy storage batteries?


There are a variety of reasons that people choose to make use of battery storage. In the domestic market the most common ones are to reduce the price they are paying for ever increasing electricity costs by shifting power from their solar panels collected during the day to when it is needed at night.

There are many other people for whom the desire to be energy independent is the driving force, even if they still stay connected to the grid. This may be because of dissatisfaction with treatment from power companies or due to an unreliable supply. Continue reading “Why will I choose energy storage batteries?”

Problems and Solutions solved with energy storage

One of the biggest problems with the efforts to use renewable energy to produce large amounts of the energy consumed on a daily basis has been its inability to reliably supply power at the times it is most needed. This can and will be addressed with the installation of battery systems that allow households, businesses and energy network providers to store renewable energy for use at night or in peak periods.

Solar panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity during the day with maximum generation being between the hours of 11 to 3pm. Unfortunately, for most people unless you are home during the day 80% of this power gets fed back into the grid for very little return. Likewise, although energy generation through wind is now very efficient and cost effective the times when wind produces energy can be intermittent.

Batteries also reduce the amount of electricity that is exported to the grid from rooftop solar during the middle of the day. This has the capacity to significantly reduce variability and stabilise grid supply. Continue reading “Problems and Solutions solved with energy storage”

How much battery capacity do you need?


When people start looking at energy battery storage one thing they often ask is I have “x” kW solar on my roof at the moment, how much battery storage do I need?

This isn’t an easy question to answer and there definitely isn’t a one size fits all answer. If someone tries to sell you a battery without asking about your lifestyle and what your needs are then walk away. Chances are they are just trying to sell you their battery and not really working towards what is best for you. The cheapest battery upfront may turn out to be more expensive in the long run if the battery technology isn’t matched to your needs.

The amount of storage isn’t really related to the amount of solar you have on your roof (although it is definitely part of the equation) but it is more to do with how much power you use on a daily basis, how long you want backup power for and what appliances you want to operate from the battery. Continue reading “How much battery capacity do you need?”

So much conflicting information on battery storage


When consumers go online to compare different batteries there is so much conflicting information available it is very difficult to get a clear picture of what is available and to understand what is happening in the industry. What is important is you compare similar products and don’t just listen to what salespeople are telling you.

If a product has been in use for a number of years the quoted figures are more likely to be reliable than if a product is new and hasn’t yet been tested in real life conditions. Generally batteries are tested in factories at 25 degrees. This can produce different results than are experienced in real life when temperatures vary widely.

Currently there are no relevant battery standards in Australia Continue reading “So much conflicting information on battery storage”

Lithium-ion battery storage may be banned inside Australian homes

Lithium-ion battery storage devices – including Tesla Powerwalls and other products – may be effectively banned from being installed inside homes and garages in Australia under new guidelines being drafted by Standards Australia.tesla powerwall 2

The move, if upheld, is likely to send shockwaves through the industry, with thousands of Australian households, including prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, already installing lithium ion battery storage devices and millions more predicted to do so in coming years.

Standards Australia, a voluntary body that draws on expertise from the industries involved and key stakeholders, is expected to release the draft guidelines in the next week or so. But news of its proposals has already leaked, causing concern that the decision could bring the industry to a halt. Continue reading “Lithium-ion battery storage may be banned inside Australian homes”

CSIRO sees $100bn savings in zero carbon grid by 2050

csriro oz 2050A major new study by the CSIRO and the main networks lobby says a decarbonised energy grid by 2050, with half of generation produced and stored locally, will save billions in upfront capital costs and consumer bills, and deliver a secure electricity system.

(See also out story CSIRO, networks put lie to conservative campaign against wind and solar).

In a direct rebuff to the renewable energy scare campaign and myth-making being played out in the political arena, the premier scientific body and Energy Networks Australia say that wind and solar will provide nearly all our electricity needs by 2050, and the system will be cheaper for all customers. Continue reading “CSIRO sees $100bn savings in zero carbon grid by 2050”

Battle royale brews over battery storage and control of energy markets

Large energy users, battery storage developers and some small energy retailers are pushing for a change in energy market rules that could have dramatic consequences for the industry – levelling the playing field for battery storage, lowering prices for consumers, and wresting control of the energy markets from the big generators.

Soaring wholesale prices have become a major issue in Australia in recent months, defying logic (analyst David Leitch has described them as absurd), and raising concerns among many energy consumers.

The finger has been pointed at the bidding patterns of some major generators, which is one of the main reasons why the South Australian government wants to build a new cable to the eastern states, because it says it has “lost control” of energy pricing. (Although some media chooses to blame renewables).

The proposal to change a relatively obscure rule in the running of the energy markets is seen as an opportunity to wrest control from big, bulky, slow-response generators and encourage smarter, smaller, fast-response distributed generation, particularly battery storage and software for energy management systems.

The proposal comes from zinc smelter operator Sun Metals, which has asked the Australian Energy Market Commission to change the rule. Currently, pricing is set every five minutes, but financial settlement is made only every 30 minutes. Even the AEMC admits that this can distort the market, and push up prices unnecessarily.

An example is illustrated in the graph below, which explains why operators of big generators, particularly gas or diesel-fired peaking plants, may object to the rule change.

peaking plant prices

Continue reading “Battle royale brews over battery storage and control of energy markets”

Are batteries guilty as charged?

Very interesting article from Ecogeneration based on CSIRO report that raises many of the questions about the lack of standards in the battery storage industry that we have been talking about. The lack of standards, particularly around fire risks of lithium ion batteries means safety can become a serious issue. It is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.



For many people the need to protect themselves from power outages is becoming a more and more common occurrence and it is not unusual for it to take days for the power to be reconnected, particularly if you are not on a main line and other lines take priority.


Sometimes people lose power due to storm damage to power lines but often it is power being cut off by power companies so that they can do maintenance on the lines. Continue reading