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Is solar battery storage worth the cost?

solar Batteries
Georgia Carter Updated: 27 January 2022
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If you’ve just installed solar panels recently, you may be thinking about storing some of your excess energy in batteries. But despite batteries growing in popularity, some people still don’t understand how they work and solar battery storage costs. Essentially, solar batteries store solar power for future use. They allow homeowners to utilise stored energy when needed, such as in a blackout or living off-grid. 

This article is aimed at helping solar power users understand the ins and outs of solar batteries for home purposes. We underline the solar battery storage costs, how long a solar panel storage battery lasts, and why new solar batteries are worth it. 

Key facts

  • There are three main types of solar batteries used today. These include Lithium-ion batteries, Lead-acid Batteries, and Flow batteries.
  • Generally, small to medium-sized new solar batteries cost around $6000 – $9000 to purchase. 
  • If properly maintained, solar batteries usually last around ten years and remain out of extreme weather temperatures.
  • Solar batteries are beneficial for those living off the grid, have a large home or business that requires constant electricity, and for emergency situations such as a blackout.
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What solar battery systems are available in Australia?

Lithium-ion batteries:

These are the most common types of batteries installed in homes today. These small devices use similar technology to their counterparts found inside smartphones and laptop computers, with several different types available for purchase depending on what you need your power source principally.


Lead-acid Batteries:

Lead-acid batteries are still the go-to for storing energy, but they’re not nearly as efficient or powerful as other storage technologies. They also have a reputation for being costlier than newer methods like lithium-ion, which manufacturers can use today without worrying about high prices tomorrow.


Low Battery:

The most promising alternative to lithium-ion, this type uses chemical reactions and pumped electrolytes such as zinc bromide or vanadium ions for storing charge, which is then released again.



Battery and storage technology is in a state of rapid development. Other technologies currently available include hybrid ion (saltwater) batteries, molten salt batteries, and graphene supercapacitors. None of these are in common usage at this stage.


Solar Battery Price

Residential solar battery prices range between $500-$1500 per kW, including installation and GST. The price will depend on the size of your home as well as which brand you go for. 

Below is a table outlining the costs of batteries per size of the solar battery system:

Battery TypeBattery Only CostBattery and Inverter Cost

Source: Solar Choice, 2021

How much solar battery storage do I need?

While it depends on how much power you produce and need to save, there is a typical rule of thumb for each size. A ‘large’ solar battery system has a usable energy storage capacity of 13.5 kWh. A ‘medium’ solar battery system has a usable energy storage capacity of 6.5 kWh. Finally, a ‘small’ solar battery system has a usable storage capacity of 3.5 kWh.

The lifespan of battery storage systems

The lifespan of a solar battery is usually around ten years, but it all depends on how you use your device. If temperatures remain normal and there are no extreme changes in weather conditions for this period, then most likely, the batteries will last longer than their warranty does, which means owners can enjoy savings by not having to buy new ones as often. However, most recent generations have only been around since a few years ago, so this may change with time as more research gets done.

Should I invest in a battery storage system?

Batteries may not always make economic sense for most homes yet. They’re still relatively expensive, and the payback time will often be longer than ten years (typically) of warranty on your battery. The cost of solar panels has been dropping over the last few years, but there’s still a while before they become affordable enough for most people with many rebate programs available throughout the country.
In two or three decades from now, though, it may make good economic sense because batteries will likely improve in price as well. Batteries can be an economical choice for some homeowners. Ultra-low-cost, high power consuming homes that are savvy about using their solar-generated and stored energy may make the battery pay off in less than ten years. Many people see batteries not just through economic lenses but also because they want to live as independent from utility companies as possible – which is why we’re seeing such rapid growth of residential storage today.

Benefits of installing a battery system

The importance of battery storage for solar panels cannot be overstated. With a battery, the energy that your plant generates but doesn’t use at its time can get stored, so you don’t have to rely on power from an external source. Most on-the-grid energy and electricity is generated through coal plants and other fossil fuels. Storing your energy provides you with the ability to use the most environmentally friendly energy available.

Although the cost of your system may vary, you can reduce your electric bill by storing excess solar energy because when there’s more than enough sun shining down on us to power our homes and businesses through batteries.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • How long can solar energy be stored in a battery?

    Theoretically, a solar battery should last as long and retain its charge. However, there is always energy lost in any transfer, which means that even when stored electronically or mechanically, the release will occur after some time has passed since being charged up initially. A standard cell typically lasts for 1-5 days, but this can vary depending on temperature changes outside.
  • How do you store solar batteries when not in use?

    The most important thing to consider when storing your batteries is the temperature. Keep them cool and dry, with a good amount of insulation around it, so that they can maintain their charge without getting too hot or losing power quickly from neglectful caretakers who don’t take time out for themselves.
  • How long does battery storage last?

    The total energy output within the warranty is limited to 27.4 MWh, but batteries can last anywhere between five and 15 years with proper maintenance! That means you’ll likely need a replacement during your system’s 20-30 year life span – not bad for an investment that pays off many times over in lower monthly bills at no cost or reduced rate electricity costs through solar power systems.
  • Do batteries go bad if not used?

    When you use a battery, it loses its charge over time. By estimating when your batteries will expire and keeping them stored appropriately while not using their power for long periods (this includes turning off electronics), they can last five or six years before needing replacement. The shelf life depends on what type we’re talking about here – AA-size alkaline lasts ten full Years without charging; Ni-MH cells have three active year spans but need recharging at least once per month to keep things running smoothly.
  • How can I extend my solar battery life?

    Keep the number of batteries in your bank at once because each connection can cause uneven charging. If you have 16 or fewer battery connections, it’s best for efficiency. If you have a large bank of batteries, rotate the batteries within the bank periodically. Using large battery interconnect cables reduces resistance and allows for even charging. Use only distilled water.

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