One Step Off The Grid
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September 15, 2022 by Sophie Vorrath Leave a Comment
We know from recent industry reports that home battery sales are starting to ramp up in Australia – but we rarely get solid data to corroborate this from the battery manufacturers themselves. Until now.
Leading global inverter company SolarEdge tells One Step Off The Grid it is about to hit the 1000-mark for residential battery storage installations in Australia, which might not be such a big thing except that its newly home battery has been on the market only for a few months.
SolarEdge kicked off Australian sales of its DC-coupled lithium-ion Home Battery in late March, alongside the launch a new Energy Hub inverter that can provide back-up power during grid outages.
The Home Battery provides 9.7kWh of energy storage capacity and can be connected with up to three batteries per inverter, delivering up to 29.1kWh of backup capacity.
The battery also lays claim to an “industry-leading” 94.5% round-trip efficiency – the measure of the percentage of electricity that is stored and then later retrieved, considered to be one of the benchmarks of a quality battery.
And while SolarEdge’s promising installation volumes might speak to a well-known brand and the battery’s above-mentioned qualities, they also add to mounting evidence that demand for home batteries in Australia is really heating up.
“In my experience, this level of take-up of a new battery system launched into the Australian market has never happened before,” says James Sturch, the technical director RoW (rest of world) at SolarEdge.
“Most vendors have historically taken three to four times as long to hit these kind of installation (not sales) volumes.”
Sturch has some solid experience, having previously worked for German-based and Shell-owned home battery giant, Sonnen, as its technical director for Australia and New Zealand.
He says there are probably a few reasons for the rapid uptake he’s seeing with SolarEdge’s new entry battery, including the combination of record high electricity prices and record low feed-in tariffs making self-consumption more important than ever.
“People are also looking for more energy independence and the security of having backup given the number of extreme weather events Australia has experienced this year which motivates people to see the real need to have power when the grid goes down,” he told One Step.
“The SolarEdge Home Battery is also reasonably unique in the marketplace as the battery is DC coupled, it enables SolarEdge’s 300% oversizing architecture, meaning homeowners can get more production from having more panels installed on their roof and not suffer the energy clipping loses associated with AC coupled systems.”
Sturch says SolarEdge has also used the launch of its Home Battery to help solar installers re-engage with existing customers, via its TradeUp program.
This allows installers to replace an existing single phase inverter with a new SolarEdge Energy Hub inverter for free when the homeowner buys a SolarEdge Home Battery with backup.
“This is really helping to get old inverters without the functional bells and whistles off the network which has been supported by networks, distributors and the market operator AEMO,” Sturch told One Step.
Sophie is editor of One Step Off The Grid and deputy editor of its sister site, Renew Economy. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.
Filed Under: Battery/Storage, Solar
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