Energy storage buyers guide


With rapidly increasing demand, we survey the battery storage system market. We present the latest systems and the considerations to guide your approach.

WITH the steadily rising cost of grid electricity, many people are considering how to make the best use of the solar electricity they generate, to offset as much mains grid power as they can.

While there are a number of ways to do this, including shifting loads to the middle of the day or diverting excess energy to heavy loads such as an electric water heater, if those options are not possible or desirable, or you have other needs, such as a degree of backup during grid failures, then an energy storage system is an option.

There has been a move in recent years towards storage systems that contain the batteries and other components in a pre-configured ‘storage in a box’ module for connection to a PV array.

These sorts of pre-configured energy storage systems are the focus of this buyers guide. We do not cover individual batteries/cells in this guide, as they have their own buyers guide, the most recent in ReNew 131.

Pros and cons of ‘storage in a box’
There are several advantages to this sort of ‘storage in a box’ system.

Firstly, installation is usually quick as much of the wiring between components has been done.

Secondly, it often makes for a neater system as many components and their associated wiring are enclosed in a single cabinet.

There are some disadvantages too, including less flexible system sizing—most suppliers have a few standard battery bank sizes that they offer.

However, storage units may be modular so that multiple units can be used to make up the required capacity, and some are designed to have extra battery modules slotted into the case to increase capacity.

Read the full article online or in ReNew 141, covering:

  • Economics on the grid
  • The environmental equation
  • Community benefits of batteries
  • Types of system: AC batteries, Battery-only products & DC coupling, All-in-one units
  • Backup power
  • Which battery chemistry?
  • Battery smarts
  • Safety, Quality and Warranties
  • Sizing your system
  • Energy management
  • Retrofits
  • Maintenance and upgrades
  • Table of systems

For the abbreviated table of storage systems in PDF format, click here.
For the full updated Solar Quotes table of storage systems, click here.