With the release in Australia of the Tesla Powerwall, it seems the options for homeowners in their selections for residential solar electric power are in a state of change.
While Tesla are ahead of the game with their home solar battery known as the Powerwall already available, other technology based companies are following suit, with devices in development from Panasonic, GE, Samsung and LG Chem amongst others.
In what is being tagged as the ‘energy storage’ market there will soon be a flood of products available as consumers look to produce and store their own energy and both move away from the grid as well as the option to return energy to the grid, which now offers lower returns than were previously available.
The expectation is that homes with solar energy will soon be able to supply 100% of their energy requirements in summer and 70-80% in winter which is where the emerging sector of home energy storage batteries will play a major role.
The Powerwall with its sleek design and marketing has captured the attention of the public, but does not come cheap. A 3 kilowatt solar PV (photo voltaic) Powerwall system with rechargeable lithium battery will cost around $15,000 , including government rebates.
The Powerwall gives homeowners the ability to use their own solar power during the day and store any excess in the battery for night time use, which makes it an appealing option. The current pricing however, makes the Powerwall beyond the reach of many consumers, with payback periods being suggested as in the range of 6 years for the 7KWh system (in Australia).
Home batteries are new to the market and the expectation is that the pricing will improve as more products are released to the market, uptake increases and the technology improves over the coming years.
With the abundance of sunshine in Australia, high electricity costs, and green energy targets to meet by 2020, consumers will be keeping a keen eye on the viability of solar battery storage systems alongside new technologies being explored in PV systems.
Solar PV technologies are making a shift towards more and more lightweight designs with some new installations being an amazing 85% lighter than traditional solar PV, as well as requiring much less technology required for the installation.
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