Off-Grid Solar: Energy Independence and Grid Decongestion

Will my solar power system work if the grid is down? Can a solar system power my home on cloudy days?

These are some of the most common questions we hear from our customers. And with a solar battery system, the answer is ‘yes’!

With a properly sized solar battery system, you can store excess energy to power your home if the grid is down or if it is cloudy or nighttime.

Here, we’ll cover the benefits of incorporating batteries into your residential solar panel system and how to choose the right size solar battery.

What Is A Solar System With Solar Batteries?

The purpose of solar batteries is to store excess energy from your solar panels. This allows homeowners to then use that stored solar energy during rainy or gloomy days, at night, or other times when their solar panels are not generating any electricity.

Incorporating properly sized solar batteries into your solar power system can add efficiency, convenience, and independence to your setup.

Solar batteries allow homeowners to store energy and use it during rainy, cloudy periods or power outages or as an alternative to selling excess energy back to the grid.

What Are the Benefits of Solar Batteries?

Cost Savings Due to Decreased Energy Bills

With a solar battery, you can pull energy from your battery rather than the electrical grid. By reducing how much electricity you pull from the grid, you can further decrease your energy bills.

Contributes to Grid Decongestion

According to Synergy, the highest electricity demand in WA is during the late afternoon into the evening (3 PM to 9 PM). With the potential for Time of Use (ToU) tariffs to become mandatory, you may be able to deduct high per-kWh costs during peak electricity usage. Without a solar battery, ToU tariffs may lead to significant increases in electricity bills.

By utilising a solar battery with your solar panel system, you can reduce your reliance on the electrical grid and contribute to grid decongestion.

There is also the option to research virtual groups (virtual power plant schemes) that consist of other solar battery owners. These networks allow you to use your combined solar capacity to support the grid — and get paid to help! — as needed.

To learn more about Solar Battery Power in WA, check out Synergy’s guide on Solar Batteries.

Protection from Grid Outages

Unfortunately, extreme weather events, such as bushfires and floods, are an ongoing threat. These weather emergencies can cause widespread grid outages that can last for days or even weeks in some cases. Even flying foxes can cause grid outages!

A solar system with energy storage gives you the freedom to store excess solar energy to use during grid outages. Certain batteries offer the option to back up important circuits in your home, eliminating your need to worry about blackouts. With a solar system that includes battery storage, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being self-sufficient. 

Energy Independence and Self-Reliance

If self-sustainability is one of your main goals with your solar panel system, a solar battery is an excellent addition to consider. By enabling you to store excess energy, adding a solar battery to your system will reduce your dependency on the electrical grid even further. This is particularly advantageous if you live in a location with an unstable grid. 

Rather than pulling energy from the grid when your system doesn’t generate enough electricity, you can pull power right from your solar batteries. 

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Solar panels are known for their environmental benefits, such as reduced emissions and clean energy production. By decreasing your reliance on the electrical grid, solar batteries can further reduce your carbon footprint and increase your self-sufficiency.

Off-Grid Solar FAQs 

What is the difference between off-grid solar and a grid solar system with batteries?

The main difference between grid solar systems and off-grid solar is their relation to the electrical grid.

Off-grid solar refers to a stand-alone system where the solar panels aren’t connected to the electricity grid. Off-grid systems generate and store electricity with zero reliance on utility companies.

Grid solar systems interact with and rely on the electrical grid. Grid systems also allow homeowners to sell excess energy back to the grid. For many homeowners, the high initial investment of a completely off-grid solar system is not viable. We often recommend a grid solar system with batteries as an ideal middle ground. 

A grid solar system with batteries allows homeowners to store excess energy for use during cloudy or rainy days while still allowing for excess energy to be sold back to the grid. An on grid solar system with batteries can provide reliable energy even during power outages.

What are the cons of an off-grid solar system?

Going off-grid requires a higher initial investment. It also takes away your ability to sell excess energy back to the grid. Rather, excess energy will go to waste.If you need help navigating the pros and cons of the different types of solar systems, our solar technicians would be glad to assist you. We can help you to choose the best solution for your budget, location, and energy needs.

How many solar batteries do I need for my solar power system?

When choosing the battery size, keep these factors in mind:

  • Storage capacity of the battery
  • Your energy requirements (average daily electrical consumption)
  • Your night-time energy usage
  • The appliances and circuits you need to power 
  • The size of your solar system
  • Efficiency of your solar panels
  • Type of solar panels
  • The location of your house, the orientation of your solar panels, and the average amount of daily sunlight

The ideal number of batteries for your solar power system will depend on a wide range of factors. Our solar technicians can help you determine the exact battery capacity that will store sufficient energy without being too big for your system. 

You can also check out our Solar Battery Guide for a more detailed look at the factors we take into account below to determine how many solar batteries you will need.

How Much Does a Home Solar Battery Cost?

The cost of a solar battery depends on several factors, such as its capacity, the brand, and overall quality. The capacity is the biggest determining factor, with higher capacity batteries costing the most.

Here are a few general estimates to give you a broad idea of what a solar battery costs:

  • 5kWh starts at $7000
  • 10kWh begins at $11,000
  • 15kWh starts at $15,000

Is a solar battery worth it for me?

Here are some questions to keep in mind if you are trying to determine if a solar battery is worth it:

  • What is the cost to install the battery?
  • What is the expected lifespan of the battery?
  • Are there frequent grid outages in my location?
  • Is self-sufficiency one of my priorities?

Do I need a backup generator with my solar power system and solar batteries?

Yes, we recommend having a backup generator. This ensures you have power in the event of a long stretch of cloudy days or an issue with your solar system. 

Is a Solar Panel System with a Solar Battery Right for You?

Incorporating an inverter and proper capacity battery with your solar power system can reduce your energy bills, increase your independence from the electrical grid, reduce grid congestion, and protect you against grid outages.

Solar batteries give homeowners increased self-reliance and peace of mind, knowing they can store excess energy and pull energy from their battery during cloudy days, at night, or in the event of a grid outage.

Aus Energy Solar has been helping Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne enjoy the benefits of solar energy and we’re ready to serve you as well. We can help you build an efficient system that includes a battery box, inverter, and solar panels customised according to your electricity consumption.

Interested in residential solar panel installation or solar batteries? Our solar technicians can design an efficient, affordable solar panel system equipped with a solar battery tailored to your energy needs, location, and setup.