In a traditional, non-battery solar PV set-up, the DC (direct current) electricity that is produced by your panels flows through to your inverter where it is converted into AC (alternating current) electricity. This AC electricity is then used to power the appliances and devices found in your home or business.
Any electricity your panels generate that is not needed by your home or business is exported to the grid for an agreed upon rate. In WA, the feed-in tariff rate varies depending on when your system was installed and the time-frame during which the electricity is exported back to the grid, but averages around 5 cents per unit across the rest of Australia.
If you choose to install a solar battery system at your premises, any excess solar electricity you generate will charge your battery instead of being exported to the grid. Your new system will only export electricity to the grid once your battery is fully charged.
When choosing your solar battery, you can decide between an AC or DC coupled version. If the battery you choose is DC-coupled, it will be able to share an inverter with your panels. If you decide on an AC-coupled battery, your battery will require a separate inverter of its own.
In order to purchase a solar battery storage system for your home, or add a battery to your existing solar system, you’ll need a hybrid inverter.
Like a standard solar inverter, a hybrid inverter converts the DC power your solar system generates into AC power, which can be fed directly into the grid, or used to power your home appliances.
Unlike a standard solar inverter, a hybrid inverter can also store DC power in your battery, and then draw on and convert this into AC power to supply the appliances in your home when required.
Your home will only draw electricity stored in your battery if it is completely charged, and if your solar system is not generating enough electricity to meet your needs. This usually occurs at night time, when the sun has gone down.
Your home will only draw electricity form the grid if the electricity supplied from your battery storage system is not enough generating enough electricity to meet your needs. This can happen if your battery has either run out of electricity, or if you have too many energy intensive appliances on at once.
If you choose to install a home solar battery system, Infinite Energy recommends taking steps to carefully monitor your system. This way, you can monitor exactly how much electricity your generating, using and exporting, allowing you to maximise your self-consumption, and substantially lower your electricity bills. All high-quality hybrid inverters come with easy to use online monitoring.