Thinking about a battery, but not sure if it’s right for you? Well, we’ve been hard at work developing our brand new battery calculator to help you answer this exact question!
There are plenty of simple battery calculators out there, but as a Solar Analytics customer, we can use your actual solar energy generation and energy usage to show you exactly how a battery would impact your energy usage and monthly bill.
Our new advanced battery calculator simulates different battery sizes, from 3kWh to 16kWh, using your last year's energy data (you can also choose a custom date range). We then show you important information for each battery option such as the expected cost, payback time, your annual savings, and your new level of grid independence or self sufficiency.
We show this information for all the battery sizes, and show you the best option depending on your preference for savings or grid independence (self sufficiency). If no battery gives a positive return on investment, the recommendation will be the cheapest battery (i.e., 3kWh) - but that doesn’t mean a bigger battery is not worth getting (you may care more about grid independence and back-up in the case of a power outage, rather than just savings!).
Let’s take a look at Mark’s solar system. Mark has an 8kW system and, like many of us, is always on the lookout for ways to save more money. He's been mulling over the idea of investing in a battery for his system to see if he can bring down his electricity bills. But with so many options out there, he's not quite sure if it's worth the investment yet.
Enter our new battery calculator! With just a click, we recommend the best battery size for Mark's system – in this case a small 3kWh one that costs around $3,000, which will reduce Mark's electricity bill by $215 each year!
Our battery calculator allows Mark to also compare other battery sizes to see the benefit for each battery size. As you can see although they provide more savings, and greater self sufficiency, the payback times are longer.
What if you’re looking for grid independence? Derek has a respectable 10kW system and is looking for the best battery that will give him energy freedom from the grid. Currently, he’s only about 36% independent of the grid.
With our battery calculator, we recommend getting a large 16kWh battery that will make him 98% independent! Compared to the other battery options, yes it does have a longer payback time. However, Derek’s main priority is to minimise his consumption of electricity from the grid, and ensure reliable power in the event of a grid blackout.
Another unique feature of our new battery calculator is that we provide interactive charts that show you exactly how your energy usage would change if you had a battery on your site. So go check out that hot summer day when you blasted the AC and see exactly how much grid-imported energy you could have offset with a battery!
Note that the battery calculator is under active development - after you try it out, please do provide any feedback via the pop-ups in your Dashboard.
It's not available to all sites - if you already own a battery, or have a production-only or consumption-only site, you will not see the battery calculator. You also won't see the battery calculator until your site has at least 14 days of production and consumption data, so we can make an accurate recommendation.
The team at Solar Analytics look forward to bringing you more tools to automatically help you get more and save more from your rooftop solar.