A solar battery stores surplus electricity generated from your solar panels during the day, enabling you to use it at night or when you actually need it.
If you have solar panels or are thinking about getting them installed on your roof, you may want to invest in solar batteries as well. When you purchase solar panel battery storage, you can store any excess energy your solar panels generate during the day and use it when your panels are not producing electricity at night. By storing surplus energy for use at a later time, you’ll not only reduce your reliance on electricity supplied from the National Grid but you can reduce your energy bills and lower your carbon footprint.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
Many homes with solar panel systems are still connected to the National Grid as they need to use the power supplied from the grid when their panels don’t generate electricity during the evening. By staying connected, homeowners can also sell any excess power back to the grid, provided their system meets certain criteria.
As the battery stores excess electricity, rather than export it to the grid, adding a solar battery to a solar panel system can reduce or even remove dependence on the National Grid. The solar battery charges when the solar panels generate more electricity than is needed and this stored energy can then be used in the home when the solar panels are inactive during the night.
When you install solar panels, it’s highly likely that they’ll generate more energy than you’ll need to use throughout the daytime. With a solar power storage system, you can use the electricity you stored in your battery earlier on in the day and use it when you’re home at night. You can still send energy back to the grid when your solar battery is fully charged, and you can draw electricity from the grid when the battery is depleted.
Compare Solar Battery Prices
Types of Solar Battery Systems
The two chemical materials most commonly found in solar batteries are lead-acid and lithium-ion. Although the cheapest option, lead-acid batteries have a shorter life than lithium-ion batteries and they have a lower discharge rate. As a result, the majority of people opt for lithium-ion batteries, but they do tend to cost more money.
In addition to choosing the chemical material, you need to decide whether you’re going to have a DC (direct current) or AC (alternating current) solar battery system. If you plan to install solar panels with a solar battery, you may want to choose a DC system because the panels and battery can share the same inverter. As you only need one inverter, installation is often cheaper. If you already have solar panels installed on your roof, you should opt for an AC battery system, which is connected via an electricity meter and requires an extra inverter.
Solar Battery Prices
The cost of a solar battery in the UK typically ranges between £1,800 and £7,000. How much you’ll need to pay will depend on the size of battery you need and the amount of excess energy your solar panel system generates.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a solar battery, you must make sure you choose the right usable capacity (kWh) for your needs. The more usable capacity the battery has, the more free energy you can use during the evening and when you need it most.
You can use the table below to compare just some of the solar batteries available and their prices, which exclude the cost of installation.
|Nissan||xStorage||H – 1230 mm|
W – 890 mm
D – 220 mm
|4.2 kWh||5 Years||£3,900|
|LG Chem||RESU 10H||H – 692 mm|
W – 744 mm
D – 207 mm
|8.5 kWh||10 Years||£4,000|
|H – 680 mm|
W – 1000mm
D – 267 mm
|3.6 kWh||5 Years||£4,500|
|Duracell||Energy Bank||H – 610 mm|
W – 680 mm
D – 260 mm
|3.3 kWh||10 Years||£4,500|
|Varta||Pulse 6||H – 690 mm|
W – 600 mm
D – 186 mm
|6.5 kWh||10 Years||£5,300|
|Tesla||Powerwall||H – 1150 mm|
W – 753 mm
D – 147 mm
|13.5 kWh||10 Years||£6,500|
Solar batteries can be wall or floor mounted, depending on which model you choose. Some battery storage systems even allow you to manage and monitor your energy remotely via the use of an app.
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Are Solar Batteries Suitable For Every Home?
While some homes and their owners in the UK will benefit from a solar battery installation, others won’t. If you use all or the majority of electricity generated by your solar panel system, then you might want to think twice about getting a solar battery or just get a small one. However, if you are only using small amounts of electricity generated by your system because you aren’t at home during the day, a solar battery is a great option. With this in mind, we recommend you contact a reputable solar engineer to assess requirements before you buy a solar battery storage system.
Advantages of Solar Batteries
Here, we run through the top benefits of owning a solar battery storage system:
- Make the most of your free electricity
When you have a solar battery, you can store the free electricity your solar panels create when you’re not at home using power. You can then use the stored electricity at night or at a time when you’re at home without needing to use power from the grid. Put simply, a solar battery allows you to make the most of your free electricity.
- Lower electricity bills
Since a solar battery allows you to use more of your free electricity instead of energy from the grid, you can seriously cut the cost of your bills. You may even be able to find a company that is happy to pay you for storing surplus electricity for the grid.
- Less reliant on the grid
By storing unused electricity to power your home in the evening, you’ll use less energy from the grid. Another benefit of using a solar battery and being less dependent on the grid is that you can still power your home when power cuts occur.
- Reduce your carbon footprint
The power generated by your solar panels and stored in your solar battery is a source of clean energy, which is just one of the top reasons why so many homeowners are switching to solar energy systems. By using more solar power, you’ll reduce pollution and lower your carbon footprint.
Disadvantages of Solar Batteries
Now that we’ve covered the benefits, we’re going to discuss the disadvantages of solar battery storage:
- High initial cost
Even though prices are coming down, solar batteries can be expensive and will certainly increase the cost of your solar panel system. That said, most owners will tell you that you can save a significant amount of money, so the long-term benefits of installing solar panels with a solar battery does outweigh the high upfront cost.
- Likely to need replacing in the future
Solar panel systems can last between 25 and 30 years or even longer but solar batteries have an expected lifespan of only 5 to 15 years. This means you’ll probably have to replace your solar battery at some point if you want to keep storing the excess energy generated by your solar panels.
Best Solar Battery Manufacturers
The table below lets you compare the cost and key specifications of the most popular solar battery storage systems used in the UK from the best solar battery brands.
|MANUFACTURER & PRODUCT||TECHNOLOGY||CAPACITY||WEIGHT||MOUNTING||WARRANTY||TYPICAL PRICE|
|BYD B-Box||Lithium iron phosphate||2.5 – 10kWh||88 – 202kg||Floor mounted||5 Years||£1,200 – £4,450|
|Enphase Encharge 3T||Lithium iron phosphate (LFP)||3.36kWh||52kg||Wall mounted – Indoors or outdoors||10 Years||£2,990|
|LG Chem RESU||Lithium-ion||3.3 – 13.1kWh||31 – 98.5kg||Floor or wall mounted – Indoors or outdoors||10 Years||£2,160 – £5,600|
|Moixa Smart Battery||Lithium iron phosphate LiFePO4||4.8 – 9.6kWh||44.75kg – 80kg||Floor or wall mounted||10 Years||£3,560 – £5,000|
|Nissan xStorage||Lithium-ion||4.2 – 10.08kWh||135kg||Floor or wall mounted||5 or 10 Years||£3,070 – £4,800|
|Powervault 3||Lithium- Polymer||4 – 20kWh||129 – 329kg||Floor or wall mounted||10 Years||£4,700 – £14,800|
|Puredrive PureStorage AC Battery||Lithium iron phosphate LiFePO4||5 – 10kWh||75 – 119kg||Floor or wall mounted – Indoors or outdoors||10 Years||£4,570 – £7,000|
|Samsung SDI||Lithium-ion||3.24kWh||95kg||Floor mounted||5 Years||£3,500|
|SolaX Triple Power Battery||Lithium iron phosphate||4.5 – 6.3kWh||56.6 – 72.2kg||Floor or wall mounted||5 to 10 Years||£1,840 – £2,375|
|Sonnen Batterie Eco||Lithium-ion||2 – 16kWh||71 – 273kg||Floor or wall mounted||10 Years||£3,850 – £13,530|
|Tesla Powerwall 2||Lithium-ion||13.5kWh||114kg||Floor or wall mounted – Indoors or outdoors||10 Years||£8,500 – £10,500|
|Varta Pulse||Lithium-ion||3.3 – 6.5kWh||45 – 65kg||Wall mounted||10 Years||£3,950 – £5,350|
Please note the prices in the table do not include VAT or installation fees.
Otherwise known as Build Your Dreams, BYD was founded in 1995 and is a Chinese manufacturing company that has developed expertise in rechargeable batteries and expanded its renewable energy solutions globally. BYD is committed to building a clean and sustainable future by offering energy storage systems that rely on advanced iron-phosphate battery technology and meeting homeowners’ requirements for energy storage, peak-load shifting and peak load/frequency regulation.
Enphase is a global energy technology company best known for introducing the world’s first solar micro-inverter system that can now be found in solar panels by many reputable brands. Founded in 2006 in California, the company now makes micro-inverters and battery storage systems for homes and commercial premises. Enphase solar batteries are compatible with all existing solar energy systems and deliver safety, high performance and superior reliability.
Often referred to as LG Chemical, LG Chem is part of the LG Group, best known for its home electronics and premium solar panel modules. LG Chem was founded in 1947 and has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality lithium-ion batteries for home energy storage. The company’s RESU or ‘Residential Energy Storage Unit’ range includes six residential products in two product line-ups to meet homeowners’ needs for voltage, energy and footprint.
Moixa is committed to supporting the move away from fossil fuels and believes a sustainable future brings benefits to us all. The company wants to optimise the way people generate, distribute and consume renewable energy by offering the Moixa smart battery, which can be added to existing solar panel systems. The Moixa smart battery not only reduces energy bills and your carbon footprint but also allows you to track your energy generation and usage to get insights into further savings.
By partnering with Eaton, Nissan provides scalable solar battery systems to allow homes and businesses to access safe, reliable and sustainable energy. The company’s product is called xStorage, which stores energy at the most economical times of the day and lets you decide how and when to use the stored energy. Nissan says xStorage is designed to be the most reliable and affordable home energy storage solution on the market and can increase self-consumption by up to 70% when added to solar installations.
A British company with headquarters in London, Powervault manufactures smart energy storage systems to enable homeowners to store free solar energy and cheap electricity from the grid. The Powervault home storage battery range is compatible with all solar systems, has undergone extensive safety testing and EMC and CE certification, and is suitable for residential and commercial premises in the UK.
Puredrive Energy is a British company passionate about making energy storage great and known for designing, building and distributing energy storage systems to clients in the UK and beyond. Boasting over 10 years of battery development experience, Puredrive is at the forefront of battery centric energy storage systems and is dedicated to delivering a greener, more sustainable energy source to allow you to take more control of your energy while increasing your independence from the grid.
Samsung SDI has been creating innovative renewable energy and energy storage systems for more than five decades to meet the needs of homeowners and businesses across the globe. Its battery storage system enables residential and commercial owners to cut peak demand and energy costs by storing electricity during off-peak times and using it during on-peak hours. Installing a battery storage system by Samsung SDI also allow users to monitor, optimise and manage the power generated by their systems.
SolaX Power manufactures solar PV and battery solutions with some of the highest efficiencies on the market to fulfil its commitment to change the way we use energy. With offices in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Australia and the USA, SolaX Power has become a world recognised international company at the forefront of energy storage technology, offering a wide range of products designed, tested and made to the highest global standards.
Based in Germany and established in 2010, Sonnen believes that we all should have access to clean and affordable energy and says its sonnenBatterie is the intelligent solution for living more sustainably at home. The company has received many awards for its innovative products and rapid growth and offers durable battery modules with an inverter, intelligent energy manager, measurement technology and software to operate everything smoothly, all in one handy box.
Tesla entered the home battery storage market in 2015 and grabbed everyone’s attention when unveiling its first-ever Powerwall product. The Tesla Powerwall 2 solar battery is arguably the world’s best-known and most advanced home storage energy system, plus it’s modern, compact and easy to install. It has become so popular, waiting times have been increasing, and Tesla has had to ramp up its home battery production to keep up with demand.
Founded in 1887 in Germany, Varta has the vision to define the future of battery technology to empower people to live a more independent life and is on a mission to set the benchmark in battery technology and customisation. The company already has a comprehensive portfolio that includes micro-batteries, household batteries and energy storage systems suitable for different applications. Varta offers intelligent solutions for all new installations and retrofits, from compact entry-level models for homes to large energy storage systems for commercial premises.