Solar battery storage buying guide

A guide to evaluating and buying a solar battery.

This solar battery storage guide evaluates the feasibility of solar batteries and tells you how to buy a good one. It is suitable if you already have solar or if you are looking at a new panel and battery system.

Solar battery storage is still a new technology; prices, on the whole, remain high, and there are reported cases of reliability issues. Payback periods for hybrid systems (panels and battery) typically stretch out beyond ten years, at which point, you will need to replace your battery.

Solar battery storage does not compare favourably to solar panels when it comes to payback results.

Solar Calculator battery storage buying guide cover
1 Battery prices
2 Payback periods
3 Rebates
4 Reliability
5 Buy or wait?
6 Battery features
7 How they work
1

Solar battery prices

Solar batteries are not cheap. Whereas a 5kW solar panel system costs between $5,500 – $8,000, expect to pay between $16,000 – $22,000 for a 6.6kW system with a 10kWh battery. Like solar panel prices, battery prices vary depending on the brand. Unlike solar panels, there is no Australian rebate available for batteries. There are, however, a handful of state government schemes that may reduce the cost of a battery for you.

The table below shows prices for different size batteries:

Battery prices:
4.8kWh Battery: $5,000 – $8,000
10kWh Battery: $10,000 – $12,000
13.5kWh Battery: $13,500 – $16,000

Cost if you already own panels

If you already own a solar panel system, the payback on adding a battery is typically longer than that for consumers that buy a new hybrid system. You will likely need a solar system size of at least 5kW to power your battery and, you may need to buy a hybrid inverter for your new battery.

Panel and battery prices:
4.8kWh Battery with 5kW panels: $11,000 – $14,000
10kWh Battery with 6.6kW panels: $18,000 – $23,000
13.5kWh Battery with 6.6kW panels: $20,000 – $25,000
Calculate your system size
2

Payback periods and savings

The best way to assess the viability of solar storage is to use our solar panel and battery calculator. The calculator displays results for both solar panels and hybrid systems, allowing you to compare the payback periods and savings. If you already own panels, use our battery calculator.

Solar panels vs hybrid systems

For this example, we will use a household in Melbourne. Although Melbourne residents receive a smaller solar panel rebate than Sydney and Brisbane residents, it is still possible to payback a solar panel system within 5-6 years. We compare a 6.6kW panel system with a hybrid system consisting of 6.6kW panels and a 10kWh battery:

6.6kW Panel system results:
results from Solar Calculator for a 6.6kW system in Melbourne
6.6kW Panels with 10kWh battery results:
results from Solar Calculator for a 6.6kW system in Melbourne
  • Payback for 6.6kW solar panel system: 6 years
  • Payback for 6.6kW hybrid system: 10 years
  • Savings: Hybrid system $484 / year greater

Payback period vs warranty

If we consider a 6.6kW system with a 10kWh battery, while the savings are higher, the payback period jumps out to 10 years. Solar batteries typically only come with a 10-year warranty. You will likely need to replace it well before the system pays for itself.

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