Solar battery

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Solar battery

What is a solar battery?

A solar battery is a storage system that connects to your solar panels and stores the electricity that your solar panels generate when you don’t need to use it. This is an idea solution for people that have solar panels and are out for most of the day, because they can make use of the electricity themselves rather than sending it back to the grid.

Why should I get a solar battery?

If you’ve got solar panels already and you’re out for most of the day or you’ve noticed that you don’t use all of your electricity that you generate during the day, a battery storage system could be for you. You’ll maximise your savings on your electricity bill if you store the energy your panels generate rather than sending it back to the grid when you don’t use it, as you can use it at night when your solar panels aren’t generating electricity.

If you’ve not got solar panels yet but want to have them installed, then getting a battery installed with them is a no-brainer. You’ll pay less for installation when it’s done at the same time as panels, so it’s much more cost-effective to do it this way.

Solar panels are getting more and more efficient, so if you utilise all of your roof space and you have a south-facing roof you might find that you generate more electricity in the day than you need to use. Having a battery to store the electricity in means you can use it at night when your panels aren’t generating to save you from relying on the National Grid.

What types of solar batteries are there?

There are lots of different types of solar battery, including lithium-ion, lithium-polymer and lead acid. Lead acid solar batteries are often dubbed the most dependable type of solar battery, but lithium ion batteries are becoming more and more popular.

Tesla Powerwall

When people think of solar battery storage systems, often the first brand to come to mind is the Tesla Powerwall. It’s a lithium ion battery with a huge capacity of 13.5kWh, which is usually more than enough for a typical home, and has a 10-year warranty. It also looks sleek and stylish, which appeals to a lot of people that can’t hide the battery.

If your power goes out, the Powerwall will still work, which is great if you live in a rural area that suffers from power cuts a lot. However, it’s the most expensive solar battery on the market, and could set you back £8,000 or more.

Powervault

Another popular brand of solar battery is Powervault. The Powervault 3 is a lithium-polymer battery and has a capacity of between 4 and 20kWh. It’s also got a warranty of 10 years and is much smaller than the Powerwall, but it hasn’t got such a sleek look. However, with prices starting at just over £4,500, the cost might be enough to sway you away from the Tesla offering.

Will a solar battery storage system save me money?

A solar battery will certainly save you money on your electricity bills. With solar panels, you can reduce your bills by up to 50% - but install a battery as well and you can save another 30% on your electricity.

Average Solar battery cost

The regular cost of Solar battery is £3850. Costs fluctuate based on the materials and the firm selected. The upper price range can be as high as £5390. The material costs are normally around £2900

Average price per Solar battery job in 2021

Avg. price low

Avg. price low
£3,290

Avg. price

Avg. price
£4,529

Avg. price high

Avg. price high
£6,445

£7000

£5250

£3500

£1750

£0

Prices based on actual Solar battery costs, as reported by local Quotatis members.

Solar battery installation cost in 2021

Labour cost £850
Material cost £2,900
Waste removal £100
Time frame: 1-3 days

Advantages for Solar battery

  • Solar energy is free, plentiful and clean
  • Battery means you can store excess energy and use it in the dark
  • Can cut average electricity bill by more than 30%.
  • Doesn't need to be hot and very sunny for electricity to be produced
  • It's a very green energy

Disadvantages for Solar battery

  • A large area of roof is needed to generate the energy
  • The efficiency of solar panels depends on the number of hours of light, so it varies throughout the year
  • An unshaded, south-facing location best for installation

Solar battery Manufacturers

Solar battery FAQs

Which solar battery is the best?
With so many different solar batteries on the market these days, it can be difficult to know which solar battery is the best. Luckily, we’ve picked out some of the best solar batteries on the market so you can take a look at their stats and figure out which one is best for you. Powervault 3: 8 kWh model This lithium-polymer solar battery has a useable capacity of 8 kWh and a depth of discharge (Dod) of 100%. It’s covered by warranty for 10 years. Cost: From £7,020 Tesla Powerwall 2.0 The famous Tesla Powerwall has a huge useable capacity of 13.5 kWh and also has a 10-year warranty, with a guarantee that it will work at 70% capacity during those 10 years. It’s a lithium-ion battery. Cost: From £6,500 Powervault 3: 4 kWh version This more modest solar battery from Powervault has a capacity of 4 kWh, but benefits from the same warranty length and DoD as its 8 kWh brother. Cost: From £4,470 SolaX 3.3 This more affordable solar battery from SolaX has a 10-year warranty and a good DoD of 90%. Cost: From £4,010 LG Chem RESU 6.5 LG are an up-and-coming player in the solar market and their 6.5 kWh battery is one of the most affordable on the market. Its DoD is 90% and it comes with a 10-year warranty. Cost: From £3,043 To decide which solar battery is best for you, you need to consider:
  • The power of your solar panel system – there's no point buying a higher capacity battery if your system will never generate enough electricity to charge it
  • How often you think you will need to charge your battery
  • Your budget
  • Whether you care about having the latest technology and a recognisable brand name
When you’ve made these decisions, you can narrow down your choices. It’s also worth asking a few MCS-registered installers for their opinions on what they think would be best. Of course, they want to sell you whichever brand they supply, but they probably chose this for a reason. Ask them to give you a few pros and cons for the brands they recommend and see if this matches up with your research.
How long does a Tesla Powerwall battery last?

Tesla’s top-of-the-range battery storage system is still one of the most expensive on the market. It has a huge 13.5kWh usable capacity and can even keep you up and running during a power cut. But how long does a Tesla Powerwall battery last? And does this mean it’s worth investing in one?

The Tesla Powerwall 2.0 comes with a 10-year warranty. But Tesla says that it should last way beyond this – at least 5 years longer. The standard warranty says that it should work at 70% capacity for the full 10 years – so if it loses more than 30% of its storage capacity within that time, it should still be covered.

While the Tesla Powerwall does last a long time, it has a large capacity that most average households won’t require, and it’s a costly option. After installation, the Powerwall 2.0 will set you back between £6,500 and £9,000, so ideally you want it to last past its 10-year warranty.

Before you splash out, consider the size of the solar panel system you want to install or you already have. Will it generate enough electricity to make it worth storing in the Powerwall? If not, are you expecting to upgrade your solar panels to a larger system in the future? If you are, then it might be worth investing in a Powerwall. It might also be better to wait until you come to upgrade your solar panels – the solar battery price trend is going the same way as solar panels, so they will probably continue to decrease in price as more people adopt the technology.

Is it worth getting a solar battery?

There are a few factors that will determine whether it’s worth getting a solar battery. They involve how much electricity you use, how often you’re at home and whether you receive any export payments.

To work out whether it’s worth getting a solar battery, you need to work out how much of the electricity you generate you’re using already. If you’re able to run all your appliances during the day while your solar panels generate electricity, then it sounds like you’re already using your electricity well. It might not be worth you getting a solar battery in this case.

However, if you’re not at home for a lot of the day, then you’ll be missing out on the electricity your panels are generating while the sun’s shining. If you install a solar battery system, you can store the electricity that your panels generate in the battery and use it when you get home. This will help you cut your electricity bills even further.

You’ll also need to consider whether you’re getting paid to export your electricity. If you’re on the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FITs) or receive payments from the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), you’ll get paid for every unit of electricity you export to the National Grid. Before you decide whether it’s worth getting a solar battery, you’ll need to weigh up whether you’d be better off carrying on exporting your unused electricity rather than storing it to use yourself. If you’re unsure, visit the Energy Saving Trust’s website or speak to an MCS-registered installer who will be able to help you work out which is more cost-effective.

How much is the Powerwall 2?
The Tesla Powerwall 2.0 is the second solar battery storage system from Elon Musk’s EV and clean energy company. It’s larger and more expensive than the original Powerwall, but it can store more electricity. So how much is the Powerwall 2.0? With installation, it will set you back between £6,500 and £9,000. But is it worth it? We’ll go through some of the top features so you can make your decision. The Powerwall 2 has a huge useable capacity of 13.5kWh. Most other solar batteries on the market have a capacity of around 4-6.5kWh, so it’s no surprise that it’s also one of the most expensive. If you’ve got a standard-size solar panel system on an average-sized home, you might not need a battery with such a big storage capacity. The Tesla Powerwall 2.0 is the only solar battery available in the UK to provide your home with an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) if you add the Backup Gateway 2. This means that if there’s a power cut, you won’t lose power – because your battery will keep running. It can also scan the weather forecast, so if there’s a storm it will ensure that your solar panels charge the battery in case you get a power cut. So while the Powerwall 2 is the probably the most expensive solar battery you can buy in the UK, if you live in a part of the country with a particular problem the power cuts or you have a large solar panel system, it might just be worth spending the money on it.
How much are Tesla solar batteries?
Tesla solar batteries are some of the most expensive solar battery storage systems on the market. The Powerwall and Powerwall 2.0 are both excellent options for homes that generate a lot of electricity from their solar panels, but they might not be worth it for those that only have small solar panel systems. But exactly how much are Tesla solar batteries? Since the Tesla Powerwall 2.0 is the latest solar battery, we’ll focus on this one. With installation, you can expect to pay anywhere between £6,500 and £9,000. Other lithium-ion batteries, like SolaX or the LG Chem, will cost around £4,000, so you can see the difference in price. The benefit of the Tesla solar batteries is that they have a huge capacity. Most battery storage systems have a useable capacity of somewhere between 4-8 kWh, whereas the Powerwall has a useable capacity of 13.5 kWh. This is excellent if you have a large solar panel system that generates a lot of electricity, since you’ll be able to store all of it to use yourself rather than sending any back to the grid. However, if your system can’t generate that much, it might not be worth spending the extra money on a Powerwall. Another thing to consider is how long Tesla solar batteries last. The Powerwall 2.0’s standard warranty is 10 years, and Tesla state that it should work at at least 70% capacity for those 10 years. That’s a pretty good warranty, and Tesla says that the battery should last way beyond that. So you could have the Powerwall for around 20 years, making it seem like a better investment. Just consider whether you need such a high-capacity battery before making your purchase.
How long do home solar batteries last?
How long home solar batteries last depends on the type of battery you have and how often it’s charged and discharged (when electricity is fed into it, then used later on). Generally speaking, a home solar battery should last between 5 and 15 years. Lithium-ion batteries last longer than lead acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are more common these days because they’re more cost effective. A lead acid battery is the cheaper option at around £2,000, but it’s likely to last between 5-8 years. On the other hand, a lithium-ion battery may set you back around £4,000, but will last between 11-15 years. So you can see that it’s well worth choosing a lithium-ion home solar battery. It’s also worth considering that a solar battery’s lifespan will be reduced if you over-discharge it. When your home solar battery is installed, you’ll be left a manual which will tell you its depth of discharge, or DoD. This means how much you can use the battery before recharging it – it's not as simple as letting the battery run down to 0% then charging it again. In fact, this can significantly shorten your battery’s lifespan. If your solar battery system’s DoD is 80% and its capacity is 5kW, make sure you charge it before you use up 4kW to help prolong its life. Luckily, most lithium-ion batteries have a DoD of 80% or more, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to use much of the electricity stored in your home solar battery. This is another reason to use them over lead acid batteries, because their DoD can be as low as 50%.
How do I connect solar panels to a battery?

Most people want to connect solar panels to a battery when they’re not at home all day to use the electricity they generate, or generate more than they consume over a day. Solar batteries are a great way to maximise the savings on your energy bills since you can use every unit of electricity you generate.

If you want to connect your solar panels to a battery, the best – and safest – way is to ask an MCS-registered company to do it for you. They’ve had lots of training and hold qualifications in handling electricity and installing solar batteries, so they will be able to recommend the best battery for your solar panels and for the among of electricity you use. Some of the brands they might recommend include Tesla, SolarEdge and SolaX, but there are many more to choose from. If you want to send electricity to the grid from your battery to receive Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) payments, it’s also worth leaving installation up to a registered installer. This is because you might not be eligible for payments if your battery wasn’t installed by an MCS-registered company.

However, if you do want to have a go at connecting your solar panels to a battery, it’s worth finding out whether your system is ‘storage ready’. Most relatively new systems will be, since batteries are becoming more commonplace. If your solar panels are storage ready, they will have an inverter that can easily have a battery added to it. If this is the case, then you should be able to buy the solar battery you want and follow the manufacturer's instructions to install it.

But it’s worth remembering that electricity is extremely dangerous when handled improperly. If you don’t get the solar battery connected properly and something goes wrong, it could cause a fire or you could electrocute yourself. If a fire breaks out due to your battery, it’s unlikely that your home insurance company would pay out since you connected the battery yourself. That’s why it’s always worth speaking to a registered installer to install a solar battery storage system for you.

How much do solar batteries cost?
How much solar batteries cost depends on the brand and type of battery and its capacity. At the moment, the cost is quite high because the technology is still new – but they will probably reduce, just like we saw the cost of solar panels reduce as the technology became more popular. It’s a great idea to get a solar battery installed with your solar panel system if you’re out most of the day. If you didn’t have a battery, all that electricity would simply go to the National Grid – but if you have a storage system, then while your solar panels are generating electricity in the day, it would get stored in the battery ready for you to use when you get home. Lithium-ion solar batteries are the most widely-used ones at the moment because they generally have a higher capacity and are more cost-effective. For a 3-4kWh battery, which would store enough electricity for a typical 4kW solar panel system, it will set you back an average of £3,400. If you need a larger battery, it could cost anywhere up to £6,000. Lead acid batteries are cheaper, and it can seem tempting to ask an installer to fit one for you – but they aren’t cheaper in the long run. While a 4kWh lead acid battery may only cost around £2,000, their life cycle is only around 1,800 cycles. A lithium-ion battery that costs around £4,000 would have a life cycle of about 4,000 cycles. That means that while the upfront cost is more, you won’t have to replace it as quickly as a lead acid one.

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