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Solar Panels and Battery Storage

There are 2 main types of battery sold on the market for use with solar PV today. Lithiom Ion and Lead acid. Lithium Ion are smaller and more efficient often used for domestic properties attached to the grid. Lead acid are larger, slightly cheaper, less efficient and used mainly in off grid scenarios.

Retrofit (battery fitting onto an existing system)

In many cases this will mean taking out the existing inverter and replacing it with one that is compatible with a battery. There are exceptional cases where there is an existing system that is compatible with a battery, for example the solar edge system which is compatible with the new Tesla battery. There are other options available that mean a change of inverter is necessary, for example the new LG Chem battery storage system. A type of inverter called a Hybrid is needed in order to cope with the new battery so it would mean losing the existing inverter. 

Solar Panels

New installation

If you do not have any solar panels installed then you have the option of many battery storage systems. If you are particularly drawn to the Tesla battery then at present you would need the Solar Edge system and optimisers in order to be compatible. If you are not particularly drawn to the Tesla brand then there are other options available such as LG and Goodwe, which are considerably cheaper. 

Stored energy from solar panels

Guarantees

For either of the options above consideration should be made on guarantees, many companies now offer a 10 year warranty. 

AC / DC type inverter and battery

Solar Panels with battery storage

There are a few more decisions to make when deciding which system to opt for, the main one being if you want the system to keep working if there is a power failure. At present solar panel systems attached to the grid are designed to switch off if there is a power failure. If you want your system to continue to work when there is a power failure, it is important to specify this at the design stage as a different type of inverter is needed.