Recently released investigation shows Phono Solar and Kyocera Solar top list of highly-accelerated lifetime tests.

Millions of low-quality solar panels have been installed on Australian roofs in the past decade. This unfortunately occurred because our solar market was primarily comprised of residential installations, and because mums and dads lack the expertise to differentiate panel quality.

Therefore a great deal of responsibility for selling good quality product falls onto the heads of PV retailers. And any PV retailer interested in remaining profitable for more than six months has some self-interest in choosing a good quality panel manufacturer, as:

Read more: How long will your solar panels last? And how well will they perform until then?

Part of our series “What is the best strategy to maximise the Return on Investment for your battery?”

In other articles we’ve examined the best strategies for maximising Return on Investment in your battery. We’ve seen:

  • You can’t make enough money from a battery alone to justify its cost – you need to couple it with a PV system which does most of the heavy lifting in terms of ROI.
  • Smaller is better when it comes to ROI – as the battery acts to drag down the ROI of a PV system, so a smaller battery drags down the ROI less
  • In order to maximise your ROI its best to discharge during Peak and Shoulder periods, though of course the answer also depends on the price of peak and shoulder electricity in your area.
  • Discharging your battery during off-peak periods to ensure it is 100% available to soak up excess solar energy sounds like a good idea on face value (better to sell at 13c/kWh than earning only 6c/kWh for your excess solar), but you’re probably prematurely aging your batteries for almost negligible extra revenue.

We’ve seen that arbitrage can generate a reasonable amount of revenue on its own, but not enough to justify the batteries in the absence of PV. But what about doubling the batteries’ utilisation by pre-charging from off-peak electricity to cover early morning loads then re-charging from the sun to cover evening loads?  Couldn’t sneaking in an extra cycle in the morning act to increase my revenue and accelerate my payback?

Read more: Is it worth charging from the grid (off-peak), to try to sneak in a second cycle?

Part of our series “What is the best strategy to maximise the Return on Investment for your battery?”

In which we also answer the question “Should I Discharge during peak only, or peak and shoulder“ and “Is it worth discharging during off-peak periods in order to maximise solar soak-up?”

Now if you’ve taken the early adopter step of adding battery storage to your PV system, you might be wondering how to make the most of your battery in minimising your electricity bill. In other articles we’ve examined the best strategies for maximising Return on Investment in your battery. We’ve seen:

  • You can’t make enough money from a battery alone to justify its cost – you need to couple it with a PV system which does most of the heavy lifting in terms of ROI.
  • Smaller is better when it comes to ROI – as the battery acts to drag down the ROI of a PV system, so a smaller battery drags down the ROI less

One common idea put forward as a way of improving battery ROI is to double the amount of work the battery does each day, by pre-charging it from off-peak grid power to service your morning loads, before charging it again (this time from excess solar energy) so it can service your evening loads. By working it twice as hard, the theory is you will generate extra revenue (in the form of bill reduction) each year, so the battery should pay for itself sooner. But how does the theory stack up in reality? Let’s use PVsell to find out.

Read more: When should I discharge my battery to maximise my return on investment?

Is it worthwhile charging a battery from the grid at off-grid prices?

Part of our series “What is the best strategy to maximise the Return on Investment for your battery?”

In this article we demonstrate that batteries can’t pay for themselves without being coupled with solar power.

Have we discovered a perpetual profit machine hidden within the electricity network? Those greedy electricity retailers charge a fortune for power during peak periods (right when you’re using most energy), and much less during off-peak periods (when you’re asleep). What if you could charge a battery overnight from cheap off-peak electricity, and use the battery to supply your needs during expensive peak periods? Making money during your sleep, night after night, Genius! Right?

Read more: What is the best strategy to maximise the Return on Investment for your battery?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the return on investment of batteries isn’t flash. Thankfully there’s plenty of early adopters out there who will buy batteries regardless of ROI, because early adopters like the technology and the independence it offers. The way to sell batteries to them is to target sales message to the reasons they like batteries, which include:

  1. Using their excess solar energy at night rather than exporting it to the grid for a pittance.
  2. Avoiding ridiculously high peak electricity prices by charging their battery at low off-peak prices (or from the sun) and discharging their battery during peak price periods.
  3. Reducing their dependence on the grid
  4. Having protection against blackouts
  5. Going completely off grid.

So if you’re going to successfully sell to early adopters, you need to be able to demonstrate that your battery will do each of these. Because early adopters like facts and figures you’re also going to need to quantify how much your battery will do each of these.

Read more: Selling Batteries to Early Adopters

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