Given the currently low 8 cent per kilowatt hour Queensland feed in tariff, we have discussed how it can be beneficial to ensure that you consume the maximum amount of power produced by your solar panels within your home – thereby minimising the amount of power sent back to the grid at the low f.i.t. rate. When getting solar quotation from solar companies it is very worthwhile getting an assessment of the optimum size solar system for your home – taking into account your power usage, examining past power bills and looking at how you use power within your home, including a time usage map – when you use what electrical appliances. For example it may (depending on many factors, including the price of electricity you pay) be beneficial to run your washing machine and pool pump and other reasonably ‘heavy’ users of electricity, during the hours your newly installed solar system is producing power.
Future Options For Solar Power Systems
Globally, and certainly in Australia, we are seeing diminishing feed in tariffs being offered for residential solar power system owners. One of the major ‘drawbacks’ of solar is the (current) lack of ability to store excess electricity produced by your system. If we could store solar electricity and use it when we need it – at night being the obvious example, then its would open up further exciting uses of solar power.
Lithium Batteries To The Rescue?
Lithium batteries are widely used where high energy density storage and reasonably long life is required for energy storage. In Australia lithium batteries are already used in many solar related products, particularly in the ‘industrial electronics’ area – examples being small solar powered traffic lane indicators etc.
Kyocera, a long standing and high quality Japanese manufacturer of solar panels has joined forces with a German company Prosol Invest to promote their solar energy storage solutions based on lithium battery technology. This is exciting stuff in the world of solar power. Their largest ‘sun battery’ can store 41 Kwh of energy – a substantial amount. It is impressive to see the German Government also supporting this type of development. As this type of technology develops and price decreases it will open up huge and new opportunities for solar power in Australia, at a residential, industrial and State level. The lack of ability to store solar power and solar’s supposed ‘drawback’ of not producing power in the night time may be a thing of the past in the near future.