The 10-star Josh’s House development in Fremantle has announced it will be the site of a solar energy storage trial.
The 8kWh power battery storage system, coupled with the house’s 3kW solar system, means that grid electricity is expected to account for just three per cent of the house’s power needs – predicted to be during cloudy times in winter. This is up from 54 per cent of energy being grid-sourced.
The trial was initiated by Curtin University researcher Jemma Green, working with Professor Peter Newman from the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, as part of a CRC for Low Carbon Living research project.
The cost of the system is around $12,000, and was supplied by Perth company Solar Balance. With a number of storage solutions coming onto the market at the end of the year and next year, the prices are expected to drop further. Payback for the system is currently estimated at around 8-10 years, with the decision not to go entirely off grid an economic one.
“[I]t is technically possible [to go off grid], but it’s expensive,” a statement by Josh Byrne and Jemma Green said. “The small amount of power required from the grid will be imported during winter, when there are consecutive days with little sunshine. To take the last three per cent off grid, it would require a much larger solar PV system (from three to 5kW) and a much larger battery (from eight to 14kWh), and because this extra capacity would be used infrequently, it would take a very long time to pay off.”
Mr Byrne said this would be one of the first grid-connected solar storage systems on the Perth electricity grid, and the first nationally where “real-life” performance could be monitored by the industry and public.
“Whilst there has been a lot of buzz around solar battery storage in recent months, the reality is it is still an emerging technology in terms of product availability and regulatory approvals,” Mr Byrne said.
“Like everything else at Josh’s House, we see this part of the project as an important opportunity to showcase new ideas about low carbon living. Most importantly we want to be able to share the data on how these systems perform in a real-life setting, to demystify the technology and help inform the conversation on the role battery storage might play in the transition to a renewable energy future.”
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