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What Size Solar Batteries Do I Need? | A Complete Guide to Sizing Solar Batteries

What Size Solar Batteries Do I Need? | A Complete Guide To Sizing Solar Batteries

In the most optimal conditions, the size of the solar battery you need is going to be equal to that of your consumption. So, if you use 10 kWh of electricity per day, you’re going to also need a 10 kWh battery.

That is, of course, the oversimplified version. Many other factors come into sizing your home’s battery needs. This includes the battery’s depth of discharge (DoD), your budget, how many days of backup power you need, and others.

To streamline your process, I’ll walk you through these considerations and teach you how you can compute what size solar battery you need. Let’s start.

Factors you should consider when sizing your home’s solar battery:

Your home’s average daily energy usage

There are 2 ways to calculate this:

  • Using your electricity bill: Divide your monthly, quarterly, or yearly bills by their corresponding number of days. For example, if you’re using your yearly bill, divide by 365. If using your monthly bill, divide by 30.
  • Using solar monitoring system: Some solar systems will have this, generally through an app on your phone where you can monitor either your solar energy produced, solar energy consumed, or both.

For your reference, the average Australian home consumes 8-12 kWh of electricity per day depending on the size of the household. The more people who live in your home, the more electricity you will consume.

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The size and output of your solar system

Among other things – such as direction, angle, shade, efficiency, and others – the size of your solar system determines the solar energy it’s going to generate.

This is important to consider since solar batteries can only store the energy that your modules generate. The larger your system, the larger the battery you’re going to need.

Recommended: How many solar panels do you need to power your home?

Your prospect battery’s depth of discharge (DoD)

an image that represents what DoD means
A visual representation depicting the concept of DoD (Depth of Discharge).

Depth of discharge (DoD) is the depth that the battery can be discharged without shortening its lifespan. For example, let’s say you’re looking at a 10 kWh battery with a DoD of 80%. That means you can safely use 8 of the 10 kWh without harming your battery.

This is important to consider because, well… batteries are expensive and you need the backup power. Therefore, you’re going to need your solar batteries to last as long as possible while having ample energy for your home.

How many days of backup energy do you want?

Before you answer that, why do you want to have a solar battery, anyway?

Is it because you’re living off-grid? Is it because you want to offset the expensive peak power rates from your energy company? Is it so you’re ready in case of a blackout?

No matter what your answer to that question is, it all boils down to how long you want to have solar energy.

If it’s because you’re living off-grid or that you live in a place where blackouts are frequent, you’d likely need a solar battery that’s large enough to store a couple of days’ worth of power.

If it’s just so you don’t rely on the grid during peak hours, you should be good with a day’s worth of backup.

Your budget

The cost of installing solar batteries in Australia can range anywhere between 1000 and 2000 AUD per kWh.

  • 1000 AUD if you’re installing a battery alongside your new system
  • 2000 AUD if you’re adding a solar battery to an existing system.

Regardless, how much money you can spend is perhaps the most concrete limiter on the size of your solar battery.

Recommended: Are solar batteries worth your money?

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

How to calculate the solar battery size your home needs

This is the culmination of all the factors I just described above. So, if you haven’t read them yet, I highly suggest you do. Otherwise, let’s do some math.

Step 1: Compute your adjusted energy requirements based on your DoD

As previously stated, your solar battery’s DoD determines how much-stored energy you can use before you shorten your battery’s life.

Therefore, for the longevity of your solar battery, I recommend using that depth in your computations instead of just relying on the battery’s listed size/capacity.

That being said, use this equation to compute your adjusted energy requirements:

  • Equation:
    • Daily energy usage + [Daily energy usage x (100% – DoD)] = Adjusted energy requirements
  • Example computation:
    • 10 kWh + [10 kWh x (100% – 80%)]
    • 10 kWh + [10 kWh x 20%]
    • 10 kWh + 2 kWh
    • 12 = Adjusted energy requirement

Step 2: Multiply your adjusted energy requirement with how many days you need backup power

If you only need backup power for 1 day, you can skip this step. Your adjusted energy requirement will already be the size of the solar battery you need.

If not, you simply have to multiply the days you need backup power by your adjusted energy requirement. Yup, it’s that easy.

To make it even simpler, though, here’s the equation and an example:

  • Equation: Adjusted energy requirement x days of backup power = Solar battery requirements
  • Example: 12 kWh X 2 days backup power = 24 kWh

Sample solar battery requirements

Before you read further, the values below assume a few things:

  1. Your prospective solar battery has a DoD of 80%. I’m assuming this because modern lithium solar batteries have DoDs of 80-95%.
  2. Your solar system is large enough to fully charge your solar batteries.
  3. Your energy usage is the same as the average Australian household. The averages I’m using for my computations are based on CSIRO’s data.

That being said, the table below should give you a rough idea of what size solar battery your home needs.

A Rough Guide to Sizing Your Home's Solar Battery: Table for Reference
A Reference Table for Approximating the Sizing of Your Home’s Solar Battery

Remember that this computation is a simplified version.

You should only use the values and computations listed above as references.

This is because there are still other factors that are specific to your solar system that I can’t possibly account for, including the efficiency of your solar panels, the size of your solar system, shading issues, your home’s usage patterns, and other things.

For a more accurate estimation, I highly recommend speaking with a qualified installer. That, right there, is where we can help.

We have a network of CEC-accredited solar installers who, needless to say, are experts in solar batteries and other components. Whenever you’re ready, we’ll connect you with our installers and get you 3 FREE quotes for free.

FAQs:

What Is The Average Home Solar Battery Size?

The average home solar battery size is 10 kWh to 25 kWh, depending on the size of the household.

Can A Solar Battery Be Too Big?

Yes, a solar battery can be too big. Although, an oversized solar battery storage system won’t harm your solar panels and other components in any way. The only caveat is that you will be paying for excess storage that you’re unlikely to use.

What Are The Best Solar Batteries In Australia?

There’s no one answer as every household will have different solar battery needs. However, we do have our favorites, including Huawei’s Luna2000, Tesla’s Powerwall 2, and BYD’s Premium LVS.

For further reading: Our guide to choosing the best solar batteries for your home

Conclusion

The equations weren’t too hard to follow, were they?

In any case, I hope this helped clear things up for you. But, more than that, I hope you now have a rough idea about the size of the solar battery storage system you need for your home.

To recap, you first need your average daily usage figure from your electricity bills or your monitoring system. Next, you need to adjust that value based on your prospective battery’s DoD. Finally, multiply that value by how many days of backup power you need.

If you still find it confusing, don’t worry. We can always connect you to our network of pre-vetted installers. They’ll have you sorted in no time.