What is a solar battery? Well, simply put, it’s almost just like any other battery. The only difference is that they generally have a much larger capacity and are used to store energy generated by a solar panel system. Solar batteries are usually found in hybrid grid-battery homes and off-grid homes.
Tl;dr: for most solar homeowners in Singapore, we do not recommend solar batteries at this point mainly due to a high cost and low returns on investments, as well as likely a need for more frequent maintenance due to the lower maturity of storage technologies. This is especially so when there are already rebate schemes available for selling excess solar generated to the grid (instead of storing it for night-time usage). The exception may be homeowners who live in a strata landed home, or condominiums wherein sell back of excess solar is not possible.
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you’ll need to know about owning a solar battery in Singapore. All powered up and ready to go? Let’s explore solar batteries in Singapore!
Cost of Solar Batteries and Popular Models
To start off, here’s a shortlist of some of the best solar batteries in Singapore. We’ve also included the storage capacity of the batteries and their current pricing for quick and easy comparison. Take a look below!
Note: Some batteries may also only be compatible with specific inverters. We generally recommend pairing the Huawei LUNA2000 battery with Huawei inverters, and the BYD Battery Box or LG Chem RESU with Fronius or SMA inverters.
|Battery Brand/Model||Battery Capacity Options||Estimated Price excl. Installation Fees* (S$)||Product Information|
|Huawei LUNA2000||5, 10 or 15kWh||5kWh: $5,000 to $6,000|
10kWh: $8,000 to $9,000
15kWh: $11,000 to $12,000
|LG Chem RESU||6.5, 9.8 or 13kWh||6.5kWh: $7,000 to $8,000|
9.8kWh: $10,000 to $11,000
13kWh: $12,000 to $13,000
|Click Here (6.5kWh, 9.8kWh, 13kWh)|
|BYD Battery Box||2.56, 5.12kWh etc.; modular and stackable||2.5kWh: $5,000 to $6,000|
5.12kWh: $7,000 to $8,000
10.24kWh: $10,000 – $11,000
Solar Battery in Singapore : The Pros
Let’s first take a look at some of the pros of getting a solar battery.
A Backup Power Source
The most straightforward benefit of getting a solar battery is that it allows you to store energy generated by your solar panel system. This means that it can act as a backup power source for your home to keep the electricity running in the event of a power outage — although we must add that Singapore’s grid is very stable and outages rarely ever happen.
To Help Reduce Electricity Bills for Units in Multi-Meter Complexes
If you’re staying in a multi-meter building like a condominium and strata landed house, you should definitely consider getting a solar storage system.
“Why?” you may ask. Well, a major drawback of installing solar panels on a condominium or strata landed property is that you’ll not be able to benefit from selling energy back to the grid. This is a large pull factor for installing solar in the first place.
One way to still enjoy cost reductions on your electricity bill would be to get a solar battery. By tapping on the energy stored in the battery generated by the solar panel system on your roof, you’ll be able to reduce your overall household energy consumption. Less energy used directly equates to lower monthly electricity bills!
Energy Usage Optimisation
Buying electricity off the Open Electricity Market (OEM) and signed up for a non-standard price plan? Getting a solar storage system might also make sense for you.
Solar batteries help store the energy generated by your solar panel system off the grid and this can complement a non-standard price plan pretty well. This type of electricity plan is personalised and generally charges you higher rates during your peak hours of usage and lower rates in off-peak periods.
If you’ve got a plan that charges you more for night-time electricity usage, getting a solar battery can be feasible. Tapping on energy accumulated in your battery during the day can help offset some of your charges for night-time grid electricity usage as your home only starts drawing electricity from the grid when your battery is depleted.
Definitely consider getting a solar storage system if you’ve got a non-standard electricity price plan. That said, it’ll require some precise calculations to make sure that the numbers add up.
Solar Battery in Singapore: The Cons
While getting a solar battery in Singapore can be cost-effective in some specific cases. We’d recommend holding off on them in Singapore for now and going with a grid-tied solar panel system instead. There are a few reasons for this.
The most direct consideration would be the cost of solar batteries — they are still awfully high. Although prices are expected to go down with time and technological improvements, for now, a 10kWh solar battery can set you back by S$10,000 on average. That can easily equate to half the price of your solar panel setup and will increase the cost of getting solar significantly.
Lose Out on Savings and Potential Earnings
By storing excess energy in a solar storage system, you also won’t be able to benefit from financial schemes like the Simplified Credit Treatment (SCT) Scheme and the Enhanced Central Intermediary Scheme (ECIS). These schemes allow you to sell excess energy generated by your solar panel system back to the grid in Singapore. With the likelihood of power outages in Singapore being low to none, storing the energy that your system generates would be forfeiting potential profits!
Installing Solar will be More Complicated
A solar panel setup and design is customised to every home and no two solar projects are exactly the same. After an initial online assessment of your roof for its solar potential and suitability, site visits to your home are often still necessary. This visit will allow your solar installer to assess the ideal location of every component of your solar PV system to ensure that your system runs as optimally as possible. Having to account for an additional solar battery will make designing your system more complicated. It’ll definitely also increase the amount of time needed to install your solar system.
Durability Concerns in Singapore
Solar batteries — like most other batteries — lose battery storage capacity with time, resulting in shorter cycle lives. The high temperatures in Singapore, especially in the middle of the year, don’t help with prolonging the battery capacity of solar batteries either. In most cases, your battery will just get less and less effective as time goes on.
Maintenance and Limited Warranty
Picking up a solar storage system will also mean that you’ll be opting in to more maintenance on your solar PV system. Residential solar systems are generally low maintenance, but adding an energy storage system can make it more of a hassle to maintain your setup.
Overall, all batteries are also made of highly toxic chemicals and extra care is needed when cleaning and maintaining them. Certain types of batteries like Valve Regulated Lead–Acid (VRLA) batteries even require specialised maintenance. Warranties for solar batteries are also shorter than that of solar panels and vary depending on the brand that you get.
In summary, unless you’re a strata landed homeowner or condominium owner who is unable to sell excess solar to the grid through existing rebate schemes, we strongly advise against getting a battery storage at this point, since the cons of having a battery system will typically outweigh its benefits. Strata landed home owners or condominium penthouse owners can read this article on the key considerations for getting a storage system for their solar panels.
However, if you’re really interested to consider a battery storage system, instead of buying a solar battery right now, we’d recommend considering battery-ready solar inverters. Battery-ready inverters or hybrid inverters are a combination of both a solar and battery inverter. Inverters are needed in a solar panel system as solar panels generate Direct Current (DC) that requires conversion into Alternate Current (AC) for home and appliance usage. Similarly, solar batteries also store energy as DC and will also require battery inverters to convert stored energy into usable AC.
To date, most solar inverters are made to only convert DC from solar panels into AC for usage. They are usually unable to convert battery stored DC into AC and you’ll need to get a separate battery inverter for AC/DC conversion for battery stored energy. Battery-ready inverters help solve this problem and are future proof.
Interested in getting a battery-ready solar inverter? Here are some battery-ready solar inverters that we recommend checking out! Note however that most inverter brands have a maximum size for current battery-ready solar inverter models. This may not be applicable for homeowners who have a solar system larger than 10 kWp.
|Battery Brand/Model||Max. PV Output Power Options||Product Information|
|Huawei SUN2000-M1||3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 10 kW||Click Here|
|Fronius Symo Hybrid||5, 6.5 or 8kW||Click Here|
|SMA Sunny Boy Storage||3.68, 5 or 6kW||Click Here|
With solar batteries being incredibly expensive, it may not be feasible to get one right now, but this might not be the case in the near future. Having a battery-ready solar inverter will allow you to upgrade your solar panel system down the line when battery prices have dropped. It might become cost-effective to get a solar battery when they do, and you’d be all ready to do so!
Get an Instant Solar Estimate for your Property Now!
Whether you’re ready to install solar panels on your rooftop, or just wondering how you can benefit from solar, use our instant solar assessment tool to get an estimate of the solar potential of your property and find out how much you can save. At Solar AI, we combine geospatial analysis of satellite imagery with big data and artificial intelligence to provide you with reliable and accurate solar information so that you can make a better solar choice!