Lithium-ion (Li-ion) Batteries
NB: Li-ion battery technology has been superseded by the safer LiFePo4 technology, making Li-ion more affordable!
This is a great video that explains the issues with recycling Lithium-ion battery’s. Note, Lithium-Iron is different technology.
So what should you know about Lithium Batteries ?
Simply put, it largely to do with the battery cost per *kWh;
- 5.2 kWh Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo4) battery cost approx. $2'588 ÷ 5.2 =$498 per kWh.
- 12 kWh Nickel iron (NiFe) batteries (Edison battery) cost approx. $6'720 ÷ 12 =$560 per kWh.
- 3.0 kWh Portable VigorBox Lithium-ion battery cost approx. $1'950 ÷ 3 =$650 per kWh.
- 13.5 kWh Tesla Lithium-ion battery cost approx. $8'800 ÷ 13.5 =$650 per kWh.
- 10 kWh RedFlow Bromide battery cost approx. $10'000 ÷ 10 =$1'000 per kWh (Australian company).
Clearly leaving LiFe & NiFe batteries well ahead of the rest in price, where NiFe are reported as new after 30 years!
Batteries/Energy storage is predominantly designed for use between Sunset & Sunrise, or in the event of a blackout, by storing energy generated from Solar, and is ideally suited for storing energy from Aqua, Wind or Generators.
You can load shift (draw electricity from the state power grid to charge the battery), usually this is done slowly at night when rates charges are low, to store for later use.
However, what is not widely advertised is the facts that, "the investment cost for ALL small to large scale micro power grids", are able to be self funded based on energy savings alone, from 4~6+ years when using DAT Solar Arrays !
What is a Battery payback time ?
This is based on calculating the cost of the saving you will make on your electricity bills. There are many factors that need to be taken into account, you can get a good estimate using this calculator if you know what you currently pay for electricity.
It's also worthwhile checking if there are any state or even local government feed-in Tariff (Rebate) available for purchasing solar panels or a battery storage system. For example, Adelaide City Council are/were providing Rebates of up to $5,000 for installing solar panels or a battery storage system.
What if I already have solar panels ?
Then the payback time would be less if you already own a solar panel system that has already paid for itself in reduced energy costs. We estimate a payback time from 1~3 years, based on self consumption if all your solar power, well short of the Powerwall's warranty period of 10 years.
Payback times will be different for every household, but in some instances where the Solar array harvests less than the Battery capacity & consumption are not compatible, the payback time may well exceed the warranty period for the Powerwall.
What's also clear is that tapping into your own solar power as much as possible, rather than feeding it back into the grid with a measly feed-in tariff, will decrease your payback time.
Will battery storage become cheaper ?
Yes, the costs of battery storage systems have been falling at a rapid rate and forecasts are for this trend to continue as more and more households adopt them. For example, the cost of battery storage fell 14% every year on average between 2007 and 2016, according to a report by the Climate Council, and it's expected that prices will halve again within the next five years.
* approximate figures.