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Enphase battery storage sales commence in Australia, NZ

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One Step Off The Grid

Australian sales of Enphase Energy’s home battery storage system have begun in earnest this week, with local distributors now taking orders ahead of the first delivery of the batteries in a few months’ time.

The California-based inverter maker and smart energy technology company said on Monday the first global shipment of the 1.2kWh AC Battery was estimated to arrive on Australian shores in August, for distribution by Enphase’s regional network of more than 1,000 installers, including in New Zealand.

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Enphase is not saying how many of the modular “plug and play” systems will make up this first shipment, but told RenewEconomy the company had been taken aback by the level of pre-order demand, even despite their own bullish predictions for the Australian market.

“To say we are pleased is an understatement, indicative orders for the Enphase Storage Solution have exceeded our every expectation,” said Enphase Asia Pacific managing director Nathan Dunn in an emailed statement on Monday.

“Our planned shipment volumes are currently being revised up considerably in order to meet demand.”

The lithium-ion phosphate battery, which we previewed here in December 2014, is expected to be popular for its flexibility – it is suitable for addition to any existing rooftop solar system, regardless of the brand of inverters or solar panels already in use – as well as for its modularity and and ease of installation; each 1.2kWh unit weighs only 25kg and can be wall-mounted indoors, and interconnected with standard AC wiring.

Other specs for the battery include a depth of discharge greater than 95 per cent, an ambient operating temperature range of -20°C – 45°C and a warranty of up to 10 years or 7300 cycles.

The battery also comes with Enphase’s cloud-based Enlighten energy management system, which helps households to maximise their solar self-consumption or store energy generated for use at times when grid electricity prices are at their highest – and to monitor all this via a their “device” of choice.

According to Enphase, when used as a part of the company’s Home Energy Solution, the AC Battery can deliver one of the lowest up-front costs and highest lifetime values in the current energy storage market.

Prices for the units – which come with the Enlighten program as a standard feature – are expected to vary from distributor to distributor, and depending on what sort of solar and energy management system the customer already has.

According to Queensland distributor AC Solar Warehouse, the fully installed price (with GST) should range between $2,700 (if the customer already has an Enphase solar system and Envoy-S Metered) to $3,700 for installation with a non-Enphase solar system.

AC Solar’s managing director, Grant Behrendorff, confirmed that demand for the Enphase units had been impressive – at least among his company’s clientele – with pre-orders numbering in the hundreds in the few days since last week’s Solar 2016 conference in Melbourne.

Other authorised distributors in Australia include One Stop Warehouse, RFI, Solar + Solutions and SunEdison. Homeowners can be connected with local Enphase installers via www.enphase.com/au/quote.

NSW installer Solaray Energy says depending on the customer’s situation, pricing should range from about $2200 – $3000 including GST for the Enphase Storage System with one battery (fully-installed), with additional AC Batteries going down in price.

Another NSW installer, GoSolar Newcastle, says they will price Enphase AC Batteries at around $2500 each, including GST, fully installed.

Envirogroup in Victoria has been pre-selling the Enphase AC Battery for $1990 including GST fully installed, or $2500-3000 with the Envoy-S Metered included.

“The Enphase AC Battery is one of the most exciting batteries to hit our shores recently,” said Karl Edmondson, manager of solar battery design at EnviroGroup. “The low entry price and modular design make it very easy to integrate with new or existing solar systems”

“Pricing for grid-connect battery systems are now literally starting at under three thousand dollars fully installed,” he said.

This article was originally published on RenewEconomy sister site, One Step Off The Grid. To sign up for the weekly newsletter, click here.  

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  • Charles

    1.2kW? Is that size even practical?

    • David Grieve

      It would suit the smaller system, and bear in mind that it’s not just one kw to use at night but would support the dips in output during the day. Not clear what the instant output is though unless I missed that.

      • Alan

        Its just 260W (270W peak) so it’s a slow careful charge / discharge to look after the batteries for the full 10 years.

      • Ant..

        No entirely correct because the system can cycle more than 1.2 kW in any 24 hour period. It very much dependents on what your consumption profile is. The energy stored is available to be consumed during daylight hours where production is less than consumption. Batteries have a ten year warrant period so the charge and discharge rate might be limited to 240 kWH per hour. So batteries reduce what might be drawn from the grid but not necessarily eliminate it. The average household would probably need at least 4 kWH of storage to achieve a zero [0[ grid usage requirement. Of course the other discipline relates to time of use which involves dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, fans, pool pumps, hot water boosters etc.

        • So i have two enphase batteries installed, i have gone from using between 20-30kWh from the grid, and now with solar, hot water and the two batteries i have not yet used more than 2kWh a day and often less than 1kWh. Max, that is a mighty inefficient fridge. My two anaphase batteries, powering lights and fridge keep the house going till 3am most night,

          • Ant..

            We are slowly working on our energy consumption disciplines. What appliance to run when including a program to change our CFL Globes to LED. Our current ‘Feed in’ is 3,617 kWH per annum valued at $235.00. So surplus to our requirements we are producing on average 10 kWH per day. So what we are trying to analysis is how much of the 10 kWH to divert to storage because for every kWH in our hands it is worth about 0.20c [Tariff 0.27c minus Feed in 0.07c].

          • MaxG

            Are you saying you/ve got two of these 1.2kWh batteries installed resulting in the 2kWh/day import?
            The fridge/freezer was an example, which you can reduce to half for argument sake, and still not power it during a longer outage. (For all it matters, my 700l sits slightly under 2kWh per day, or roughly 100W/h).
            Multiple cycles per day is a bit fluffy, while you can augment morning consumption, then recharge during solar/day time, this wont’ work after sunset where you can use the kWh and then wait for the next daytime/solar charging cycle.
            See my example with the avg 16kWh/day household.
            also, we’ve got a few (powerful) computers running, meaning the house is only [powerwise] asleep from 0000 to 0600)

          • Just cycling once, although the batteries will pick up the slack during the day if the sun goes behind clouds and there is load. we off grid water and septic, so they used through the night too. and we got all sorts of stuff plugged in overnight too. but i have been surprised how long the batteries keep everything going. yesterday, we only used 0.7kwh from the grid from midnight to midnight.

          • MaxG

            Maybe I should ask: what is your daily usage is… but you said “gone from 20-30kWh”. The math does not add up, if you still use say 24kWh/day. That is 1kW/h. If you got 2kWh in the batteries, they will be empty after 2 hours. It works, if you serve all your load from PV and need a few LEDs during non-sunshine hours…
            In any case: if it works for you, I am happy for you. 🙂

          • you still thinking about this in the wrong way. you assume that 2kWh is used all at once. it isn’t, it is mostly spread during nightfall, at around 150watts to 500 watts, easily covered by the two (small) batteries. we went from 20-30kwh by replacing electric hot water, which took us down to 10kWh to 16kwh. the 5kw solar and load shifting (pool pump, appliances) does most of the rest and we use 2kWh of grid when batteries run out or can’t much load (kettles and electric oven).

          • MaxG

            I don’t think so; as I am saying “if you serve your load from PV” and basically use 2kWh during non-sunshine hours… or 2kWh during 18h ~ 110W/h.

          • 18 hours? well clearly you are not in australia in spring/summer. 12 hours max.

          • MaxG

            Not sure why you are penny-pinching… 2kWh/12h = 166W/h — same difference… and what about autumn/winter… and southern locations — arrest my case.
            As I said, I am happy if it works for you.

    • Ant..

      Difficult question to answer because it very much depends on your out of sunlight kWH requirements. You really need to think of it in terms of
      Return on Investment [ROI]. In our case a 1.2 kW system returns approximately 1.02 kWH of storage. At 0.27c less the solar feed in value 0.07c the the value of that energy is in our case 0.20c per kWH. So its a simple calculation multiply 0.20 x 365 and divided by the cost which in our case was $2,200 installed so the ROI was 3.31% pa. Then the question you need to answer is if you was to invest 2,200 in a fixed term deposit what would be the net return on that investment taking into consideration any tax. For some pensioners diverting cash into a home improvement may produce an increase in pension entitlements which would make the return on investment more significant.

  • DogzOwn

    It’s compact, modular and you simple plug in of as many as 13 of them on 20A circuit

  • MaxG

    I find this thing to be useless at best… run the vacuum for half an hour and it’s empty.
    I mean, it would not even support a standard fridge during the night.

    • Ant..

      I would be interested to see your analysis that supports that view

      • MaxG

        The 1.2kWh battery returns 1kWh usable. A good vacuum — or in my case my vacuum — uses 1,400W; to be more precise (than 30 minutes); 1kWh / 1.4kW = 0.7h or 42 minutes after which the battery is empty. a fridge/freezer combination may use 300W. 1/.3 = 3.3 or 3h 20 minutes after which the battery would be empty. If night is 10 hours, and the fridge/freezer runs at 50% – the battery would not last through the night. Hope this helps.

        • Ant..

          We have just installed on 20/9/16 an Enphase 1.2 kW battery [for analysis purposes]. It is averaging about 1.02 kWH per 24 hour cycle. The charge and discharge rate is set at 240 watt-hours [dictated by the warranty being 10 years or 7,000 cycles] Where production is less than consumption during daylight hours the maximum it can draw from the battery in any 15 minute time slice is 61 watt-hours. Your analysis is task specific which is one way of looking at it but not the only way. To get the best performance requires a discipline over energy consumption. What I have learnt reading about Solar is that the average home consumes about about 5 kWH out of sunlight hours that is not to say that storage can deliver at any one time more than 240 watt-hours. So the equation is all about system size and performance spread over you typical out of sunlight hours consumption. For example your power consumption between the hours of 6:00pm and 9:00pm may exceed the capacity of the storage.

          • MaxG

            My initial stance stays: useless!
            While I understand that there might be solar configurations as there a types of cars on the planet; assuming average usage of 16kWh per day, and sunshine between 0800 and 1500, say 7 hours or make it 8, leaves us with 16 hours where you can use your 1kWh. 2/3 of 16kWh is ~10kWh or 620Wh… as I said, and given your described constraints, you could not run the fridge during a power outage.

          • Ant..

            We feed to the grid 3,617 kWH PA [10 kWH per day] at an average price of 0.07c. So for every kWH converted to storage is worth 0.20c kWH [Tariff 0.27c minus Feed in 0.07c]. The loss of opportunity cost on a $10,000 Term Deposit @ 1.9% [quarterly compounded] is about 0.11c kWH. The government so I am told is introducing on the 1st of January 2017 a new assets test for pensioners which may encourage cash holdings being transferred into a non accessible asset in the form of home maintenance. There is more to solar and storage than one size fits all.

          • Ant..

            If you are not off ‘Grid’ during a power outage you would be running a Generator we call ours ‘Sunny’.

  • Alfred Jones

    The idea of these batteries are to start off small, however the 1.2kWh, means you need a number of these batteries, and considering that they are about $2500, each installed, you would need 5 or 6 of them installed, say about $12000 to $15000, when you can get a Tesla for $9500 installed from Bradmans Solar in Australia. I don’t have anything to do with them, but I keep trying to follow the prices offered.

    • Ant..

      I would be more than happy to provide you with a financial analysis of solar as it relates to FNQ

      • Alfred Jones

        Thank you Ant, Unfortunately I am not in FNQ, but the Wide Bay area, roughly half way between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

        • Ant..

          There may be Enphase systems in your area so I will check out what data is publically available.

        • Ant..

          This is the URL where you can look at the production of any number of Enphase Micro Inverter PV systems at different sizes:
          https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/public_systems/
          This system is located at Woodgate: https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/public_systems/wfh6637962/overview.
          I also noted that there was three systems at Childers. Our Enphase 1.20 kW battery storage is contributing to consumption on average about 1.02 kWH per day. If you feel so inclined pick a system and provide me with the Url. Tell me your average daily kWH consumption and who your energy supplier is and I will do an estimate savings estimate based on that systems performance.

          • Alfred Jones

            Thanks Ant, It is interesting that there is one in Woodgate. The technical details are a bit over my head, but I understood what you said to Charles.