Plico Team 10/11/2022 16 min read

Can I Add a Battery to my Solar System?

Yes, you can add a battery to your existing solar system. However, some solar batteries are more compatible and easier to add to a system than others. When integrating a solar battery into your system, ensure that the solar battery has an inbuilt inverter that can accommodate most or all solar photovoltaic (PV) panel brands and types. 

The Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus is one of the leading retrofit solar batteries on the market, and Plico is excited to announce three new smart solar battery packages utilising it. 

We’ve created flexible options that accommodate various individual needs – 5 kWh, 10 kWh, 15 kWh and 20 kWh solutions. The best part is that they’re all part of the Plico guarantee of no big upfront costs and 10 years of ongoing cloud monitoring and support. Read on to learn more about Plico’s new solar battery additions and why you should consider adding a battery to your system.

You can shop our battery-only packages by clicking here


Why would you want to add a solar battery to an existing system?

The main reason to add a battery to an existing solar system is to be able to use solar power at night when the sun goes down. Installing a solar battery means less reliance on the costly electrical grid, cheaper electricity bills, power during blackouts, and greater overall energy independence. 

The reason to add a solar battery to your system is to cut down your use of the electrical grid, save money, have power during blackouts, and enjoy overall greater energy independence.

Solar systems have been installed in Australian homes for as long as 60 years, longer than you might think. However, until relatively recently, a solar system would comprise only solar PV panels and an inverter. The technology for solar batteries was still in its infancy, so homeowners could not utilise their generated (free) solar power in the evenings or overcast weather conditions. 

Solar batteries follow the path of most technology – at first, expensive to manufacture and therefore expensive to purchase, as well as going through technological teething problems. However, in the past decade, we’ve seen the price of solar batteries significantly drop, and more manufacturers and brands have joined the market. 


Feed-in tariffs are no longer profitable

The feed-in tariff is the payment a solar owner receives for pushing their excess solar power to the grid. The idea was that homeowners would receive enough financial remuneration to cover the cost of pulling from the grid in the evenings. Only a few years ago, the feed-in tariff was as high as 47 cents per kWh exported. In 2022, Western Australians receive around 2.5 cents for every kWh exported before 3 pm and 10 cents after 3 pm. This, of course, is not enough to cover the cost of grid electricity in the evening. 

So homeowners without a solar battery are getting stung with two costs: the big upfront cost of their solar system and the fees of grid electricity. This seems like a rough deal for the solar owner, doesn’t it? The only way to reduce your use of electricity from the grid and your bills is to get a solar battery. 


Solar batteries provide freedom

The two primary reasons to get a solar battery are energy independence and cheaper electricity bills. A solar battery will reduce the amount of costly electricity you pull from the grid, reducing your energy bills. A solar battery also allows you to be in charge of your energy. You can store your energy for use whenever you want. Rolling blackouts in your area? You can still use your battery’s stored power and continue to produce solar power if the sun is shining.


Solar panels have a longer lifespan than solar batteries

One of the major benefits of adding a solar battery to your solar system is that solar panels have a longer lifespan than batteries. On average, a solar panel’s lifespan is 25 years. A solar battery will last between 10-15 years. So if you’ve had your solar system for 10 years and want to add a battery, it will align with the lifespan of your solar panels!


You can add a battery to your solar system for a low weekly fee. 

Solar batteries can still pose a high upfront cost – a solar battery costs between $4,500 to $18,000, which is a substantial amount of money. However, here at Plico, we are fuelled by a passion for helping as many people adopt renewable energy as possible. That’s why Plico members pay only one low weekly fee and receive 10 years of ongoing support!


Plico’s new battery-only packages:

Smart Solar Battery: 5 kWh storage capacity  

Smart Solar Battery +:10 kWh storage capacity 

Smart Solar Battery ++: 15 kWh storage capacity 

Smart Solar Battery +++: 20 kWh storage capacity 


Battery-Only Products


Plico can integrate the Smart Solar Battery systems with single, dual or 3-phase connections. Owners will also have a user-friendly app for easy system monitoring – how much solar power they’re generating, how much is stored and how the system is functioning overall. Additionally, it’s possible for Plico to upgrade other aspects of your system when installing your new battery, such as installing more solar panels or mitigating any technical issues you may be experiencing.

Here at Plico, we’ve always opted for modular solar batteries – ‘stackable’ solar battery setups where additional batteries can be easily added and tapered to individual needs. Additionally, our battery comes with 3 kVA inverters that integrate with your system’s existing inverter.

Like all Plico members, Smart Solar Battery owners receive 10 years of ongoing support and cloud-based monitoring of their systems. 


Close-up image of the Alpha-B3-Plus solar battery


About the battery: Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus

The Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus solar battery has been specifically designed to be added to an existing solar system. Featuring high-performance metrics in all the areas that count, the Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus boasts an operating temperature range of -10 oC to 50 oC (covering most Australian weather conditions) and a depth of discharge (DoD) of 95%.

However, perhaps the best aspect of the Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus is that it is not only compatible with all existing solar systems but also stackable. Each Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus module has a 5.04 kWh storage capacity. Plico will install up to three modules together, giving you a choice between 5.04 kWh, 10.08 kWh and 15.12 kWh storage capacities. 


Here are the statistics for a single Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus module.


Overall Capacity

5.04 kWh

Usable Capacity

4.79 kWh

Maximum Output

3 kW

Maximum Input

6 kW

Depth of Discharge


Dimension (W x D x H)

640 x 250 x 725 mm


60 kg

Operating Temperature Range

-10 oC to 50 oC


10 years


You can read more about the Alpha ESS Smile-B3-Plus by clicking here


Plico specialises in solar + battery systems bespoke to your needs

Everything we do is tapered to a member’s individual needs and demands. If you have any questions about whether you could benefit from adding a solar battery to your existing system, don’t hesitate to contact our switched-on team on 1300 175 426 or fill out the form below. We’ll be able to give you information on what setup will best help you save on your electricity bills.


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