Storage options to make solar smarter

There is a lot of interest from people who want to add batteries to their solar electric systems. We were one of the first companies in New Zealand to install the Enphase AC Battery and have now completed many installations with batteries. We also offer Storion SMILE and BYD batteries and are certified installers for the Tesla Powerwall and Selectronic inverters from Australia.

McNae Energy and Solar is constantly evaluating the range of battery storage options coming onto the market. At this stage we still think batteries are too expensive. This is becuase you will not recover the initial cost of the battery within the 10-year warranty period of the battery. Unless you want to install a battery to give protection against power cuts we generally do not recommend the installation of any type of battery. They just don't pay for themselves yet.

Add Batteries for self-consumption

Even though batteries don't make financial sense right now, there will still be people who want to install them. Storage does solve the basic dilemma of not being home when the sun is shining—but at a cost. Storage addresses a fundamental problem of solar energy—that while solar production peaks during midday, energy consumption is highest in the morning and evening. With storage, you can save the energy you produce for when you need it most.

Storage captures low cost clean energy and adds flexibility to when you can use that energy, helping you get the lowest electricity bill and increasing your energy independence.

If you don't get many power cuts, we recommend the Storion Smile B3 to store energy for later use. This battery will only provide backup power during a power cut until the battery runs flat. It cannot be recharged from solar generation during a power cut. It is designed to increase your self consumption of solar and can help you move towards 100% electricity self-sufficiency.

This is a modular all-in-one solution that includes the battery, management system and inverter charger all in one stylish enclosure. Storage capacity starts at 2.9kWh. We can add these batteries to any existing solar system.

Transition to Grid-Independence

If you want power during a power cut and you want to be able to recharge your batteries from solar when the power is off, then you need a hybrid system. If you only get short term power outages and you want a powerful cost-effective system then we recommend the Storion Smile 5 for single phase or the Smile T10 for three phase. If you have long power cuts or intend to transition towards off grid independence, then we recommend a Selectronic SP Pro hybrid inverter paired with a quality PowerPlus lithium battery. The SP Pro has the highest surge rating and passthrough power capability of any hybrid inverter on the market. This means that your system eventually can go completely off the grid.

Hybrid inverter sizes start at 5kW and are paired with modular 13-80 kWh lithium batteries to suit your night time and backup requirements. Our batteries use safe LFP chemistry and are backed by industry leading 10 year warranties.

We also supply larger commercial hybrid battery and inverter options.


Like micro inverters, the batteries we supply offer significant safety advantages. We all hope that nothing will go wrong but batteries do represent a fire hazard. Because of this, we strictly follow the AS/NZS 5139 Safety of Battery Systems installation standard. All our batteries also use a super safe chemistry and construction (Lithium Iron Phosphate) which you can learn about here.


The majority of solar homes will probably need to add 3-16 kWh of storage to get the most out of their solar production, depending on a variety of factors. However, many owners don’t yet understand all these factors and would prefer to dip a toe in the water and start small, then build up as their experience grows. Modularity and easy expansion are key strengths of the batteries we offer.

For just under $7,000 you can get started with a 2.9 kWh Storion Smile B3 battery. As time passes, you simply add more units as your energy demands change. The same applies to the larger hybrid Storion Smile 5, Smile T10 or PowerPlus batteries.


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We are happy to discuss our potential involvement in any project you may have.


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