Thanks to a number of reviews (including Choice of course) it looks like solar cells are a mature tech that is reliable and cost effective but batteries are not there yet for most situations. I am contemplating installing solar panels now and a battery later. This is in anticipation that cost/benefit will improve for batteries during the lifetime of the solar array. I know that this cannot be guaranteed but let us assume for the purpose of discussion that it so.
The background is that I am somewhat inland from the east coast with a similar cloud/sun pattern to Sydney but with a greater temperature range than on the coast. We get 44C days in summer and -6C nights in winter. I am on mains power but it is only moderately reliable. We have blackouts every few months (lasting from 1/2 an hour to 24 hours) due to damage to the network or locally. I have had my transformer replaced 4 times in 15 years due to lightning strikes on or near it and the transformer has survived but needed its fuses replaced for the same reason about once a year. One strike on the transformer set it alight and destroyed several household appliances. Rural Oz has excitement that you don’t get in town. If possible I would like to be able to use the battery during blackouts to keep the fridge etc going - but not the aircon. I have no plans to go off grid.
Assuming that I bought both together now are there potential problems with vulnerability to overload on the mains due to lightning strike? Is there much choice in systems that will function with the mains off? Are there pitfalls there?
I am particularly interested in the pitfalls of the two stage approach. The potential problems that I see so far are:
Compatibility between the array and its ancillary equipment now with an unknown battery in future.
Unless I lock in to the same brand of battery as the rest of the gear there is a risk that if something fails both organisations will blame the other and leave me with a warranty argument and no power.
If there are other issues that I haven’t thought of please mention them.
Aside from getting quotes and allowing salespeople to babble at me where (outside Choice) will I find good information on these topics?