What’s My Battery’s Flow Rate and Why Does It Matter?

Don’t just judge battery simply by its size. The secret is getting a battery with a good flow rate as well - here’s why.  

Don’t just judge battery simply by its size. The secret is getting a battery with a good flow rate as well – here’s why.

Understanding your battery’s flow

When it comes to batteries, size isn’t the only thing that matters. In this blog, we’re talking ‘flow rate’ – a term you might never heard of, that could be the secret to getting maximum bang from your battery buck.

What is a flow rate?

Think of your battery as if it were a water tank. Water tanks have the capacity to hold plenty of water, but when it comes time to use it, you need to attach a hose. There is a limit to how much water can flow from the tank at any given time, which is based on the size of the hose. When it comes to batteries, your ‘flow rate’ is the total amount of energy you can use from your battery at any given time.

Are all flow rates the same?

Some lower quality batteries have a flow rate that’s capped at 3kW (3000 watts) per hour. That means if you’re using more than 3kW of energy through your appliances, you will end up paying for power from the grid – even if your battery is full! Higher quality batteries have a flow rate of 4.6kW (4600 watts), meaning they’re capable of supporting more appliances and energy usage without needing to draw expensive power from the grid.

4.6kW of usage would allow the batteries power to the following appliances simultaneously:

  • 15 energy efficient lightbulbs (1.05 kW)
  • 50” Flat screen TV on (0.21 kW)
  • Washing machine (0.9 kW)
  • Two laptop computers (0.2 kW)
  • Electric cooktop on low (1.7 kW)

Want to know how much you could potentially run from your battery? Take a look at the appliance list below.

Ducted air conditioner6.0 kW
Bathroom light/heater unit – Electric1.1 kW
BBQ2.4 kW
Clothes Dryer4.0 kW
Computer & monitor0.1 kW
Dishwasher2.4 kW
Electric cooktop – large hotplate2.2 kW
Electric frypan1.7 kW
Freezer (new) – 200L0.056 kW
Hairdryer1.5 kW
Heater – Large fan/radiator2.4 kW
Kettle2.4 kW
Microwave oven1.0 kW
Mobile phone charger0.005 kW
Pool pump1.1 kW
Pool heater5.0 kW
Spa6.0 kW
Television – large flat screen (3 stars)0.21 kW
Underfloor heating – one room3.6 kW
Vacuum cleaner1.2 kW
Washing machine (warm wash cycle)0.9 kW
Welder2.4 kW
Electric wok2.0 kW
Energy Efficient Lights0.07 kW
Incandescent Lights0.60 kW

*See the full appliance usage guide here

So, what can you do to get maximum bang from your batteries buck?

  1. Make sure you have a good quality battery – the better your flow rate, the less likely you are to be drawing power from the grid.
  2. Understand the energy usage of your appliances – stagger your usage with flow in mind!
  3. Replace your old appliances with new energy-efficient ones.

Keen to find out more? Book a free consultation with our team of solar experts.

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