So you may think that battery storage is just for hippies living off grid in the middle of nowhere. In reality battery storage can be beneficial in most homes and businesses.
Before we get started here’s some of the jargon;
kW - Kilowatt is a measure of power 1000 watts
kWh - Kilowatt hour is a measure of energy supplied, used or stored
Peak - Time of the most power demand
Off Peak - Time of the least power demand
Solar PV - PhotoVoltaics are what makes up an electrical solar panel you may see on a building
Grid - Interconnected network which delivers electricity from producers to consumers
Micro generation - the generation of electricity or heat on a small scale
The most cost effective use for battery storage is to accompany existing micro generation such as domestic solar PV. The ideal scenario is for solar PV to generate electricity during the day when you’re at work. The surplus electricity unused by the home can be stored in the battery then used at peak times in the evening when the sun isn't shining and electricity is most expensive and dirtiest.
Having micro generation is not essential. Battery storage can also be useful on a Time of Use energy tariff, which is similar to Economy 7. Time of Use tariff offers cheap electricity at certain times in a 24h period, usually between 11pm and 6am. Battery charging between these times can cost as little as 5p per kWh, then the energy stored can be used at peak times. Battery storage without solar PV will be financially viable within the next couple of years as the cost of Lithium-ion batteries keep falling due to the innovations in the electric vehicle market.
Both Solar PV and a Time of Use tariff will save you money and make you less reliant on the grid. If you already have a Solar PV system it would be advisable to install the battery storage when the inverter needs to be replaced as most battery storage systems have integrated hybrid inverters. Inverters have a lifespan of 5-15 years depending on weathering and maintenance.
Using stored energy at peak times can make the grid less reliant on fossil fuel and non-ethical energy sources such as coal and nuclear. Energy used at peak times is usually supplied by coal and nuclear plants as they can be fired up in minutes to re-balance the heavy load on the grid.
The most well known battery storage is the Powerwall, supplied by electric car producer Tesla who are leading the battery market. A company who has caught my eye are Powervault who can re purpose electric vehicle batteries into home storage batteries. Powervault also offers GridFLEX a platform which supports the grid when it's under stress and pays Powervault customers for providing the service.
Watch this space, Green Wave Electrical will be soon be partnering with a major battery storage manufacturer to bring you the latest energy storage solutions.
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