MIGROS gets the largest salt battery storage facility in Switzerland

It’s great to see the newest installation of the #SoNick batteries in Switzerland by Innovenergy.

This installation is a 540 kWh salt battery storage system and now stands in the basement of MIGROS Schlieren/ZH. The molten salt batteries are 620V SoNick batteries supplied by FZSoNick and inverters by Indrivetec.

The SoNick batteries are charged with a large 806 KW solar PV system.

The purpose of the large-scale project is to save energy costs by optimising self-consumption. The other benefit is to maximise peak shaving which ensures the supermarket doesn’t have a lot of intermittent high energy draws which would increase energy bills substantially.

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Not all batteries are equal

With many households already having solar PV installations many people are now looking at energy storage systems to upgrade their home energy supply.

One of the most common questions is what battery is best for my needs. There is a lack of knowledge and a great amount of misinformation in the battery storage industry. It is critical to do your own homework and not just believe what salesman / installers are telling you as they are often restrained in their knowledge by the battery brand they are trying to sell.

In an effort to compare battery technologies a company called ITP renewables, in Canberra, set up a battery test site, https://batterytestcentre.com.au/ to conduct longitudinal performance testing of conventional and emerging battery technologies. This is an Arena funded testing facility set up to independently test and compare different battery technologies under Australian conditions for both performance and longevity for a 3 year period. This testing centre was first set up with Phase 1 in 2016 then phase 2 started in 2017. Originally it was for lithium-ion batteries only but now includes other technologies.

The SoNick battery is included in round 3 which started in 2019 and to date showing excellent results. 10 Previous 6 monthly reports are available from the test centre and can be download.at http://batterytestcentre.com.au/reports/

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Yarram Circular Economy event – GridEdge report

Recently GridEdge was part of the Yarram Circular Economy event on 23rd May 2021, hosted by Yarram Community Energy. GridEdge in conjunction with Regenerative Resources are working to set up a Renewable Energy Park at the Radial Timbers Sawmill in Yarram with the first stage involving a pyrolysis unit supported by a SoNick battery storage system.

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Reef HQ Aquarium Townsville – Commercial Case Study using SoNick batteries

Reef HQ aquarium was looking to add energy storage batteries to their recently upgraded PV system. One requirement of the battery storage was for it to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Reef HQ, near the Great Barrier Reef is a large saltwater aquarium with a strong sustainability ethos. The Aquarium is the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium and has many impressive exhibits, showcasing rare and extraordinary features of the Great Barrier Reef .

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Not all battery inverters are equal

With the installation of energy storage systems most people look at the battery and concentrate on that but in reality the battery inverter is an integral part of any energy storage system and will dictate much of the energy storage systems operations.

Often when an energy storage system isn’t working properly the fault lies with the inverter and not the battery.

Inverter power is measured in kVA or volt amps.

The battery inverter takes power from the solar PV array (solar inverter or MPPT) and battery which can be of different voltages and converts it to 240V for household of business use.

Solar inverters are designed to work with solar PV arrays and battery inverters are designed to work with energy storage batteries. Hybrid inverters are also coming onto the market that combine both solar PV and battery conversions.

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Questions to ask about installing an energy storage system

Most people that are looking at installing an energy storage system (battery and battery inverter) don’t realise that every installation is different and there is no one size fits all. Installations are very dependent on whether there is already solar PV in place and the current electrical wiring situation at the premises.

With solar PV installations as long as you have suitable roof space you can install a system and the questions that need deciding are finding a reliable supplier / installer, working out the size of the PV system needed according to electricity usage and roof space and the size of the inverter required.

With an energy storage system it is much more complicated. Among the considerations are;

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Battery capacity depends on user needs

 

There are many things to take into account when looking at an energy storage battery for your home or business. These include what you want your energy storage battery to do as well as its safety, performance, operating temperature and end of life recyclability.

Unfortunately many people only look at the initial purchase cost of batteries and this is what they use to compare different batteries. This doesn’t take into account what a battery may cost them over its lifetime or the cost to the environment of both the battery’s manufacture and end of life disposal. To make a realistic comparison of a battery’s cost you need to consider it’s full “cradle to grave” impact on all areas, including its safety during operation and it’s environmental impact. Continue reading “Battery capacity depends on user needs”

Problems solved with battery storage

One of the biggest problems with the efforts to use renewable energy to produce large amounts of the energy consumed on a daily basis has been its inability to reliably supply power at the times it is most needed. This can and will be addressed with the installation of battery systems that allow households, businesses and energy network providers to store renewable energy for use at night or in peak periods.

Solar panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity during the day with maximum generation being between the hours of 11 to 3pm. Unfortunately, for most people unless you are home during the day 80% of this power gets fed back into the grid for very little return. Likewise, although energy generation through wind is now very efficient and cost effective the times when wind produces energy can be intermittent.

Batteries also reduce the amount of electricity that is exported to the grid from rooftop solar during the middle of the day. This has the capacity to significantly reduce variability and stabilise grid supply. Continue reading “Problems solved with battery storage”

Why will I choose energy storage batteries?

 

There are a variety of reasons that people choose to make use of battery storage. In the domestic market the most common ones are to reduce the price they are paying for ever increasing electricity costs by shifting power from their solar panels collected during the day to when it is needed at night.

There are many other people for whom the desire to be energy independent is the driving force, even if they still stay connected to the grid. This may be because of dissatisfaction with treatment from power companies or due to an unreliable supply. Continue reading “Why will I choose energy storage batteries?”