An installer recently contacted us to talk about the performance of a SoNick battery he had bought 8 years ago.
Originally it was purchased as part of a portable trailer system. The battery was utilised in this capacity for a number of years. It was used to supply power in power outages and at events, as well as being used as a showcase of the SoNick battery and what could be achieved in a portable power system.
*** Note: not all batteries are suitable for use in portable power systems due to the risk of damaging their cells due to trailer movements and due to the risk of fire in case of accident or cell damage.
Due to the intermittent use of this trailer, the battery was often left to go cold between uses then heated up again when needed.
- The SoNick battery is a high temperature battery, using molten salt and operates at a temperature of 265 °C (now 250 °C with updated firmware). If switched off, the battery will slowly cool down over a few days and will then remain in an inert solid salt state until a power source is again applied. Once an external power source is applied, either from solar PV or grid electricity the SoNick battery will then heat up to 265 °C. This may take up to 12 hours depending on available power source and ambient temperature.
Although the SoNick battery itself operates at high temperature (the same as your oven) the outside of the battery is cool to touch and would only ever be ambient temperature. This is due to the multiple layers of insulation around the battery cells.
When switched on again, the battery will retain the charge it had when it was switched off. For example, if a SoNick battery had 100% charge when it was switched off it would still have 100% charge when it was switched on again and heated up, even if it was several years later. Letting a SoNick battery go cold and leaving it uncharged has no detrimental effect on the SoNick battery.
- Lead acid batteries and to a lesser extent some lithium-ion batteries will degrade significantly if not kept charged. In fact, lead acid batteries will be destroyed if left to go cold. Car batteries are a perfect example of this, once they have lost charge once their lifespan is halved.
Several years ago, the battery was removed from the trailer and left in a factory. It was then moved a couple of times due to a variety of circumstances.
Recently, the battery was heated up again and the firmware was upgraded. The battery had a charge off 100% with no degradation, just like when it was switched off several years before.
The battery was then installed as a 2nd battery in an installation and has been working perfectly ever since.
The installer wanted to let us know, as he didn’t know of any other battery technology that was robust enough that it could be treated this way with no detrimental effects on the battery.
Although the SoNick battery may have a higher upfront cost per battery, even in large installations, when you consider the lack of degradation, no maintenance, no fire risk, safety of battery and temperature range, meaning no air conditioning required, the cost over the installation’s lifetime is definitely comparable and often cheaper than other battery systems.
If you would like to know more about getting safe, reliable and recyclable SoNick (heated salt) battery storage for your own home, business or micro-grid to increase your energy independence visit us at https://GridEdge.com.au. We have a number of different sized systems that can cater to your budget and energy needs.