Focus on the Solution – Not the Problem

 

Powering the new economy with clean energy

 

Many households and businesses already attach battery storage to their clean energy systems. Now is the time to grow the industry, encourage the take-up of storage and help make Australia a renewable energy leader. With public interest high, now is the time for a targeted, five-year support package to drive down costs and put battery storage in reach of every household and business.

Battery storage can reduce network peaks and troughs by storing electricity during off-peak times and discharging it during the peak. Continue reading “Focus on the Solution – Not the Problem”

Peak shaving to reduce peak demand charges

For many businesses it is important to look at using battery storage to reduce peak demand charges.  Often, even one large energy spike can greatly increase total energy bills with this drawdown increasing the energy charge for all power usage. If the peak demand needed can be reduced then the overall electricity charges can be reduced.

Peak demand usually occurs when several high energy using pieces of machinery come into use at the same time, particularly if this machinery has large initial starting energy draws.

Peak demand is usually calculated based on the highest 15 minute average usage over a given month, even if it only occurs once a month (some energy retailers actually use the maximum usage over a yearly period, again even if this maximum only occurs once a year).  These demand charges are also often charged on a tiered scale with higher charges the higher the peak is.

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What is a Molten Salt Battery

Molten Salt Battery

When it comes to green energy, the intermittent nature of renewable sources like wind, solar, and tidal power presents a difficult problem for the electrical grid management. Peak energy production often doesn’t correlate well with peak energy demand, necessitating a means of storing excess energy when consumption is low. As renewable energy sources become more prevalent, and the need to curb fossil fuel emissions continues to increase, finding a new grid energy storage solution has never been more important. It is the final piece of technology required to bring about wide scale adoption of renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines.

  • What is a Molten Salt Battery?

Molten salt batteries, especially liquid metal batteries, are increasingly gaining interest from the energy community as a grid energy storage solution for renewable energy sources. Combining high energy and power densities, long life times, and low cost materials, they have the potential to meet the unique demands of grid scale energy storage. A molten salt battery is a class of battery that uses a molten salts electrolyte. The components of molten salt batteries are solid at room temperature, allowing them to be stored inactive for long periods time. During activation, the cathode, anode and electrolyte layers separate due to their relative densities and immiscibility. The molten salt layer in the middle serves as an electrolyte with a high ionic conductivity, and is the medium through which the ionic species travel as the battery charges and discharges.

  • Advantages of Molten Salt Batteries

Continue reading “What is a Molten Salt Battery”

So much conflicting information on battery storage

 

When consumers go online to compare different batteries there is so much conflicting information available it is very difficult to get a clear picture of what is available and to understand what is happening in the industry. What is important is you compare similar products and don’t just listen to what salespeople are telling you.

If a product has been in use for a number of years the quoted figures are more likely to be reliable than if a product is new and hasn’t yet been tested in real life conditions. Generally batteries are tested in factories at 25 degrees. This can produce different results than are experienced in real life when temperatures vary widely.

Currently there are no relevant battery standards in Australia Continue reading “So much conflicting information on battery storage”

What is your Energy Storage Battery Size?

 

Energy storage batteries come in a variety of different sizes and weights and each have different characteristics. Here is a comparison of some of the most common batteries currently available in Australia with comparisons of size for a similar sized 20kWh system. You can see from this image that size is not necessarily a good indication of the power that is available to be used in a battery installation. Some batteries have much better energy density than others with the FIAMM SoNick battery having the best energy density of all, although some of the newer lithium ion batteries also have a very good energy density..

If you have a lot of suitable space to store your battery this may not be relevant but if you are limited in space you may want to consider one of the more energy dense batteries. If there is a possibility of moving house you may want to take into account the battery size as well as its weight if you want to move it with you. Continue reading “What is your Energy Storage Battery Size?”

Battery Recyclability

 

One of the things that you should consider when putting battery storage on your home is whether or not the battery will be recyclable at the end of its life.

Often, one of the reasons that people put solar panels on their house and put in battery storage to collect the excess usage is to protect the environment and reduce the need for coal powered power stations.

This can be counterproductive if you choose a battery that is made from toxic materials or has components that can’t be recycled. Continue reading “Battery Recyclability”

Battery Operating temperatures

 

Most batteries will operate, with varying degrees of effectiveness in the 5- 35 °C range so are fine for the autumn and spring operating months, however if you want a battery that will also operate efficiently in winter and summer you need to understand how temperature has an effect on a batteries operating capabilities.

The ambient weather temperatures have a large impact on the performance and on the life of most batteries and unfortunately, it’s a characteristic that isn’t often talked about.

The optimum temperature for most batteries to operate at is around 25°C and this is the temperature all battery testing is performed at. When temperatures vary, either up or down there is an effect on the performance and life of most batteries. Continue reading “Battery Operating temperatures”

Battery Drawdown power

 

Energy storage batteries come in a variety of different sizes and weights and each have different characteristics.  Here is a comparison of the 2 safe, recyclable batteries currently available in Australia, FIAMM sodium nickel chloride (SoNick) or molten salt battery and Aquion salt water battery, with comparisons of size for a similar sized system from some other battery technologies.

Another thing to consider is how much power you can actually draw from the battery at any point in time. Our SoNick battery can draw 150 amps for 4 hours continuously but some other batteries are very limited in the amount of power that can be used, maybe only with enough to boil a kettle and little more. Continue reading “Battery Drawdown power”

Battery weights

 

Different battery technologies are different weights as well as different sizes. This may be relevant depending on where you want to store your energy storage batteries.

Energy storage batteries come in a variety of different sizes and weights and each have different characteristics.  In the above graphic several batteries are a similar weight, however you may need a number of batteries to provide the same output power which could increase the installation size and weight considerably.
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