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”→
Climate Change: The majority of Australians agree that climate change is occurring (71 %) and accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause (57 %).
Action: The majority of Australians want Australia to address climate change because they see strong economic, environmental and social benefits and opportunities in the shift to a clean economy (73 %).
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.
It is interesting that everyone is up in arms about the battery standards being introduced into Australia but maybe people should be asking why these standards are being brought in. It is not only government and coal company lobbying.
Yes, lithium ion batteries are currently cheaper and installing them in safer locations will add cost to installing them, however there are already safer battery technologies on the market that are being pushed out of the market due to the cheap cost of lithium ion batteries.
It is easy to say there is a low probability of your lithium ion battery catching fire, (and some lithium battery technologies are safer than others), but if it is your house that burns down or someone in your house that is injured you may be taking a different view on the safety standards.
The thing that is not being addressed here is that a fire doesn’t have to start in the battery due to a fault in the battery for the battery to catch fire; it can start in the vicinity of the battery and then move to the battery. The standards are designed to help the fire brigade protect your property and their members safety by limiting the dangers caused by battery fires that can’t be put out. Continue reading “Battery Standards and Lithium battery fires”→
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. Recycling batteries at the end of their life has a number of benefits:
It enables the recovery and reuse of materials including lead, iron, plastics, aluminium, copper, lithium, cobalt and electrolyte
It diverts toxic and hazardous materials from landfill
It ensures that batteries are managed safely
There may be a financial return (depending on the battery type).
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 at end of life of the battery.
When batteries go to landfill toxic substances can cause damage to the waste stream, waterways, humans and the general environment. This can be nickel, cadmium, lead or lithium ion.
Recycling of energy storage batteries is a current weakness in the industry for many battery technologies.
There are many things to take into account when looking at an energy storage battery for your home or business. These include safety, performance, operating temperature as well as recyclability and environmental impact.
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 its full “cradle to grave” impact on all areas, including its safety during operation and its environmental impact. Continue reading “Cheaper battery prices can have unforseen consequences”→
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.
There is a lack of knowledge on the variety of energy storage technologies, and thus on how to care for and operate them in a safe manner in the domestic and small commercial scale context.
Although battery storage is a low-risk technology, it is important that systems are installed and maintained by an accredited installer, and that industry best practice is developed. Continue reading “Battery safety”→
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. Continue reading “Battery weights”→
Excellent video about the life-cycle of E-Waste. The same principle applies to many of the energy storage batteries currently on the market.
We need companies to be accountable for all areas of their products from health effects of people in third world countries producing products, to toxic products in their use, and recyclability of products at end of life .