Below is a summary of some of the differences between the SoNick battery and other battery technologies.
SoNick will not catch fire
The SoNick battery cannot catch fire or explode. It is the only chemistry UL9540A certified for safety from thermal runaway. This means no risk of fire or explosion, even in the presence of external fire.
All lithium-ion batteries have the potential to catch fire. Depending on the particular lithium-ion technology and safety features included with the battery, the ignition point may change, i.e. the ignition point for lithium ion phosphate is higher than that for lithium manganese cobalt.
If a battery installation is situated next to a building and the battery catches fire it is quite possible for the whole building to be burnt as a result of the difficulties associated with extinguishing lithium-ion fires. Also, when lithium batteries catch fire toxic fumes are given off.
SoNick capacity doesn’t degrade over service life
The SoNick battery doesn’t degrade over its service life. After 10 years you should still be operating at your original capacity.
This domestic installation was designed to run as a grid minimisation installation. Although the grid remains connected it is rarely used.
This is an area with frequent power outages, often for many days so the ability to have power in an off-grid installation when the grid wasn’t available was a major requirement.
Sodium Nickel Chloride (SoNick) batteries were selected as they have the highest energy density of any batteries and are completely safe with no off-gassing or fire risk, meaning there are no safety issues with installing the batteries. As the SoNick batteries operate with no temperature effects and no degradation from -20°C to +60°C there are no issues with either heat or freezing temperatures that are often experienced and the batteries don’t require air conditioning to keep them cool or heaters to heat them enough for them to work.
Lithium-ion batteries weren’t considered due to the difficulty in recycling lithium batteries at end of life and to their inherent fire risk.
Portable commercial office running in off grid situation.
Situated at a crushing plant used to crush concrete blocks for road fill. The portable office is placed near the weighbridge which didn’t have a grid connection to that particular part of site. Connecting to the grid was going to be very expensive and the portable off-grid hut was a perfect solution.
Battery usually discharges to around 50 – 60% capacity each day and is generally fully charged by 12 to 2pm each day.
Installation was easy as batteries could be installed anywhere in the office. As the SoNick battery doesn’t have any gasses given off no special enclosures were needed, unlike lead acid batteries which are what would have been used in this situation previously and would have needed a special room to contain gassing.
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.
When you decide to connect a battery energy storage system to your already installed solar panels there are things that need to be considered that may not become apparent until the actual installation is to take place. These may make installing the battery system much more difficult, costly and time consuming but actually has nothing to do with the actual battery system itself.
When a house is built an electrician will have wired the house and hopefully the wiring meets current electrical standards at the time. However, electrical standards change over time and older houses may not have electrical wiring that meets current standards. Also, particularly with older houses wiring may become damaged or wear out over time.
This domestic installation in rural South Australia was designed to run as a grid minimisation installation. Although the grid remains connected it is rarely used to power the house, although excess power is exported to take advantage of the feed in tariff available.
Before the battery installation this household had a 5 kW solar PV system installed with a Fronius solar inverter.
The battery installation was done in stages as requirements changed.
The original battery installation had one 9.6 kWh SoNick battery with 2 Victron 3 KVa Multigrid inverters and a Victron colour controller for communication.
This domestic installation was on a farm. Initially a portable trailer was purchased. This trailer was used to take out on the farm to provide lighting where needed. This trailer had 1 x 7.7 kWh SoNick battery, a 5 kVa Victron Multiplus inverter and 3 x 250W solar panels. 3 panels are not enough to keep the batteries fully charged depending on how much power is drawn from the batteries. The trailer was then plugged in to the household power supply to recharge the batteries.
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.
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
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.