The medical centre was to be refurbished and part of the upgrade was to install a PV system with battery storage. The difficulty was allocating the space for battery storage that was safe for patients as well as staff. As is usual in a medical centre space is a premium and is used for medical related purposes as a priority.
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.
GridEdge is a company that delivers both off grid and on grid energy supply to all levels of consumer demand.
GridEdge has the Australian and New Zealand distributor rights to the FZSoNick sodium nickel chloride battery which has superior operating capabilities, compared to any other battery technology, currently available. The SoNick battery operates at a wider range of temperatures compared to other batteries and has the advantage of being a non-toxic, environmentally friendly battery that is much more compact, compared to many other batteries set up currently on the market or proposed in the near future. Continue reading “GridEdge and the FZSoNick battery”→
On June 14, 2016, four researchers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory were preparing to ship a waist-high, ape-like robot named RoboSimian off-site. The robot had been built to rescue people from dangerous situations that were to difficult for human rescuers. The scientists swapped one lithium-ion battery for a fresh one, then left for lunch to let the new power supply charge.
Unfortunately, the new lithium ion battery malfunctioned and went into thermal runaway. Luckily the researchers were no longer in close proximity to the robot so no-one was hurt, although NASA have said there have been a number of these close calls.
Just like GridEdge’s sodium nickel chloride battery technology Redflow’s flow battery is well suited to Australia’s varying weather conditions and doesn’t have the fire risks that lithium ion batteries do.
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.
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”→