Battery capacity depends on user needs

 

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”

Off grid energy usage

 

There are many reasons why people live off the main electricity grid supply. They may live in remote areas where it is not economically feasible to connect to the electricity grid. Usually these communities have relied on diesel generators.

It may be a lifestyle choice where people want to be self-sufficient and take control of their own energy usage.

People that live at the end of electricity supply lines or Swer lines may have a lot of power outages and find it is actually more stable and economical to be off-grid or part of a local mini grid. Continue reading “Off grid energy usage”

GridEdge and the FZSoNick battery

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”

Redflow welcomes safety-first fire rules for batteries

 

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.

Along with GridEdge and many other non-lithium battery companies Australian battery company Redflow Limited (ASX:RFX) has welcomed proposed new regulations that prioritise fire safety for the deployment of lithium-based batteries inside homes. Continue reading “Redflow welcomes safety-first fire rules for batteries”

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”

SoNick battery BMS or Battery Management System

Some Energy storage batteries have a built-in BMS or Battery Management or Monitoring System to monitor how a battery operates and how it talks to the grid. This is an electronic system that manages a batteries function by protecting the battery from operating outside its “Safe Operating Area” both for the batteries health and to prevent any accidents that the battery could cause by malfunctioning.

The internal BMS monitors and controls all charging and safety aspects of the battery. The BMS will also keep you informed of the state of the battery so you can monitor the batteries health.

When integrated with other SoNick batteries the SoNick BMS synchronises the operation of the battery bank so that all batteries work together as one large battery. Continue reading “SoNick battery BMS or Battery Management System”

Fire risk for solar and batteries

Victoria’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade says it may take “Years to understand’ the fire risk posed by lithium ion battery storage

 

The MFB said the solar installations were vulnerable to faults across their systems, including isolation switches, inverters and installed wiring, and from deteriorating components.

The alarming figures come as the solar battery storage industry pushes to kill new regulations that would force homeowners to build a separate “fire bunker” housing for battery installations.

Under draft rules released by Standards Australia, lithium ion batteries are classed as “Fire Class 1” and would not be allowed inside or within 1m of a domestic dwelling. The industry will have until August 15 to respond to the draft regulations.

The safety moves are designed to avoid a repeat of Labor’s insulation batts scheme in which the rapid rollout of roof insulation in 2009 led to more than 200 house fires across the nation, and ultimately four deaths. Continue reading “Fire risk for solar and batteries”

Battery Standards and Lithium battery fires

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”

How much battery capacity do you need?

 

When people start looking at energy battery storage one thing they often ask is I have “x” kW solar on my roof at the moment, how much battery storage do I need?

This isn’t an easy question to answer and there definitely isn’t a one size fits all answer. If someone tries to sell you a battery without asking about your lifestyle and what your needs are then walk away. Chances are they are just trying to sell you their battery and not really working towards what is best for you. The cheapest battery upfront may turn out to be more expensive in the long run if the battery technology isn’t matched to your needs.

The amount of storage isn’t really related to the amount of solar you have on your roof (although it is definitely part of the equation) but it is more to do with how much power you use on a daily basis, how long you want backup power for and what appliances you want to operate from the battery. Continue reading “How much battery capacity do you need?”