One of the biggest problems with the efforts to use renewable energy to produce large amounts of the energy consumed on a daily basis has been its inability to reliably supply power at the times it is most needed. This can and will be addressed more commonly in the future with the installation of battery systems that allow households and businesses to store renewable energy for use in peak periods.
This avoids the need to use the power when you are buying it from the grid at a much higher cost.
With an energy storage battery you can utilise the majority of the output of your solar system and minimise these expensive evening electricity rates.
This is definitely a market that is set to thrive in 2023 and following years, however not all batteries are the same. Most battery suppliers won’t tell you the downside of their batteries and will only tell you the things that are most likely to sell their batteries, so you need to ask questions and compare batteries.
To start with ask for a safety data sheet which is required to point out all the operating conditions of a battery. FZSoNick is one of the few battery suppliers that actually provides this and if you would like to get access to this please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Also consider the size and operating conditions required of each battery. Most energy storage batteries are quite large and may need to be ventilated to make sure no toxic gasses build up. Others need surrounding areas to be protected in case the battery accidently explodes and / or catches fire.
Another major consideration in Australia is the temperature range that a battery can operate within before the battery will deteriorate. The majority of batteries need to be cooled to keep them below specific temperatures so that they don’t deteriorate. This adds to the cost of operating the battery.
When you are looking at the cost of installing a renewable energy system it is critical you take into account all costs involved, including health costs associated with mining components of the batteries and air pollution, environmental costs of coal powered energy production and all production and disposal costs of equipment and the lifetime operating costs of any renewable energy system. These costs are not necessarily easily quantified financially but they remain costs just the same.
There is no point asking for the price of a battery only without looking at the other installation costs.
If a battery installation takes 10 hours the labour costs involved will add a lot to the price compared to an installation that takes 1 hour.
If a battery needs special housing to cater for heating or cooling, fire protection or outgassing this will all add extra costs.
What inverter will the battery work with and what are the costs associated with the inverter. Most batteries only work efficiently with and be covered by warranties for specific inverters.
Can your energy storage system be monitored remotely and adjustments made remotely. If your system requires an installer to come onsite to make adjustments or rebalance a battery this will add extra costs.
Do you want your batteries to provide backup power if the grid fails? Not all batteries will work when the grid fails and even if they do, not all battery systems are wired into your household supply to allow them to provide backup power in case of grid failure. Depending on how they are wired into your existing electric system a number of batteries will supply the building with their stored power but won’t charge from the existing solar if there is a grid power failure.
With respect to price, sodium nickel chloride (SoNick) batteries are competitive today with other battery technologies if you compare on a total lifetime kWh basis. They are compatible from day one for quality lithium-ion systems.
While other battery technologies might be cheaper on day 1 they certainly will not be cheaper over the life of the system. For instance, most lead acid batteries cycle between 500 and 1500 cycles which means that you would need to replace a lead acid battery system from 2 to 6 times more than you would need to replace a SoNick system.
Lithium Ion batteries are more expensive than sodium nickel chloride batteries when one considers the safety, fire suppression, running costs, management and environmental effects of lack of recyclability that is required for this chemistry.
Flow batteries have pumps that will require replacing every 5 – 10 years.
If you would like to know more about getting safe, reliable and recyclable SoNick (heated salt) battery storage for your own home, business or micro-grid to increase your energy independence visit us at https://gridedge.com.au/. We have a number of different sized systems that can cater to your budget and energy needs.