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.
During summer, when you have an energy storage system on your house, as long as it is sized correctly and you have enough solar PV, you should always be able to fill your batteries to full capacity on a daily basis. You will probably generate excess electricity and export it to the grid, although you will rarely be paid enough to justify this as a useful use of your green energy production system.
In summer, you can generally just ignore your energy storage system and it will cover as much of your power needs as you have designed the system to provide.
However, in winter the situation changes as the hours of solar generation decrease and the sun is lower in the sky, so often produces less PV generation on your solar panels. This is particularly relevant when you have several days in a row of rainy and / or cloudy weather with little to no PV generation. In order to maximise the solar PV available and get the most use from your batteries it may be a good idea to change the way your battery is utilised.
Instead of only filling your battery from solar which is the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to fill a household battery you can fill it using off-peak power then using the battery system to provide electricity to your house during peak power usage times, often 3 – 9pm each day. Not as good as charging the battery with the sun but better than paying peak electricity rates.
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.
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.
It’s great to see the newest installation of the #SoNick batteries in Switzerland by Innovenergy.
This installation is a 540 kWh salt battery storage system and now stands in the basement of MIGROS Schlieren/ZH. The molten salt batteries are 620V SoNick batteries supplied by FZSoNick and inverters by Indrivetec.
The SoNick batteries are charged with a large 806 KW solar PV system.
The purpose of the large-scale project is to save energy costs by optimising self-consumption. The other benefit is to maximise peak shaving which ensures the supermarket doesn’t have a lot of intermittent high energy draws which would increase energy bills substantially.
With many households already having solar PV installations many people are now looking at energy storage systems to upgrade their home energy supply.
One of the most common questions is what battery is best for my needs. There is a lack of knowledge and a great amount of misinformation in the battery storage industry. It is critical to do your own homework and not just believe what salesman / installers are telling you as they are often restrained in their knowledge by the battery brand they are trying to sell.
In an effort to compare battery technologies a company called ITP renewables, in Canberra, set up a battery test site, https://batterytestcentre.com.au/ to conduct longitudinal performance testing of conventional and emerging battery technologies. This is an Arena funded testing facility set up to independently test and compare different battery technologies under Australian conditions for both performance and longevity for a 3 year period. This testing centre was first set up with Phase 1 in 2016 then phase 2 started in 2017. Originally it was for lithium-ion batteries only but now includes other technologies.
The SoNick battery is included in round 3 which started in 2019 and to date showing excellent results. 10 Previous 6 monthly reports are available from the test centre and can be download.at http://batterytestcentre.com.au/reports/
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.
Reef HQ aquarium was looking to add energy storage batteries to their recently upgraded PV system. One requirement of the battery storage was for it to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Reef HQ, near the Great Barrier Reef is a large saltwater aquarium with a strong sustainability ethos. The Aquarium is the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium and has many impressive exhibits, showcasing rare and extraordinary features of the Great Barrier Reef .
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.
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.
With solar PV installations as long as you have suitable
roof space you can install a system and the questions that need deciding are
finding a reliable supplier / installer, working out the size of the PV system
needed according to electricity usage and roof space and the size of the
With an energy storage system it is much more complicated. Among the considerations are;