People install battery systems for many reasons and likewise people choose battery technologies for various reasons.
For many years people have used lead acid batteries as a known battery technology, particularly in off grid installations. A battery of choice has often been used Telecom batteries which are replaced regularly from telecom installations that need guaranteed UPS (uninterrupted power supply) capabilities. As these batteries are often sold at a vastly reduced cost it is economical for off-grid households to add a large number of batteries to an off-grid system to allow for reduced capacity of the batteries.
Unfortunately, for lead acid battery systems the battery system operates at the capacity of the weakest battery so you are unable to use new lead acid batteries in older systems and would need to replace the whole bank of batteries when more capacity is needed.
Lead acid batteries are well known for having a “falling off the cliff reputation” and degrading very suddenly and quickly, often with no warning. This happens particularly often in cold or hot weather. Coincidentally this is often when batteries are needed the most for heating and cooling. At the same time, most people who live off grid have learnt to manage their electricity usage to only use what is available and to use a generator when batteries are unavailable.
Continue reading “SoNick battery replaces lead acid batteries in off-grid installation – case study.”
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.
Continue reading “Issues with electrical wiring when retrofitting a battery energy storage system”
An installer recently contacted us to talk about the performance of a SoNick battery he had bought 8 years ago.
Originally it was purchased as part of a portable trailer system. The battery was utilised in this capacity for a number of years. It was used to supply power in power outages and at events, as well as being used as a showcase of the SoNick battery and what could be achieved in a portable power system.
*** Note: not all batteries are suitable for use in portable power systems due to the risk of damaging their cells due to trailer movements and due to the risk of fire in case of accident or cell damage.
Due to the intermittent use of this trailer, the battery was often left to go cold between uses then heated up again when needed.
Continue reading “Stability of SoNick battery – case study.”
GridEdge is currently involved in a project to create a Renewable Energy Park at the Radial Timbers Sawmill in Yarram.
This project uses the GridEdge SoNick Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and solar, added to a pyrolysis machine to create a “Bioenergy Cell” that provides power for the mill and further processes residual timber products into valuable bioproducts.
The battery installations are using 4 x 620V SoNick batteries in a SoNick Zebra container.
Continue reading “SoNick batteries support Radial Renewable Energy Park in Yarram”
As we move towards a future that heavily relies on renewable energy sources and sustainable technologies, energy storage solutions play a crucial role. Molten salt batteries, also known as liquid metal batteries, have emerged as a promising option due to their unique characteristics and advantages. They are a type of rechargeable battery that uses molten salts as the electrolyte. Here are some of their benefits:
Enhanced Safety: Molten salt batteries generally have good safety characteristics. Safety needs to be a paramount concern when it comes to energy storage systems. Molten salt batteries excel in this aspect due to their inherent design. These batteries use metal electrodes and a molten salt electrolyte, which eliminates the risk of thermal runaway or explosions associated with some other battery chemistries. The materials used in molten salt batteries are non-flammable and non-toxic, making them inherently safe and reliable. The fact that molten salt batteries use non-flammable and non-toxic salts, further enhances their safety profile.
Continue reading “The benefits of molten salt batteries”
ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is a term that is often used by ethical investors to evaluate a company’s sustainable and ethical performance when they are investigating the long term investability of a company.
A crucial part of our new energy transition is the usage of batteries to store energy, either as backup power, to stabilize the grid or in EV’s. This transition will involve trade-offs and by adhering to ESG principles companies can make sure their governance covers factors that make sure that the net result of this transition is positive from the environment and social angles.
Continue reading “SoNick – the ESG battery”
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.
Continue reading “You Must Do your Homework before purchasing energy storage batteries”
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.
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.
Continue reading “Advantages of SoNick battery for installations”
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.
Continue reading “Using your SoNick battery, energy storage system in winter”
As the world moves towards electrifying the transport system with the utilisation of electric cars, scooters, busses, trains etc. we need to make sure we take into account the inherent dangers of lithium-ion batteries.
It is not uncommon for lithium-ion batteries to catch fire while charging whether they are in phones, computers, work tools, house batteries or electric vehicles. There are many instances of houses and businesses being burnt due to these fires.
One of the issues with lithium-ion battery fires is the temperatures the fire will quickly get to (excess of 1000oC) and the speed with which the fire will spread to anything adjoining it. The biggest issue is that fire brigades are unable to easily extinguish a lithium-ion battery fire. All they can really do is protect surrounding assets to prevent the fire spreading.
6 buses destroyed in UK 230522 – 2 were electric – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10842785/Bus-explodes-Potters-Bar-bus-garage-engulfed-flames-six-vehicles-damaged-fire.html. 2 electric and 4 non-electric busses were destroyed. Believed to have started in one lithium-ion battery exploding while being charged. Fire quickly destroyed that bus and spread to adjoining busses and busses were alight within minutes when firemen arrived. Plumes of toxic smoke could be seen 18 kilometres away. Onlookers likened the ‘unbelievable noise’ to that of an explosion. There were no reported injuries.
Continue reading “Electric bus battery explosion fires”