Tips to building an energy efficient house

 The Best Form of Energy Efficiency is to Use the Free Energy of the Sun.garage_on_west

There are lots of pieces in the puzzle of combating climate change and every little bit helps and most of the actions taken are by people taking a stand and taking action.

It goes beyond building environmentally friendly buildings with renewable energy, including storage to all aspects of your life including your diet.

There are many features that can be included when designing and building a home to be sustainable or environmentally friendly. The following list gives many features that when incorporated can greatly increase star ratings and make a house much friendlier to live in. As an added bonus, heating and cooling costs are reduced which also reduces the impact on the greater environment.

Different climates will need an emphasis on different areas like window size and insulation so make sure you understand your area when designing your house. The list below works well in the cooler southern states of Australia. Continue reading “Tips to building an energy efficient house”

Interview with John Ballis GridEdge CEO

Below is a short extract from an interview by Tracy Cromwell with John Ballis, the CEO of Grid Edge Pty Ltd:Interview with John Ballis GridEdge CEO

Tracy : Why did you choose the FIAMM SoNick battery as your preferred storage medium?

John B: The FIAMM SoNick battery was chosen because it addressed all of our concerns and was the only battery that ticked all the boxes for a truly ethical and renewable product. We looked for a product that would not only address the needs of today but also what we may require in the future. The FIAMM SoNick battery is 100% recyclable with a recycling end-of-life program already in place and approved by the European Union. As we say “a battery safe enough to store under the dining room table of your home”. This is a battery that can handle a large operating range and can operate under extreme conditions, and also importantly, a battery which doesn’t use any of our precious metal resources.

 Tracy: How do GridEdge storage systems compare on price to other systems. 

Continue reading “Interview with John Ballis GridEdge CEO”

Sodium Nickel and other Battery Technologies

Recently GridEdge showcased our FIAMM SoNick battery to the Traralgon sustainability group and Ian Conibeer gave a To_Store_Or_Not_To_Store-Traralgontalk about the Sodium Nickel battery and many of its characteristics as compared to other batteries currently available in Australia.

Among other things people were impressed with the fact that the FIAMM SoNick battery is 100% recyclable and operates effectively, without any battery deterioration from -20° to +60°C which makes it a much better alternative to other batteries in Australia’s extreme weather conditions.


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What is the Cycle Life of Your Battery?

When you see information about batteries one thing you will often see is the number of cycles Battery_Cycle_Life_vs_Depth_of_Discharge2they will claim to be able to provide in their lifetime. This figure can be anywhere from 2,000 cycles to 5,000 or even 6,000 cycles.

At first glance it might seem that the higher the number of cycles, the better the battery will be but in fact there are many factors that can affect the true number of cycles you will get out of your battery over its lifetime. Generally the more you take a battery below its recommended depth of discharge the fewer cycles you will get out of the battery.

One cycle is taking a battery from fully charged down to its recommended depth of discharge before charging it up again.
Continue reading “What is the Cycle Life of Your Battery?”

Is your battery toxic to you or your environment?

Non-toxic battery

One of the things that you should consider when putting battery storage on your home is whether or not the battery chemistry is toxic either in its manufacture or disposal or in its day to day use.

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.

This can be counterproductive if you choose a battery that is made from toxic materials or has components that can’t be recycled. Continue reading “Is your battery toxic to you or your environment?”

What is the best operating temperature for your battery?


Most batteries will operate, with varying degrees of effectiveness in the 5 – 35 °C range so are fine for the autumn and spring operating months, however if you want a battery that will also operate efficiently in winter and summer you need to understand how temperature has an effect on a batteries operating capabilities.

The ambient weather temperatures have a large impact on the performance and on the life of most batteries and unfortunately, it’s a characteristic that isn’t often talked about.

The optimum temperature for most batteries to operate at is around 25°C and this is the temperature all battery testing is performed at. When temperatures vary, either up or down there is an effect on the performance and life of most batteries.

Depending on the chemistry of the battery different batteries will only operate optimally within a limited temperature range, so it’s important to understand this when purchasing or upgrading your battery for energy storage.

When the temperature starts to fall  below about 15°C, depending on the battery chemistry, the electro-chemistry of the battery becomes sluggish and doesn’t perform as well. In fact, very few batteries operate below 0°C. This is relevant in many countries in Europe, the USA or Canada but not as relevant in most of Australia.

Continue reading “What is the best operating temperature for your battery?”

Energy Storage Growth Predictions

Photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation’s biggest weakness up until now has been its inability to supply power at the times it is most needed.Energy Storage-Growth


This can be addressed with the installation of battery systems that allow households and businesses to store renewable energy for use in peak periods.

The use of both photovoltaics and wind energy is increasing but it is the intermittent supply of both these sources of energy production that will drive the take up of battery storage.

As the price of electricity increases and the price of batteries decrease the use of batteries will become a better financial option for many people, particularly those that recognise the benefits to storing current electricity supply options and reducing the strain on the coal powered electricity generation supply at peak usage times.

However, although many people are saying they will wait until the price of batteries has come down, similar to the massive decrease in solar panels, there have been a number of studies done that prove that this will actually cost you money. When you work out the amount of money you will save on electricity costs over the next few years this will, in fact, be more than the expected decrease in the price of batteries.

  Continue reading “Energy Storage Growth Predictions”

Energy storage forecast to grow tenfold within five years

The global market for grid-connected, photovoltaic (PV) solar installations, coupled with energy storage is predictEnergy Storage Usageed to grow tenfold to reach more than 900 megawatts (MW) in 2018, up from just 90 MW in 2014. Australia can, and should, be a key player in the global storage market.

Forecasts by leading analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance, predicts that Australia will have more than 50GW (50,000MW) of solar capacity by 2040, and more than half of all generation capacity will be “behind the meter” and located in households and businesses.

Photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation’s biggest weakness has been its inability to supply power at the times it is most needed. This can be addressed with the installation of battery systems that allow households and businesses to store renewable energy for use in peak periods.

Continue reading “Energy storage forecast to grow tenfold within five years”