Solar Panel Battery – Why Solar Battery Storage?
What is Solar Panel Battery Technology?
Why Solar Panel Batteries? Solar panels are great, really great. They make electricity from the sun’s energy and once installed, they do it for free for at least 20 years. Solar and other renewables are on track to provide 20% of the EU’s energy share by 2020. For the first time, on Saturday 25 March 2017, electricity demand in Great Britain was lower during the afternoon than it was overnight due to high solar generation.
However, the drawback is that the biggest demand for electricity is 4pm – 8pm weekdays from November – March and you will have spotted the problem with that. It’s generally dark in the UK at these times. Another exciting development – electric vehicles like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf could actually be adding to this problem. People generally drive to work in these cars and then arrive home within this peak demand time and plug their car in to charge it.
Could the answer lie with Solar Panel Batteries? The answer could be “YES!”
Homeowners with solar panels on their roof can charge their Solar Panel Batteries during the day when less energy is needed in the home. Because of the way that solar is set up, it flows first to the house where it’s installed and any excess is diverted to the grid. This energy could be captured in the home and stored in a battery. The Solar Panel Batteries will then provide energy to the home for the evening.
In the graph above, the blue is the solar pv production, the light green is the battery charging and discharging and the grey is the load needed to power the house. As you can see, in this small system, the majority of the load of the house is met by the battery or the solar pv apart from between 4am and 6am.
What are the main benefits of having a solar panel battery storage system?
- Independence from the grid: you can use the energy that you generate on your roof rather than sending it to the grid
- Car Charging: you can charge your Tesla or Nissan Leaf from your own green energy
- No impact on Feed in Tariff or Export Tariffs you are already receiving from the government
For customers who already have solar panels and a working inverter, solar battery storage can be added as a simple, easy bolt on to your existing system. Sustainable Solar Solutions install Mercedes Benz and LG Chem Lithium Ion batteries. These units are around 60cm by 50cm and connected to the homeowner’s inverter via a charge controller.
If you don’t have solar installed, we can install solar panels and a hybrid inverter, which is a charge controller and inverter combined, together with the battery. We recommend the Goodwe Hybrid Inverter in this instance and an LG Chem or Mercedes Benz Solar Panel Batteries.
Solar Panel Battery News
Household Batteries – the key to UK’s new energy strategy?
The Solar Panel Battery is set to change everything… According to a recent article in The Guardian, Solar Batteries and renewable power sources such as solar photovoltaic panels are on the brink of what has been described as an “epochal transformation” of the UK energy market that could mean clean, cheap and abundant energy, according to cabinet minister and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark.
The UK is set to to drive ahead with energy innovation using solar batteries in homes as the energy department announces research funding of £246m. Greg Clark is quoted as having told the Guardian that
..a smarter grid would “radically” bring down bills.”Energy, for the last 100 years, for good reasons, we’ve rationed the consumption of [because] it’s been very expensive and environmentally-damaging to consume fossil fuels. [But] given the possibilities we are on the cusp of at the moment, we might move to a world where energy is clean and abundant,” said the business secretary.
Storing intermittent renewable power in batteries so it was ready when the grid needed it would bring down costs for everyone, including vulnerable and low income energy consumers, he said.
“If only we can capture it [power from the sun and wind] then we can go from energy being a worrying cost to people, to being, if not free, then very cheap,” Clark is reported to have said while speaking in Birmingham as he put energy at the centre of the government’s industrial strategy.
The renewables sector has grown from representing next to nothing in terms of power generation just a decade ago right through to supplying a staggering 25% + of the UK’s power in 2017. These technologies are expected to further increase their contribution share even further with resultant fall in costs till they reach subsidy-free levels.
Till now, however, the variable nature of the wind and sun for purposes of continual power generation has meant that both local energy networks and National Grid have needed greater flexibility in order to cope with those fluctuations of supply.
The ingenious Solar Panel Battery, and the opportunity for the energy firms to reduce electricity demand from collaborating businesses and households, are at the centre of the plan which has been published by Ofgem and the government.
Ofgem predicts that this technology would save consumers £17bn-£40bn by 2050 by flattening out peak demand and hence avoiding the cost and need for reinforcements to energy networks. The energy regulator said that the changes to energy regulation that were announced, and which will become effective over the next year and a half, would also encourage new, tech start-ups into the energy market.
An associate partner at Ofgem, Andrew Burgess, highlighted the value of new smart appliances which will be able to automatically reduce electricity used at peak times. The proposed changes will in theory make it much easier for companies to trade services by aggregating energy from homes fitted with solar panels or batteries, then selling domestically generated electricity to power grids at times of need.
“For individual consumers, I think the opportunities are for businesses coming in, for the Amazons and Netflixes of the world coming into a traditional sector and offering different ways for consumers to engage” Burgess is quoted as having said.
The “Smart Grid” plans were unveiled as government ministers launched the Faraday Challenge, in which they pledged £246m of funding for continued battery research, with £45m of that to be used to create a National Battery Institute. It is envisaged that this National Battery Institute will take the form of a virtual grouping of universities across the UK collaborating towards improvements in battery technology.
“Its work will quite literally power the automotive and energy revolution, where the UK is already leading the world” said Clark.
Michael Faraday was the scientist who carried out the early groundbreaking work on electricity. To mark the 150th anniversary Faraday’s death Clark added that the national battery centre would be a fitting way to commemorate this great pioneer.
This push on smart grid and batteries has been welcomed by the the energy industry, green groups and car markers alike. It was noted by Phil Sheppard, National Grid’s head of network strategy that “Today’s report provides clear direction on how we move to a secure, low carbon, flexible energy system, using efficiency and innovation to help keep costs down for bill payers.” This from the strategic body that already runs schemes where businesses are paid to turn down electricity consumption when demand peaks.
Energy generation does not stand apart from environmental policy and positive outcomes, with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) saying these moves which include solar panel battery use would accelerate the rollout of renewables and electric cars. Gareth Redmond-King, the WWF’s head of energy, is quoted as having said said: “Battery storage is a clear game-changer in our ability to produce clean power from renewables.”
Nissan, the innovative car manufacturer and producer of the Leaf electric car in Sunderland, commented that the government plans, in combination with having more cars plugged into the grid, would have “a fundamental impact on the shift from fossil fuels to renewables”.
Don’t get left behind!
But some commentators within the industry have said that whilst the coming changes were necessary, there was a very real risk of the creation a two-tier energy system. In this new energy landscape there would be haves and have-nots, if suitable protections were not put in place. Clark in response to this suggestion was adamant plans would likely reduce rather than increase the inequality in the energy market.
“[There] should not be a class of people who are excluded from these possibilities on the way to a big, abundant future,” he said. He added that he would make it quite clear to energy suppliers that they were under an obligation to help to provide vulnerable customers with access to these new technologies.
Taking a different position, Jon Ferris from Utilitywise commented:
“Today’s announcements will be transformational for the energy sector, but are not a panacea for the challenges of maximising energy productivity and accommodating increasing renewable generation. Some domestic consumers may save money, but there is a risk that only consumers able to afford new appliances, solar photovoltaics and storage will benefit.“
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