Run by the sun
Run by the sun

Energy Storage Systems A Great Solution For Homeowners With Solar Panels

Wednesday 01 July 2015

energy storage battery solar diagram
Energy storage batteries are bridging the gap between renewable energy supply and demand by making your home’s solar energy available to you when you need it.

The Solar Trade Association recently announced that the UK's power infrastructure is need of serious government investment as Britain's electricity grid is close to being overloaded. Britain now has legally binding carbon targets to meet by 2020, and whilst there has been no movement from the government to sort the grid out, they are supporting the research and development of battery energy storage systems which are now looking to be a very important part of solar energy is used, generated and delivered.

This post will explain what an energy storage battery is and take a look at few of the products which are currently available to homeowners. 

What is an Energy Storage Battery?

The average home uses more energy in the morning and evening than during the day when solar panels are working at their best. The grid is good at many things but one thing it is incapable of doing is storing energy. This is where an energy storage battery comes in handy. Typically excess energy is often sold to the grid and purchased back in the evening, adding demand to the grid and increasing carbon emissions. An energy storage battery helps to maximise self-consumption by making energy generated by your solar panels available when you need it most.

How do homeowners with solar panels benefit?

An energy storage battery is really enabling homeowners to become more energy independent and get the most out of their investment in solar energy. Because of the price structure in the UK from the feed-in-tariff scheme, it is more cost effective to consume the solar power you generate rather than sell it back to the grid. 

In short, a fitted energy storage battery helps homeowners,

  • reduce their energy waste by storing excess power
  • become independent of the grid. An energy storage battery will provide power during an outage.
  • reduce their electricity bill even further

Energy storage batteries in the market

There are a number of energy storage batteries available in the market. Here are some of the most common batteries available.

Tesla Powerwall

Tesla Powerwall Energy Storage Battery

Such was the hype around the Tesla Powerwall when it launched on 30th April this year, they sold 38,000 units within a week meaning they are now sold out of the batteries until late 2015/early 2016. It's easy to see why. Aesthetically they look amazing - what the iPhone is the to mobile phone industry, the Powerwall is to the energy storage market.

The batteries use the same technology from their electric powered cars and have been sighted as a means for owners of Tesla cars to charge them in the evening. Powerwall comes in 10 kWh (priced at £2,300) and 7 kWh (£1,975) daily cycle models and are guaranteed for ten years. They will power most homes but multiple batteries may be installed for homes with a great energy need.

This is still very new technology and how things might develop is still very much open to debate. However, we have already had our own customers express an interest in the Powerwall.

Maslow Energy Storage

Moixa Technology are the brains behind the new maslow energy storage battery. The company based in London specialise in smart storage and DC technologies and their new maslow product is capable of powering connected electronics and devices via smart USB high power sockets. Smart USB sockets are multi-voltage (5-35v and higher current) suitable for devices like laptops. A retrofitable smart cable identifies what voltage the device needs instead of using a mains AC/DC adaptor.

maslow can also receive power from directly connected solar panels without the need for an inverter enabling small solar installations of 1-3 solar panels to be effective. The batteries come in considerably smaller daily cycle models compared with the Tesla Powerwall, (1 and 2 kWh respectively) however the maslow devices are still more than suitable to power apartments and small homes up to 3 bedroom houses. Run By The Sun will be the first solar energy installer to fit customers in Leicestershire with the maslow energy storage battery.

StorEdge from SolarEdge

Run By The Sun have been fitting SolarEdge inverters for more than 3 years and are our preferred company when it comes to monitoring the performance of your solar panels. Their new StorEdge product is based on a single inverter for both PV and storage and existing SolarEdge systems can be upgraded to the StorEdge solution. Using their cloud based monitoring platform, you can check all PV consumption and self-consumption data as well as the status of the battery.

Conclusion

There is very little to choose between the Powerwall, the maslow and the StorEdge energy storage devices, it's all a matter of preference. In a few weeks we will have already fitted our first maslow battery and we have already had interest with regards to the Tesla Powerwall and StorEdge products.

If you have solar panels and are interested in finding out how you could benefit from an energy storage battery, Run By The Sun are happy to cut through all the technical specifications, media hype and gloss to find the right energy storage solution for you and your home.