by John Brian Shannon – Originally posted on JBS News
Home Battery Systems augment your energy needs
Home Battery Systems can store electricity from solar panels, lower utility bills, and provide electrical power during utility company power outages.
Ever since lower priced solar panels hit the market it has become obvious that home battery systems are the next step for our modern, but still evolving, energy grid.
Installing solar panels on your rooftop has never been easier as panel prices have fallen by 80% over the past two years and installation rebate programs are generous in many jurisdictions. But getting all that free daytime energy from the Sun won’t do you much good unless you can store it for later use.
Having a home battery system allows you to store the energy that your solar panels collect every day.
Solar power can make economic sense in many locations. But solar with a battery system will rock your world! OK, maybe not rock your world, but it makes a lot of sense if such a home energy storage system can be had for a reasonable price.
Home Battery Systems can make sense even without solar panels
Without a home battery, you can still sell your excess solar generated electricity to the grid if your utility has a net-metering programme. But some of your profit is eaten up when you must buy back some of that electricity after the Sun sets, at a higher price. Yes, every day of the year.
For homeowners, having home energy storage means you could save a lot of money over ten or twenty years if the system is cost-effective to begin with — and a battery system is a wonderful thing to have during utility company power outages.
If you live in a jurisdiction where you can buy electricity from your utility company at a very low rate during certain hours and store that energy with your home energy storage system for later use, that can work for you — regardless if you have solar panels or not.
Peak rates can be $0.38 per kWh (or higher), while off-peak rates can be $0.08 per kWh (or lower) making the peak rate about five times more expensive in this example, than the off-peak rate.
Prognosticating ten or twenty years out, who’s to say what electricity rates may be? There always seems to be a reason to hike the rates.
Your home or business can run on the power from your stored electricity during high electricity rate periods, and sometime past midnight, your system can be scheduled to automatically connect to the grid and recharge itself at the lowest possible rate.
Home Battery systems protect you during power outages
Apart from collecting solar energy all day, or saving money due to electricity rate fluctuations, (or both), having a stored energy system can protect you from utility company power interruptions, especially for those in rural areas or other areas where power outages are common.
For homeowners in rural areas and who may be subject to frequent power service interruptions, having battery backup can make sense, particularly during storms, typhoons, or very hot or cold weather.
Of course, the old standby has always been an expensive-to-fuel diesel generator and the noxious fumes that go along with it.
Emergency service providers, schools, and other important government buildings and businesses could also benefit from such in-situ battery systems. We can look at a veterinary clinic or other examples where uninterrupted electrical power is important. With stored energy backup, electrical power is automatically restored within a few seconds and the vet can continue with the days’ operations on her four-footed patients — just that easy!
SolarCity and Tesla combine forces to offer home energy solutions
It is interesting to note that Tesla is working with Solar City to offer home batteries, using their proprietary Electric Vehicle (EV) battery technology. A fascinating development and one that holds game-changing promise.
- Home Battery System by Tesla.
- Home Battery System by Tesla and SolarCity.
- Recycled Electric Vehicle batteries still have 70% life
GM wants to use old Chevy Volt batteries and give them a second life as home batteries. GM says that even after ten years of powering your electric vehicle, an EV battery still has at least 70% of the power it had when it was assembled.
In many cases, when an EV battery has reached the end of its life in an automotive application, only 30 percent or less of its life has been used. This leaves a tremendous amount of life that can be applied to other applications like powering a structure before the battery is recycled. — Pablo Valencia, GM senior manager of battery lifecycle management
Innovations like recycled EV batteries will pave the way forward to a viable and affordable distributed energy future and are an efficient second-use of this technology.
EV batteries store a huge amount of power, enough to easily power a home for two or three days in the case of a service interruption — and in the case of storing energy for everyday use during peak rate periods, would be well within their capabilities.
Stay tuned, because this story is just beginning!