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Advantages of A Solar Battery
1. Battery Backup In Case of A Blackout
If you have a grid-tied solar PV system it produces clean energy during daylight hours to power your internal electrical appliances. Any excess power is fed back into the grid. However, should your utility experience an outage then you will be left in the dark—pardon the pun. Having a battery backup system incorporated into the design of your solar PV system will provide backup power for a limited amount of time.
How much backup power you have though depends on how much power is being drawn from the battery system and for how long. This will also be impacted if it’s day or night as if it’s during the day and power demands will be supplemented by both the PV and battery systems.
2. Increased Self-Reliance On Your Solar System
Unfortunately, solar power only produces electricity during the day when we aren’t home. Most of the electricity we consume in our homes is in the evening. Having a slightly larger solar PV system will allow you to store the excess energy produced in the battery system for use later when you need it. A perfect example of this is in the evenings when your lights are on or you are cooking, using the dishwasher, etc. This approach will also reduce the amount of electricity you draw from the grid and will reduce your electricity bill further.
In the absence of an energy storage system, you would feed the excess electricity into the grid for financial benefit. However, most of the time the feed-in tariff is less than what you pay for energy imported from the grid. So having a battery system will assist in reducing your electricity bill even further.
3. Load shifting For Commercial Energy Storage
The time of use (TOU) tariff quite commonly found in commercial or industrial facilities is increasingly becoming more mainstream for residential utility customers. The TOU tariff charges different kWh rates depending on the time of day and time of year. Typically kWh rates would be cheaper during the day and more expensive at night based on the fact that demand for electricity is higher during the evening time. Load Shifting is the practice of moving energy consumption from peak tariff hours to either period of the day when the tariff is lower or moving the energy consumption to an alternative source. A good example of this is using energy stored in a battery system during peak tariff hours. Note – Peak & off-peak rates are not available in all states of Australia. If you are on a standard flat tariff rate then this wouldn’t apply though.
4. Save More on Your Energy Bills By Storing the Power
Feed-in tariffs were originally introduced by governments to promote and incentivize the uptake of renewable energy as a clean source of electricity production. Since then, though, there appears to be an international trend by governments to reduce the feed-in tariffs. As solar PV approaches the cost of grid parity, the feed-in tariff will probably be reduced further. Many homeowners are not fully benefiting as the feed-in tariff rate ends up being significantly less than the retail utility consumption rate or import tariff rate. Having a battery storage system allows you to store any excess energy for later use and limit the amount of electricity fed into the grid, thereby reducing any feed-in financial losses.
5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Most if not all utilities rely on fossil fuels to a certain extent to produce electricity. This means the CO2 emissions for the grid electricity you use will vary depending on the energy mix of the utility operating in the state you live in. Some states have higher grid CO2 emissions factors than others. Having a solar PV system with an energy storage system will reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Use the Australian government’s EPA carbon emissions calculator to determine your grid electricity’s carbon emissions.
6. Energy Trading or VPP Programs
Fancy being an energy trader and playing with the big boys? Recent advances in AI and blockchain technology have opened a whole realm of opportunities. Reposit Power is a perfect example of a startup that has developed technology enabling an owner of solar PV and energy storage systems to export excess power into the grid and sell it at a premium. It does this by tapping into the National Electricity Market, taking advantage of what was only available to the big utility players before.
Reposit’s unique software puts your energy storage device in constant communication with the NEM so that it ‘knows’ when to sell electricity to maximize your profits, based on parameters such as your home’s energy consumption habits, weather, grid demand, and future energy prices. In essence, you are your own mini power station and micro-energy trader. Expect to see more developments in this space in the near future.
7. Become Part of the Smart Grid Revolution
The electricity grid hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years, but that’s all about to change. Enter the smart grid. Currently, the grid is old and antiquated and doesn’t cater to today’s digital economy. The smart grid will allow the bi-directional flow of information between the utility and its customers. It will be the grid of the future, more efficient, have self-healing properties, provides a bi-directional flow of data in real-time, and include automated and interactive technologies that optimize the physical operation of electrical appliances. Morgan Stanley has predicted that over one million battery systems will be connected to the grid before the end of the decade.
These battery systems will form an intricate part of the smart grid, allowing consumers of electricity not only to import energy but also sell, generate, and distribute their own clean energy into the grid from their solar PV and energy storage system. By having an energy storage system, you can be a part of the smart grid revolution.
8. Become Energy Independent
There’s something about going off-grid that brings a feeling of inspiration and freedom. Not relying on your local utility to provide power but generating your own clean electricity—100% of it. In the past, one would require a large battery bank to provide enough juice to power your house when the sun ain’t shining. Nowadays though, with Lithium-ion battery technology, you no longer require a whole room dedicated to batteries. One does need quite a large solar PV system, however, to cater for all your electrical loads plus a bit extra to charge the battery system. You also need to cater for a certain number of days autonomy for when weather conditions are poor so you aren’t able to maximize your solar power output. Going completely off-grid also means you no longer have to be subjected to ever-increasing electricity costs.