The word on many a lip in 2022 is 'Batteries'. Whether you are off grid, or you have a grid connect system, one of the main costly investments will be in the battery storage.
The three categories of battery we have are Sealed Gel, Sealed AGM and Lithium-Ion. When choosing your batteries make sure they are the best possible quality and sized correctly for your needs.
Batteries for solar or other home power systems are now typically lithium chemistry based. Some refer to them as Solar Batteries. They are more suited to be discharged (cycled) than automotive lead acid batteries which are made to give out a high current for a short amount of time and then to be quickly charged again by the vehicle.
Deep cycle batteries are also different from standby or UPS batteries which are often used to power telcom equipment and computers in the infrequent event of a power failure.
Battery technology is constantly changing and RPC keep abreast of legislative developments so that when you contact us we make sure you get what is right for your needs.
For off grid systems in 2022 we recommend lithium-ion, the main reasons being;
- Deep discharges of 80-100%
- Fast Charging to 100% capacity (no absorption phase)
- Low self-discharge rate (shelf life of 5-10 years)
- High energy density (resulting in smaller batteries)
- No cell conditioning required
- No liquid in cell (cannot leak)
- High cycle life
- Long warranties
All Lithium batteries also incorporate a battery management system (BMS). The internal battery management system (BMS) ensures all cells are uniformly charged and discharged, as well as providing short circuit, over current, and reverse polarity protection. This provides you with a higher degree of protection than a traditional lead acid battery which is unprotected, and can discharge rapidly under short circuit conditions, causing fire and damage. The internal BMS will also limit discharge and manage cut-off voltage, to further protect the internal cells.
For smaller system off grid customers, we recommend Powerplus, a compact and lightweight lithium-ion battery which has twice the usable capacity of a similar sized lead acid battery
Now let’s talk grid connect; Many home owners are now investigating on-grid battery storage. Adding a battery to your grid connect or hybrid system allows you to not only store the extra energy you harvest during daylight hours, reducing your dependence on grid, but you can also sell this excess power back to the energy retailers, reducing the total of your energy bills. Like we said before; Tech of this sort is changing rapidly, but RPC keep on top of it all for you. The Lithium batteries currently offer the best value for money (for grid connect), and are designed to be retrofitted into existing grid feed solar systems. RPC stocks a wide range of quality lithium ion batteries, suitable for small/medium/large scale household and commercial applications. For grid connected customers, we recommend Enphase and Tesla.
Suffering through power outages can be a thing of the past with battery backup. A lot of our customers are now safeguarding themselves against grid failure by installing a backup battery or batteries to store their excess energy for use in the event of a blackout. Having a hot shower, flushing the toilet, pumping water to the sink, keeping the lights on at night- all achievable with a simple battery back-up system.
The latest tech in battery storage is the Tesla Powerwall, said to have revolutionised solar battery storage. The Powerwall 2 is their most recent offering and RPC have installed one of these on our building. This incredible new generation battery includes a 13.5kWh capacity and an integrated 5kW AC inverter, making it ideal for larger homes, and big commercial applications.
Regulated feed-in tariffs (FIT) are a thing of the past; most energy retailers only offer 6-12 cents per exported kWh (if anything) while charging 35 cents for imports. It is therefore more economical for households to use that home-made power, however solar production peaks during midday, but the demand is in the mornings and evenings. Solar batteries store excess generated solar power which would otherwise have trickled into the grid at a low pay rate. They are automatically recharged when your solar panels produce more power than required by the household; at night or during cloudy periods, electricity is drawn from the batteries. Even small batteries can make a big impact. Environmentally they make a lot of sense.
Home batteries must be installed by a licensed electrician, and ideally by someone who understands batteries.
Speaking of RPC, if you do want to add a home battery to your system, or have yet to get a solar power system, give us a call so that we can offer you an obligation free quote on 0266891430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.