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Are batteries the solution?

Over the last couple of years solar was the hot topic when discussing projects. Now battery storage is what everyone is talking about. From large scale projects, to smaller scale installations on the roof of households, commercial businesses, such as factories and now solar shaded car parks! Batteries are the new option everyone wants.

But………………………………… the question is why?

Because the easiest form of renewable generation to install is solar and as solar produces electricity in the parts of the day when prices are at their lowest, there is limited commercial value to the system owners.

In some cases when prices are zero and sometimes negative during the solar hour the end user is better off by taking power off the grid and not using the power generated by the solar.

For commercial sized installations, the operator sells the output over a longer term to payback the cost of development and construction but, margins are getting tight. There is a need to take advantage of the part of the day when prices are higher, to improve the financial viability of the projects. The solution to this is to time shift the solar generation into the times when solar is not available and prices are higher. This is done by storing the solar energy in the battery and discharging in those hours on either side of the solar shape. This is usually when most people are coming home from work.

In small scale projects, such as a household rooftop set up, a 5-kilowatt (kW) system will generate about 12 kilowatt/hour(kWh) per day. This accounts for losses due to site orientation, tree coverage and electrical losses. In some regions the generation output may be higher.

Home batteries are normally sized to approximately 10kWh per day, taking into account that most households with solar installations typically have a net consumption of 5kWh/day. Combine this with consumption and solar generation, which could take up to 3 days to full charge the battery. This would result in households paying for the solar and battery setup, along with paying to import electricity from the grid for their consumption.

There are two key areas to explore regarding battery storage.

1. If batteries become more popular the cost of each battery comes down and makes the commercial decision to install batteries easier.

2. Installation of a control system that can manage the solar / battery operation and optimise the system to the benefit of the end user. (we believe this is the more important decision)

With the installation of 45 gigawatt (GW) of batteries expected in Australia by 2025, there will either be a lot of wasted capital or a great resource to manage the intermittent generation and consumption across the NEM. However, with financial returns underpinning the investment of projects there will be skewing towards technology for the answer.

A serious solution to the dilemma of individuals desiring renewable generation to power their homes or businesses, extracting the value from the renewable energy across the day when the renewable resource may not be generating, and the economies of scale required to make battery storage viable, is the sharing of the renewable resource and storage capabilities across multiple households.

Edge has strategic partnerships in place to provide customised solutions to allow end users to receive the benefits of renewable generation and the use of battery storage.

We are using cutting edge technology to maximise the efficient use of the renewable energy and reduce the cost to end users.

We are installing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations into some of our Strata/Body Corporate schemes, to maximise the use of renewable energy produced during the day from onsite generation. This allows tenants to charge their vehicles overnight rather than charging from the grid.

Contact us to find out how we can provide the solutions to help you save money and the planet.

1800 334 336 OR EMAIL