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Energy Storage Systems emerge

New products are making the storage of solar power possible helping to further reduce grid based consumption at peak periods.

The recent agreement at COAG paving the way for the roll out of smart meters heralds the beginning of a move to time-of-use metering across Australian networks. Prices for electricity will reflect the demand on the grid by creating peak period charging at higher rates. During this peak period solar systems are usually not producing peak power due to the angle of the sun and its orientation to the west. Ideally the electricity created during the middle of the day could be stored and then used if the building needs power later in the afternoon, thus avoiding peak electricity charges. Enter Energy Storage System (ESS) technology, coupling smart power controllers with dedicated battery systems.

European manufacturers such as SMA, Schneider and Nedap have created solutions for building electricity storage which can utilise a variety of battery technologies. Solutions range from providing a small period of domestic consumption to multiple days.  These products can control how solar power is used to charge batteries, supply the house or feed into the grid. Additionally the charge in the batteries can be used instead for the grid supply during peak periods, saving during the most expensive power supply periods.

In addition to the smart direction of the power, new battery technology also is becoming available for in building application. Improvements in battery technologies like gel, absorbed glass mat (AGM) and lithium batteries have reduced the dangers and complexities of wet cell battery banks. Large scale development of batteries for the growing electric car also bode well for reducing battery costs into the future.

The opportunity to better utilise solar PV power is being advanced through new technologies and products making the case for going solar more compelling as electricity prices rise.

RFI Solar stock a wide range of ESS and battery products


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