The concept of clean green electricity from your own home power station once seemed a fanciful dream world, featuring cars that didn’t use petrol and a hand held super computer to check energy consumption from anywhere on the planet.
This future is now reality, thanks to advances in lithium ion batteries and innovators like billionaire Elon Musk of Tesla Motors, the US electric car manufacturer.
His company has evolved from an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, harnessing the same Lithium ion battery technology, to create the ‘Powerwall’, which Musk describes as a “fundamental transformation (in) how energy is delivered across the earth”.
Tesla’s Powerwall is a neat white cabinet, resembling a slim line central heating boiler. It stores energy from solar panels and the night-time grid for use during peak demand hours. It can also take charge from the grid at night, via cheap ‘time of use’ tariffs’, to supplement solar in winter months. It’s a practical and economic way to keep the lights on (and more), save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Green electricity storage is the golden ticket of renewables. “Storage is the game-changer for the way the British power market works over the next decade,” said Simon Virley, chairman of KPMG’s energy practice. “With widespread deployment of storage, you no longer need power stations to be available for the tea-time peak in demand.”
The billionaire Musk undoubtedly likes to think big and is so far delivering. “Tesla is amplifying its efforts to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels to a sustainable energy future with Tesla batteries,” Musk said, “enabling homes, business, and utilities to store sustainable and renewable energy to manage power demand, provide back-up power and increase grid resilience.”
The Tesla solar power storage battery is built at a modestly named “gigafactory” in Nevada. The car industry’s positivity towards electric vehicles has been the prime mover in dramatically bringing down battery costs, paving the way for many families to go off grid.
When you think about a solar power storage battery powering your house, people often imagine something the size of a small car. Not so. Tesla batteries are genuinely compact with proven technology and reliability in one small package. “You don’t need a battery room…A normal household can mount this on their garage or the outside wall of their house and it doesn’t take up any room. It’s flat against the wall,” Musk reassures.
According to IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, general energy storage is expected to reach £12.4bn in 2017.
North and south pioneers
South Yorkshire isn’t normally known for its sunshine but some council houses in Oxspring near Barnsley are already quietly making history. In a £250,000 pilot with Northern Powergrid, lithium ion batteries are storing energy from solar panels for electricity use in the evenings.
In the south west, Glastonbury is pioneering a different kind of power station based on a solar power storage battery power grid at a solar park run by RES, a company with
80MW of lithium-ion battery storage across the world. Glastonbury is its first UK project. “All this only works if it reduces costs for consumers and we think it does,” says John Prendergast.
Making electric car batteries store energy while they’re not moving is another exciting opportunity. By 2025 it’s predicted there’ll be 300,000 electric cars in the UK – but they will be idle 95% of the time. That’s a potential 4GW capacity, available to store surplus daytime energy from solar, to be released back into the national grid at periods of peak demand, The result – Mega savings and no need for new power stations.
The UK currently stores only 24MW, despite the Committee on Climate Change wanting 5,000MW by 2030.
So do your bit: save money, bills and the planet.
At Sogosolar, we are increasingly asked to install battery storage systems for these exact reasons, and these customers can now achieve very high levels of self-sufficiency during summer months.
There are now a number of quality battery storage systems to choose from and we are currently offering products from:
- LG Chem
Sogosolar are accredited installers for
- Tesla Energy
This London property has a 6.7kW solar PV system and a 6.5kW Tesla Powerwall. The graph below shows energy generation, storage and consumption over a one week period during May 2017.
Of total electrical consumption, a hugely impressive 96% was met from on site solar generation combined with battery storage. For the month of May as a whole the system achieved 88% self sufficiency.
This truly is an exciting time for the renewable energy sector. To find out how we can help you move to a more self-sufficient home, please call 0800 0025 833.