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This topic contains 23 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Trevor Larkum 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #3634

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Home battery storage is going to be the next big development in domestic solar. Germany last month introduced a subsidy for storage if installed with a home solar array, and now something similar is happening in the US – no sign of anything in the UK though.

    US senators introduce energy storage bill

    I also read yesterday of a solar inverter that is coming soon (later this year) that includes a 2kWh battery – and that alone is claimed to increase domestic consumption by 50%:

    Sunny Boy 5000 Smart Energy

    #6336

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster
    #6340

    markd
    Participant

    I think Ecotricity will be heading down this route at some point. The Eco Labs section of their website refers to a ‘black box’ which is set to ‘transform the way we use electricity’.

    Because the nature of their energy production is unpredictable, I suspect they can trigger the storage device to store power when they are over producing and release when they are under producing, thus reducing their need to buy future contracts from others and not being able to sell their surplus at decent rates.

    Would be good if that also worked with my solar panels!

    #6341

    andyfras
    Participant

    I have seen proposals that the energy stored in an electric car could be used to power the home in the event of a power-cut. As we are frequently reminded, there is a strong likelihood of power-cuts in the not-too-distant future, as demand outstrips supply.

    This would require a sizable inverter and a means of accessing the car’s battery output, so would not be simple or cheap.

    http://www.geekosystem.com/leaf-to-home-electric-car/

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  andyfras.
    #7348

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    I am actively looking to buy a home energy storage system (ESS) or possibly make my own (like Christophe Hubert’s DIY ESS).

    I recently tracked the sale of a wrecked Nissan LEAF with a friend at work who also has solar PV. Its battery pack would be large enough to make anything up to half a dozen ES systems. Bidding started at £1k, but we decided to proceed no further once it passed £4k.

    Another one has appeared, so I’ll be watching this one in the same way:

    CoPart

    #7429

    timbo
    Participant

    I’ve been looking at home ESS that have begun appearing on the market. The problem is that they are all still pretty expensive, so the pay-back on investment is long. I guess that prices will fall in time, but with the approach of sunnier months I can’t help wondering if it’s not about time to take the plunge…

    #7447

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    We bid on the second Leaf on Wednesday until it hit £4500, so the other buyer got it for £4550. It was clearly automated, though (like eBay) so it would have gone even higher if we had persisted. However, there was only one other bidder once we passed about £3500 so I think maybe next time we’ll be luckier.

    Christophe’s DIY kit is 500euro without batteries, and he suggests a total of 3k euro for a 5kWh system which is pretty good. However, a Nissan Leaf holds enough batteries for nearly 5 such systems, so could be a really cheap way of building a handful of them. Timbo, would you be interested in buying a chunk of Leaf batteries? Inside the big pack there are 48 small fully packaged cells, so it’s easy to ‘break up’ a pack.

    Battery pack ‘in situ’:

    Nissan Leaf battery pack

    Close-up on individual cells (note the one cutaway to show the internal pouches that make up the cell):

    Nissan Leaf battery cells

    Nissan Leaf battery cells

    Schematic:

    Nissan Leaf battery pack

    Obviously we can’t use a ZOE as a donor since the batteries remain the property of Renault.

    #7912

    mydogisdead
    Participant

    Home storage is expensive I saw the cost of a standalone inverter and battery storage at 12 grand
    http://r.ebay.com/kQXKm0
    While the DIY route seems much cheaper for a 12v 100ah battery at $1300 and $165 for a charge controller from a company that specializes in RV and large off grid systems.
    http://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/
    I was hoping to use a few years after my initial solar install, it makes sense to wait for the cost of lithium batteries to either fall or rise as more and more battery factories come online…

    #7913

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster
    #7937

    mydogisdead
    Participant

    nice links but again I think they are lead acid batteries, longevity is important and so is safety. I was looking for different battery chemistry and think sodium has a better prospect.
    http://triblive.com/business/headlines/3032248-74/aquion-energy-batteries#axzz2MK8wAAyy
    http://www.aquionenergy.com/energy-storage-technology
    While lithium might be just right for a small portable solution ( for camping )
    However I am waiting for prices to fall, as the going rate for batteries is still high or the price per
    Kilowatt storage. We’ll just have to see in a few years…

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