Energy storage is not a new concept, now it is very simple to add a storage system to almost any existing solar PV array and significantly increase the self consumption of site generated electricity. Recently installed to a local domestic property is a 5kW multifunction inverter/charger together with an 18kWh Lead gel battery pack. The existing solar PV system rated at 6.85 kWp and is controlled by individual micro inverters, which would normally be a system not associated with battery storage. The new technology multifunction inverter/charger together with its associated controls is capable of handling this type of system and performs beyond its design projections.
The self consumption of power has increased on this property from 36% to 78% almost immediately as the system was commissioned. In addition to this, both the installer and consumer has a free monitoring portal which is very user friendly and delivers system overviews together with detailed generation, grid use and battery condition states. In addition, a graphic display unit as shown to the right is also installed for instant on site live status updates.
There are generally two types of batteries used for solar energy storage, Lithium Ion or Lead based variants. In the feature above Lead Gel batteries were chosen by the customer as they had a suitable area in which to locate them, the capital cost is lower and at present, the re-cycling of lead batteries is far easier than Lithium Ion.