TUESDAY 29 JANUARY, 2013 |
Australia's Storms Build Buzz For Home Energy Storage
Recent and more frequent fierce weather in Australia would be making some Aussie
households think more about acquiring a home energy storage system.
ABC News reported more than 230,000 homes
were without power
on Monday after at least 2,000 transmission wires were blown down in high winds;
another nasty effect associated with ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. These
'once-in-X-years' severe weather events seem to be occurring more frequently.
Whether it's torrential rain, howling winds, lightning strikes, baking
temperatures or even just human error; electricity infrastructure can be
severely affected for extended periods.
For those with grid connect solar power systems; while saving a bundle on power
bills under normal conditions, when a blackout occurs solar households are often
in the same boat as their non-solar neighbours - powerless.
Safety mechanisms built into grid connect solar
shut down energy supplied by a solar panel array to prevent
electrocution risks to electricity company workers attempting to restore
services in an area.
However, there are ways solar households can keep the lights on during a
blackout event. Some choose to incorporate a small deep
grid solar power
system for emergency supply; but the Next Big Thing is the
fully integrated home
energy storage system
Housed in a cabinet the size of a fridge and containing Li-ion or LiFePO4
, these computer controlled systems allow a household to store
energy for use when required. Aside from providing backup power during a
blackout, stored solar electricity can be tapped during peak periods when the
sun isn't shining and mains electricity is expensive; then switching back to
mains during cheaper off-peak times if desired.
Currently around $30,000 for a system that can store a 24 hour supply; home
energy storage isn't within the reach of most households at present, but as has
been the case with solar panels over the last few years, the cost of these
systems is expected to drop substantially in the near future.
Given the increasingly crazy weather Australia is experiencing and coupled with
skyrocketing electricity prices; there's sure to be a substantial market for
residential battery storage systems once that happens.
National solar power provider Energy
says it is currently investigating and evaluating the new generation
of home energy storage solutions, with view to adding systems to its extensive
range of renewable energy products when they become more affordable.
Other news for Tuesday 29 January, 2013
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