Today battery storage is quickly becoming one of the most easy ways to help a home or small business save more electricity. This can be done very simply with minimal modifications to your existing premises – a battery can be installed that holds a charge generated by a turbine or panels, then releases it when needed. This can help reduce bills by providing an on-site electricity source, which can also be used to charge electric vehicles.
There are several manufacturers and installers of these types of batteries out there, so we thought we’d do a quick explainer on batteries over the years, what they can do, and which companies are currently installing them today.
What Types Of Battery Are There?
Batteries are based on suspensions of metal in an electronically conductive liquid, which stores power via chemical means. The eldest form of battery still in use is the nickel-cadmium, which was first devised in 1899 – with the most major developments of the technology arriving in 1946. This type of battery was popular up until recently, when nickel-metal hydride and newer lithium-ion batteries became more popular.
Today the lithium-ion battery is considered the most popular, most advanced, and most likely to be the emerging market leader. Home battery storage solutions often rely on lithium based batteries, and in conjunction with a home-based way of generating your own power is likely the type that will be installed the most within the next few years.
How Does Home Storage Work?
The simplest way to explain battery storage is that the battery charges from a solar panel, from a wind turbine, or any other input device we may see developed in the future. Then it discharges this power at certain times of day, or into electric vehicles. Due to smart technology all of this can be controlled by the user. On-site generation means lower costs to you, the consumer, but there’s a little more to it than this which can help you understand why these batteries are so useful.
In theory, if every home were fitted with a battery, demand on the national grid would drop, and usage peaks would flatten out. Homes would use less kilowatt hours of electricity that have to be ‘bought’ from the grid, and at the point of supply where power is generated, less overall fossil fuels would need to be burned. Less peaks on the grid mean a more ‘secure’ easy to regulate supply, which lowers the need for maintenance. All in all, a system which incorporates local and decentralized power generation and storage in batteries is a greener, easier to manage system. You can read more about how batteries are being incorporated into our power systems from this national grid press release on battery storage.
Which Battery Installation Options Are There?
Speaking broadly, battery storage is expensive, even for smaller homes and businesses. In some cases you might end up paying £2000-£7000 depending on unit size, storage capacity, and other options, depending on the manufacturer. For home usage, several energy companies now offer a monthly payment plan with their own partner manufacturers, where you’ll be able to pay for the equipment on top of your monthly bill. Energy provider EDF Energy for example has a deal with manufacturer Powervault which costs around £55 monthly.
But for those looking to purchase outright, there is a bit of an upside – competition in the market and the dropping price of lithium is making the technology slowly, but surely, more affordable. While the mining and extracting of lithium is difficult, and some would even say not so great for the environment, lithium production is rapidly expanding. As it does, the availability of large lithium-ion batteries is increasing. There have even been recent reports of lithium extraction being given the go-ahead as close to home as in Cornwall – where local geography contains many of Earth’s available types of mineral in small amounts.
What Should I Do Next?
Battery storage is becoming more and more popular and we’ll be getting better and better at helping you get hold of it as time goes by – but today we’re confident we can help you work out what works best for you right now. If you’d like to learn more about financing options, batteries for businesses, or just have any other queries about how we can help you get battery storage into your life, feel free to get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help as best we can.