What is Battery Storage?
Well, Battery storage is the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is sometimes called an accumulator. Energy comes in multiple forms including radiation, chemical, gravitational potential, electrical potential, electricity, elevated temperature, latent heat and kinetic.
How does it work?
Grid battery storage (also called large-scale energy storage) is a collection of methods used to store electrical energy on a large scale within an electrical power grid. Electrical energy is stored during times when production (especially from intermittent power plants such as renewable electricity sources such as wind power, tidal power, solar power) exceeds consumption, and returned to the grid when production falls below consumption.
As of 2017, the largest form of grid battery storage is dammed hydroelectricity, with both conventional hydroelectric generation as well as pumped storage.
An alternative to grid storage is the use of peaking power plants to fill in demand gaps.
As people are faced with above inflation price hikes in energy costs by the major companies and publicity increases regarding the risks to future generation of electricity in the UK, those with solar PV arrays are looking into how to store the excess electricity generated by their systems.
We at Lomond Improvements are happy to let you know that we have battery backup options ready to offer.
To enable the battery option to fulfill customers needs we would also need to carry out modifications to the property’s consumer unit. The consumer unit would need to be reconfigured so that high demand loads such as electric showers bypass the inverter/charger system altogether, but this wouldn’t make any difference to the shower’s ability to draw electricity from the PV array itself. Remaining circuits would split in the event of a power cut so that critical loads could be maintained above other less important electrical devices, for example the fridge freezer might be a device that you would want maintained.
How does it benefit me?
The energy stores are used – feeding power to the grids – at times when consumption that cannot be deferred or delayed exceeds production. In this way, electricity production need not be drastically scaled up and down to meet momentary consumption – instead, transmission from the combination of generators plus storage facilities is maintained at a more constant level.
An alternate and complementary approach to achieve the similar effect as grid energy storage is to use a smart grid communication infrastructure to enable Demand response. These technologies shift electricity consumption and electricity production from one time (when it’s not useful) to another (when it’s in demand).
Any electrical power grid must match electricity production to consumption, both of which vary drastically over time. Any combination of energy storage and demand response has these advantages:
- fuel-based power plants (i.e. coal, oil, gas, nuclear) can be more efficiently and easily operated at constant production levels
- electricity generated by intermittent sources can be stored and used later, whereas it would otherwise have to be transmitted for sale elsewhere, or shut down
- peak generating or transmission capacity can be reduced by the total potential of all storage plus deferrable loads (see demand side management), saving the expense of this capacity
- more stable pricing – the cost of the storage and/or demand management is included in pricing so there is less variation in power rates charged to customers, or alternatively (if rates are kept stable by law) less loss to the utility from expensive on-peak wholesale power rates when peak demand must be met by imported wholesale power
- emergency preparedness – vital needs can be met reliably even with no transmission or generation going on while non-essential needs are deferred