If you have already made the investment in some form of renewable energy technology, you will know that the savings can be considerable. However, like us, you may be frustrated that your system is producing energy at times when you are unable to use it. All those lovely sunny days, your Solar PV is generating away, and you’re not at home to use it.

Or perhaps you have seen how good the returns are on Solar PV, but you’re not sure if you will benefit as you’re not at home in the daytime when the sun is shining and making all the lovely free energy?

Just think of the savings you could make if you could store it somehow?

Until now, energy storage has been complicated or expensive, so many people accept that they will lose (export) some of their generated energy.

However, we love that our customers have taken the step towards a cleaner, low carbon future. We’re passionate about finding solutions to help our customers make the most of their generated energy, and we want to make the switch to renewable energy as easy as possible for all of those customers we are yet to meet – people just like you.

We’ve been developing energy storage systems for over 3 years now (that doesn’t sound long, but it’s still a very new industry). We don’t just sell energy storage products, we’ve designed them too, so we know them inside out.

 

Domestic Solar Storage

Is my home suitable?

Storing the energy that you generate from your solar is a pretty new concept. There have been several new products launched into the UK energy storage market recently. The variety of options means there is almost certainly something to suit your home, but the newness of all the information and products can make the decision seem daunting.

Energy storage systems can be small enough to fit amongst your kitchen units, or large enough to take you off-grid. We can help you understand the options so you get something that works best for your home.

How does it work?

If you don’t use all the energy you are generating with your renewables, such as solar PV, you can store the excess energy for use at a later date.

Some systems are a relatively simple, a set of batteries in a box, that can be installed in your kitchen. The batteries charge up with the excess energy and release that energy when you need it. At the other end of the scale, a ‘smart’ energy management system can store your energy in a variety of different batteries, giving you much more flexibility over how much energy you can store and how much to invest in the system.

There are two main types of battery –

  • Lithium Ion (the kind in your mobile phone)
  • Lead-acid gel (the kind in your car… unless it’s electric!)

Lead acid gel batteries have a lower initial cost and are a cheaper technology. If your budget is an issue but space is not, then these could be the best option. Various systems available currently use lead-acid gel batteries.

Lithium Ion batteries have a much higher initial cost, but if they are installed in the right system, they offer a much longer lifespan. If budget is not an issue but space or design are, then these might be the best choice for you. Systems such as Tesla use Lithium Ion batteries.

Some energy storage systems will give you ‘backup’ power in the event of a power cut, whilst some systems will enable your home to work as a completely off-grid system.

 

 

Benefits

If you have solar installed on your roof, and you are exporting lots of your energy back to the grid, then a battery storage system designed to match your usage and export will really maximise the benefits of your existing system.

When you export your excess energy back to the grid, you are paid far less per unit than you pay when you buy energy from your electricity company. The more energy you use from your solar PV, the less you need to buy from your electricity company, giving you the biggest savings possible.

Storing all of the ‘spare’ energy that your generate will enable you to use it when your solar PV has stopped generating – for example when it gets dark. Plus, you will still be paid for all the energy you generate.

 

Incentives

At present, there are no government-backed incentives for energy storage. However, the current domestic FiT system assumes that you will use 50% and export 50% of the energy you generate – otherwise known as deemed export. You are therefore automatically paid a fixed rate export tariff for 50% of your generated energy.

Currently, when you store your energy, you are still paid the deemed 50% export rate, even though you are storing and using the energy yourself. This may change in the future, as and when the Government reviews the FiT scheme.

Some storage systems will store the energy before it reaches your generation meter (this measures how much energy you are generating for your FiT). As there are always small losses in the storage and discharge of energy from batteries, you will potentially lose some of your FiT income over the lifetime of the system. The Wattstor system is currently the only system that stores and discharges the energy after it has been measured by your generation meter.

What happens next

One of our team will come out to your property. We will talk to you about your current energy usage and find out what you’d like to achieve with energy storage – for example, do you want to install a simple system that will make the most of your solar, or do you want to take steps towards being completely off-grid?

Mark regularly meets with fellow experts in the energy storage industry, so we really understand the detail of how to make the most of the energy storage for your home.

We know exactly how to make a system deliver what you want, and whilst we work closely with Wattstor we will only recommend products that can achieve your goals.

 

Maintenance

The recommended maintenance will vary according to the product you choose, but most energy storage systems should be simple to maintain.

Different battery types will need replacing at different intervals.