Your solar power system, whether it’s made for commercial or residential use, has two absolutely crucial components to it: 1) the solar panel arrays it is made up of, and 2) the solar energy storage system that holds the energy generated by photovoltaics for later use.
And because it’s impossible for the sun to shine 24/7, 3651/4 days a year, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is whether the energy made by your solar power system during the day will last you when the sun doesn’t shine.
Efficiency – Comparing Diesel and Solar Energy Generation
Even though solar energy generation systems aren’t exactly new, the solar industry is, at least when compared to traditional energy generation methods, which have been a mainstay of modern life since the Industrial Revolution.
Solar energy production is mistakenly thought to be inefficient. The main reason for this false impression is not because of the techniques of generating the energy, but because solar storage techniques haven’t been developed to their full potential yet.
Solar energy and solar power systems are perfectly able to meet the energy demands of the Australian population, thank you very much. Whether it’s small-scale residential or commercial, no one can say that the amount of solar power produced is not enough.
It’s only natural that renewable energy – and specifically, solar energy – will be compared to the power produced by fossil fuels like diesel and coal. But, the reality is that with the proper solar storage systems – such as efficient deep-cycle solar batteries— solar energy goes much further than a fossil fuel like diesel.
The figures below show how an efficient solar storage system can outdo a traditional electricity grid, energy production-wise. Even more importantly, the massive amounts of energy produced by solar panels and solar cells goes a long way when it comes to sharing the load of electricity demand on a power grid.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
Solar batteries are essentially back-up systems that store energy harnessed by solar panels and converted into electricity. As we’ve explained in Part I of this post, the movement of positively and negatively charged electrons creates an electrical current, which then flows to a battery, where it is stored until necessary.
Deep-cycle solar batteries are so-called because they are able to discharge up to 80% of their stored energy, meaning that they power appliances and electronics in homes much better than other types. If you’re looking for a good battery storage system, a good place to start would be to decide between lithium and lead-acid batteries.
Making Better Battery Storage Systems
The question of whether it is possible to make better batteries for solar power systems has been on everyone’s mind for a while now. In fact, one of the major issues of 2013 in the solar power industry was a call by experts to develop new battery storage technologies. If anything, the desire to use better battery technology is an indication of how strong the possibility of solar power systems ousting conventional sources of electricity is. Even more importantly, solar power systems that come with their own battery storage are becoming more valued in the market every day.
New Technologies, Better Answers
Here’s a quick look at the latest developments in solar battery storage technologies and how scientists are becoming more and more innovative when it comes to using renewable sources to fulfill our energy needs.
1. The Large Scale Zinc-Bromine Solar Storage System
Researchers at the University of Queensland have developed the brand-spanking new Redflow 200 battery system that not only gathers electricity more efficiently, but also feeds it back directly into the grid at peak times, when electricity demand is at its highest.
This means that solar energy can and will meet the increasing electricity needs of Australians fearlessly and head-on.
2. Virus Batteries
The latest innovation in renewable energy batteries actually uses micro-organisms to capture solar energy and store it. The “virus battery” as it is called, uses viruses to charge the positive and negative ends of the electrodes, which coat themselves with cobalt oxide and gold, thus literally charging themselves up.
Their uses, it’s believed, will extend to powering hybrid cars, personal electronics, and…maybe even solar power systems.
3. Everlasting Batteries
An Israeli company has created a solar powered battery that recharges infinitely, thanks to its capacity to directly charge and store the sun’s energy. While the battery is only limited to 8.4 volts of power currently, making it way below the capacity of actually powering even a small solar energy system, it’s the technology behind it that is especially interesting.
If its capacity can be expanded to accommodate enough power for homes, it could revolutionise off-grid solar power technology by completely eliminating the need for conventional electricity sources altogether. Now who wouldn’t love to be able to depend wholly on clean, green, and bright sunshine for all their energy needs?
The Future is Full of Energy
With all the attention that is being paid to solar battery systems, it’s only a matter of time before solar energy becomes the way to power your home or your business.
Conventional electricity grids will likely be sidelined in favour of solar battery backed-up systems. Call us for more information, and to stay one step ahead of the times.