The Effect of Batteries on Energy Consumption

TomMillerTomMiller Registered Users Posts: 2
I would like to know what functions solar batteries perform and do they balance the energy consumption? Thanks in advance!

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  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TomMiller said:
    I would like to know what functions solar batteries perform and do they balance the energy consumption? Thanks in advance!
    Might want to round out your question a bit.

    Is this in reference to the energy they use in an off grid situation?

    ...or perhaps with on Grid energy use, trying to reduce peak cost energy use?

    ...or just battery efficiency in general,  How efficiently they store energy, by type...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • TomMillerTomMiller Registered Users Posts: 2
    Hey Photowhit! Thanks for your reply. I'm interested in the efficiency of the batteries in general. For instance, do they guarantee that the tension on the grid will be balanced? 
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,924 admin
    Hi Tom,

    I think you are out of Armenia?

    I believe you are asking about the Grid--As in the utility power distribution, vs the "grid" of support wires/frame inside some battery types such as lead acid?

    And when you ask about "tension" on the grid, you are asking about how the utility Voltage (sometimes referred to as "tension") is balanced/controlled on the utilty electrical network when solar+"Grid Tied" or Utility Interactive AC inverters are installed on the roofs of homes/businesses/"solar farms"?

    The short answer is that a standard AC generator (technically an Alternator) is a "Voltage Source"... So, within its capabilities, the alternator will regulated the votage on the electrical network... Just like a car battery regulates the voltage in the car's electrical system from ~10.5 to 15.0 volts (dead battery to charging battery).

    And, the amount of solar Grid Tied (utility interactive) AC Inverters are "small" compared to the utility network/generation sources.

    More or less, when the GT inverter generation capacity is less than 5% to 10% of the network total generation capacity, then GT inverters are a "don't care". They produce so little current/energy (relatively) compared to the utility's generators, that they distributed small amount of GT inverters just do not change the overall utility voltage.

    Yes, locally, power normally goes into the home (complicated AC electrical mathematics). And the GT inverters can (and do) generate more power than is used in the home, and flows "backwards" through the utility power meter and even through local transformers. And the excess power is typically consumed by nearby homes and businesses.

    Not to say that GT Inverters cannot cause network problems.
    • In some states like Hawaii and Nevada (and perhaps others), they have stopped installing any more GT inverters. Mostly because the utilties lose money because folks with GT inverters can pay near zero $$$ for their power, while others have their power rates increased to pay for those subsidies.
    • When GT power is over ~5%, it becomes an issue for network engineers to manage the voltage across the whole network... In some regions with high numbers of GT inverter systems, it can raise the local line voltage enough to cause damage to appliances and force the utility to shut down the grid in those areas.
    • If there are too many/too large of GT inverter installations, it can make the utility install larger transformers and heavier distribution wiring to mange the higher current/power from those GT installations (or they may refuse GT installations, rather than redesign/new install of networking hardware).
    • Some newer GT inverters can take "signals" from the utility and cut back on their power output to the grid (frequency is not 50.0 or 60.0 Hz, but is moved +/- 1 Hz or so away from nominal). So the utility can "make the GT inverters" cut back on their power generation and help keep the network up and running.
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TomMiller said:
    Hey Photowhit! Thanks for your reply. I'm interested in the efficiency of the batteries in general. For instance, do they guarantee that the tension on the grid will be balanced? 
    Well, Bill answered for Home batteries. If you were referring to large utility company batteries, that's yet another question.

    They are generally there to help with the fluctuation of the grid due to renewable energy and help maintain voltage as demand increases to enable the utility to 'spin up' generators to compensate for the rising demand.

    Fossil fuel generators don't instantly produce power, but must be fed fuel, or even 'lit off'/started. Their ability to rapidly produce power is minimal, they must be 'ramped up'.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • JaneSmithJaneSmith Registered Users Posts: 1
    edited September 2020 #6
    I can tell from my experience that one of the functions of the solar panel battery system that is really helpful is that it takes control of the time-of-use rates even during the periods, when the power supply is not available. Storing energy is another functions of the batteries, due to which the tension on the grid is balanced. Besides, they guarantee grid independence and solar energy can be used without connected to a power grid. When I was about to install a solar system, I found a (delete spam link), which helped me a lot to make an informed decision. I will share it with you and if you need any further assistance, I'll be glad to be helpful.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,924 admin
    Tom/Jane,

    Please just stay with one login name. This and the relatively spammy link from "Jane" (link deleted)--Looks like this is nothing more than paid spam posts.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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