Why there’s always room for a better battery

Posted on 28 Apr, 2017 in Energy Storage

What can we do with a better battery?

You'd think that the creator of the lithium-ion battery would've put their feet up and retired in satisfaction some time ago. After all, lithium-ion batteries have been ubiquitous in electronics ever since their commercialisation in 1991, following their discovery in 1980 by co-inventor American physicist Professor John Goodenough. So, job well done? 

Apparently not. According to the 94-year-old University of Texas at Austin (UTA) professor, there's always room for improvement. Goodenough and his team have recently developed a new solid-state battery cell, which according to UTA is safer, charges three times faster, lasts longer and stores more energy than lithium, his original invention. Oh, it's also cheaper.

Goodenough and his team have recently developed a new solid-state battery cell.

While it's likely to be some time before this breakthrough finds commercial use and makes its way into solar systems, nevertheless it highlights the evolutionary potential batteries hold in improving storage and use of solar energy. If you have a solar system for your house or business, and have yet to unlock the benefits of batteries, perhaps it's time to have a closer look at why you should consider battery storage options?

The benefits of a battery system

There are many benefits of storing the energy produced by solar panels, which we've outlined in a previous article. For summary, here's a breakdown of the tangible benefits a solar battery system offers: 

  • Cost-effective. Integrating batteries with solar energy means you make more efficient use of the energy you produce. By saving excess energy produced and using it later, you're drawing less electricity from the grid, dropping your overall power bill. 
  • Consistent access to solar energy. Battery systems aim to counteract the unpredictable nature of the weather, saving some of the energy produced on sunny days, for when the sun disappears behind a cloud.
  • Sustainable, less reliance on the energy grid. By moving your energy usage away from the grid, you're contributing to a lower demand for the fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources that power the grid in the first place.
Battery systems improve what you get out of a solar system.
Battery systems improve what you get out of a solar system.

RK Solar batteries 

So you've installed a solar panel system, minus the batteries. If you're worried that you've missed the boat and will forever be unable to unlock the benefits of energy storage, relax. The beauty of solar batteries, such as RK Solar & Consulting's Enphase battery system, is that you can fit them seamlessly into your existing solar setup.

Perhaps we might see batteries that need just a single, cloudless day to save enough energy to power a home for a week?

Enphase AC batteries are modular 'plug-and-play' systems, meaning that no matter what constituent of elements you are currently running, they can be fully integrated with other products to give you as much energy storage as you need. Performing at 96 per cent efficiency, an Enphase AC battery storage system can be scaled up or down as per your requirement. Enphase AC batteries are among the best, safest and most reliant solar batteries on the market, and yes, they use a lithium-ion phosphate composition to do so.

It will be interesting to see how much better solar batteries might become thanks to Professor Goodenough. Perhaps we might see a future where these batteries need just a single, cloudless day to save enough energy to power a home for a week? The good news is that for people already using an Enphase system, they're primed to use this technology when it comes about. 

We at RK Solar & Consulting are the local experts on all things to do with solar power and its storage. With over 3,000 residential and commercial clients in the Sydney area, you can be sure RK Solar will be keeping a close eye on this exciting new technology.

To find out more, get in touch with the team today.

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