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Posted On: April 14, 2021

Batteries to boost the benefits of solar power

solar power Batteries

The advantages of having an in-house solar energy storage solution are many. It is vividly explained by Orison, a behind-the-meter (BTM) energy storage company in their simulation works done in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

Orison was awarded a competitive voucher for technical assistance from a national laboratory as they participated in the American-Made Solar Prize, organized by the United States Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The prize offers a total of $3 million to competitors, plus technical support vouchers, to energize U.S. solar manufacturing with a powerful support network including national laboratory researchers. Orison chose to work with PNNL.

“This project is extremely relevant to the electric industry as it clearly reflects how distributed resources on the customer side of the meter have the potential to resolve time-of-use issues and to support greater renewables while keeping service reliable and cost-effective for consumers,” said Eric Clifton, Orison’s founder and CEO.
With its expertise in researching the electric grid, grid modeling, and developing co-simulation platforms PNNL developed a co-simulation testbed composed of interaction between the grid, high-fidelity end-use loads, BTM PV systems, and BTM storage systems with controllers. It is done to assess the impact of controlled BTM storage on load and voltage variability at the customer level. It is found that load-leveling control can be used to reduce load variability either by achieving peak load shaving or by reducing PV export. In both cases, the storage capacity was not fully utilized as the performance was limited by the storage charging-discharging limits.
“The testbed was composed of a grid model and included detailed simulations of individual electricity use in a 10-home, simulated residential neighborhood, representing varying behaviors and multiple other factors, over specific periods of time,” said Andy Reiman, a power-systems engineer at PNNL.

PNNL implemented a time of use-based load-shifting control and analyzed its impact on the customer’s electricity cost. The simulation results show the load shifting control enables between 13% and 26% daily cost savings for the customers while utilizing the full capacity of the storage system during the peak price hours. It is worth noting that peak price hours and peak PV generation hours do not typically overlap. This suggests that a load shifting control with prior knowledge of TOU pricing combined with PV export reduction control could maximize the direct economic benefits to the customers.

The simulation study shows that BTM storage systems have the potential to positively affect customer side as well as grid side performance. The findings will also assist BTM storage system vendors to define revenue-maximizing control algorithms and appropriately size inverter and storage capacity.
The study clearly shows that a home energy storage system benefits the owner by reducing their electricity bills. It is advantageous to the electric company and the grid as well.
Batteries offer great control by leveling the load on the grid. A sudden intake of more energy makes it difficult for the grid operators to manage. PNNL’s simulations found that the batteries were able to reduce peak loads on the grid when households chose to rely on their stored energy during high-demand periods.
Australia is a world leader in the installation of rooftop solar, with millions of Australian households taking advantage of our wonderful weather to generate their own electricity. Now batteries are in vogue.
Having realized that battery is future, Sunbloom has made exclusive deals with industry leading battery suppliers. This enables us to provide premium batteries at an affordable price for our customers. Our solar technician can help you determine the best placement for your solar battery.

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