Batteries on the home front getting charged up

Battery storage is quickly revolutionising the way we think about electricity and is a natural and important addition to the future of renewable energy.Battery chemistries have moved on and costs have moved down such that it is now feasible to install such storage of electrical energy for home use, for transport and for commercial premises.

Here in the Hunter, exciting developments of battery and associated technologies are forming a foundation for businesses of the future.Scott Donne at Newcastle University leads exciting electrochemistry research into energy storage materials such as batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells.The ELMOFO batteries from Solar Power Australia can cycle nearly 8000 times down to an 80% depth of discharge.Battery management start-up Batrium Technologiesmonitor the performance of the battery cells, alerting any issues with battery temperatureand providing an additional layer of safety to prevent fire or damage to the batteries.

SwitchDin’s Droplet technology remotely monitors and controls the batteries to tell them when to charge and discharge and responding in real-time to conditions at the site. This smart-grid functionality ensures that the battery be used multiple times during the day, discharging when cloud comes over and recharging if the sun comes back out to further reduce the amount of electricity taken from the grid.

With the help of these innovative products, Newcastle Council has completed its first battery storage trial at Number 2 Sportsground to capture excess solar generation during the day to power some of the stadium lighting into the evening.Learn more at the OEH Energy Storage workshop for business at Warners Bay on June 22 and at the launch of Australia’s first bulk buy campaign for home energy storageon June 23.

Tim Roberts, of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environmentwith thanks to Adam Clarke of Newcastle City Council and Duncan Jinks of Suncrowd

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