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FROM A NOISY GENERATOR TO SOLAR BATTERY BACKUP POWER SYSTEM

By | Battery, blog, Renewable Energy, Solar, Storage | No Comments

As the power outages and utility rates increase, it becomes necessary for businesses and homeowners to have a backup system to meet these emergencies.

Currently, many who need backup opt for a generator to meet their needs created by the unexpected power outages. But a generator introduces many expenses and undesirable environment.

With generator backup, many suffer badly from the noise and smelly gases exhausted by the generators. Exhausted gases are not only smelly but also harmful to the environment and create health hazards. Generators also need to be operated monthly basis even when there is no power outage to ensure their proper operation and serviced by a generator company approved service person to maintain the generator warranty.

With the reduction in solar and storage prices solar battery storage energy systems are becoming popular as backup power systems for providing electricity for many applications.

Solar+Storage

With solar battery backup system, the excess energy generated by solar during daylight hours can either be stored in the batteries for later use or sold back to the grid.  Both the grid and the solar array can charge the battery of a solar battery power system.

A generator backup is used only when there is a power outage, in contrast, a solar battery backup power system is used on a daily basis for smart energy management. Solar battery power system allows the user to choose how much solar generation goes into the battery and how much goes back to the grid as well as at what time it is sold back.

The utility rates are different depending on the time of day which means that energy can be bought from the grid during low-cost hours stored in the battery and used during high-cost hours.  Unlike generators, solar battery power system does all these without making any noise or releasing any harmful gases. Many of our customers are thrilled with how well the system performs and how quite their house compare to running a generator.

If you are wondering how much a solar installation would cost to offset the electricity bill, and have peace of mind with a solar battery power system complete the Free solar Assessment request at our website e or give us a call at 416-855-9377. We are one of the top solar energy companies providing solutions that are second to none. We provide solar plus storage hybrid energy solutions across Ontario including Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, Brampton, Vaughan, Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Oshawa, Caledon, Stouffville, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Aurora, Milton, Georgetown, and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

HYBRID ENERGY SYSTEM

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A hybrid energy system usually consists of two or more energy sources used together to provide increased system efficiency as well as greater availability of energy supply. The intensity of solar radiation and wind can change randomly, and electricity generated from these resources will also change randomly without any notice. With the increased amount of power generation from solar and wind, energy storage is becoming increasingly important for reasons including the availability of power, grid stability, energy management as well as demand reduction.

There are many different energy storage technologies – mechanical, pumped storage, thermal – molten salt, and chemical-batteries. Each type of storage has unique characteristics that differentiate them from others, as well as the types of power sources with which they can be integrated.

Chemical storage systems are generally battery-based systems that use chemical reactions to store and convert energy. Battery-based storage systems had been widely in use in many small to midsize day to day applications. Now Lithium ion batteries based storage systems have become the choice for large scale day to day applications.

With regularly rising and tiered utility rates more and more people are choosing to invest in hybrid solar energy systems which provide them with both stable power and energy savings.   In areas where the utility grids are not stable, hybrid solar energy systems are the ideal solution currently on the market. Acting as a backup when the grid is down, and allowing owners to send excess power back to the grid when there is excess energy.

With a solar hybrid system with battery backup, the excess energy generated during daylight hours can either stored in the batteries for later use or send back to the grid.  Hybrid inverters have smart electronics on board that allow the user to choose how much solar generation goes into the battery and how much goes back to the grid as well as at what times.  Smart hybrid inverters also enable the customers to buy from the grid during low-cost hours and send back to the grid during high-cost hours.  Solar alone cannot do this; the battery in the hybrid system is what makes this possible to do all these.

In the case of the hybrid solar PV system, both the grid and the solar array can charge the battery.  The hybrid inverter allows the user to choose how much of either one will flow into the battery.  Some hybrid inverter systems can connect to 3 different power sources, the grid, the solar array, and a generator.  They are each controlled by the hybrid inverter and are utilized based on the user’s settings during commissioning.

We are one of the top solar energy companies providing solutions that are second to none. We provide solar plus storage hybrid energy solutions across Ontario including Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, Brampton, Vaughan, Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Oshawa, Caledon, Stouffville, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Aurora, Milton, Georgetown, and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KWH AND KW

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KWvsKWHRPeople looking for solar options often puzzled with terms kilowatt and kilowatt-hours. Electricity used is measured by kilowatt hour and the solar power systems are sized in kilowatts. This is where questions often come about kilowatts and kilowatt-hours.

So what exactly does a kWh mean and how does it differ from a kilowatt (kW)?

A kilowatt is a measure of how much power (capacity) a device can provide; kilowatt-hours define the amount of work performed in one hour of time or amount of energy used to do that work. A 1.5 kilowatt (1500 W capacity) kettle will boil the same amount of water faster than a 1 kilowatt (1000 watt capacity) kettle. Regardless of the power of the kettles, energy needed to boil the same amount of water is the same. In this case, energy is provided by electricity and the amount of electricity used by both kettles to boil the water is the same.

Energy use and kWh in context

Say 1.5 kilowatt (1.5KW) kettle took 0.5 hours (30 minutes) to boil the water, electricity used = 1.5 X 0.5 = 0.75 kwhr; unit of measure for electricity (energy) is kwhr. We know smaller kettle takes longer to boil the water; how long? We know electricity (energy) used by both kettles are the same; 1 X T = 0.75, T = 0.75 hours (45 minutes), 1-kilowatt kettle will take 45 minutes to boil the same amount of water.

Why kWh matter when you’re going solar

The Net Metering program allows offsetting the electricity purchased from the utility company with solar electricity during twelve consecutive months. To do this as solar energy solutions providers we need to size the solar power system that is able to produce the amount of electricity a customer use in twelve consecutive months. Electricity bill report usage in kwhr, and when evaluating solar installation to offset this electricity we talk about the size of the solar power system needed in kW.

In the earlier example, we talked about how a 1,000-watt kettle will use 1 kilowatt-hour in one hour of use. When talking about solar, the process of converting power capacity (watts) into expected energy output (kWh) is not as simple due to a number of factors. One thing is certain: a kettle will consume power at a constant rate regardless of whether or not you live in Toronto or California, if it’s raining or if it’s placed on a certain type of countertop. Whereas solar panels output is greatly affected by the environment and circumstances it is installed.

Factors such as the angle and orientation of the roof and the amount of sunlight hours in the town solar panels are located will significantly impact how much electricity it will produce. So, for example, a solar panel on the north side of a roof will produce than the same panel on the south side of the roof because south facing roofs typically receive higher sunlight exposure.

Those wondering how much a solar installation would cost to offset the electricity bill, complete the Free solar Assessment request at our website e or give us a call at 416-855-9377.

We are one of the top solar energy companies providing solutions that are second to none. We provide energy solutions across Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, Brampton, Vaughan, Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Oshawa, Caledon, Stouffville, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Aurora, Milton, Georgetown, and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

 

Is Your Solar Panel Installation Battery Storage Ready?

By | Battery, blog, Renewable Energy, Solar, Storage | No Comments

Lithium-ion battery cost has fallen since 2010 and it highly benefits the electric vehicle and renewable energy storage markets. Although Lithium-ion battery costs have fallen considerably, they are still not affordable for many home and business owners. Even if lithium-ion solar battery cost doesn’t fit in your current budget, planning for a solar system with energy storage will be a good idea for the future and save your money in the long run.

Solar+StorageWhy Install Batteries? 
Grid-tied systems are required to shut down during blackouts, even when the sun is shining. This is a regulated safety design feature of grid-tied solar energy systems intended to prevent workers from getting electrocuted while performing repair work on power lines. Unless solar PV system has battery storage, solar system owners cannot use the solar power from the grid-tied solar PV system during power outages.

Installing batteries also enables the use of solar energy when the sun isn’t shining-night and cloudy days. Some utilities also charge higher rates during peak hours and for peak power consumption. Installing batteries allow customers to use stored solar energy instead of more costly grid power during peak hours and reduce peak power consumption. This option is becoming very popular in Hawaii and California, where cost of electricity associated with peak hours is very high.

If you are in the process of installing a solar panel system and want the option of battery storage in the future, it will be helpful to plan accordingly. If the solar system is designed considering storage option in mind, it will be relatively easy to add the batteries to the system in the future.

It is more difficult and more costly to add battery storage in the future if the solar system is not battery ready. Choosing a solar system with an inverter that has battery storage capabilities is one way to prepare for adding batteries in the future. This would enable the solar system to operate only as a grid-tied solar panel system until batteries are added. Therefore, it will be beneficial to consult a reputable solar PV system designer to avoid unnecessary expenses in the future. New Dawn Energy Solutions will work with you to design your storage ready solar PV system.

Thinking to install solar now and add storage later? Contact us for a free consultation at info@newdawn-es.com or 416-855-9377.

Common Battery Types Used in Solar + Storage

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Incorporating energy storage into a solar array is not as easy as just picking a battery off the shelf. Certain chemistries work better in certain environments and storage capabilities are influenced by the solar application.

Lead-acid batteries have been popular within off-grid solar installations for decades. However lithium-ion batteries are preferred choice for solar, EV and residential applications since they have a longer life cycle, lighter weight, and decreased maintenance. In addition, a recent study in the US found that lithium-ion batteries represented more than 80% of the installed power and energy capacity of large-scale energy storage applications.

Lithium-ion batteries are not the only choice for batteries used in solar+storage installations. Here’s a brief rundown of the common storage technologies used in the renewable industry.

Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-based energy storage systems are overwhelmingly the most common storage technology used within the solar market. These batteries are characterized by the transfer of lithium ions between electrodes during charge and discharge reactions. Additional materials, such as cobalt, nickel, and manganese, are inserted into the battery cells and can affect the battery’s performance, voltage, and safety. Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than other chemistries, mostly because of their need for battery management systems to monitor voltage and temperature. The benefits of lithium-ion include long life cycle, high charge, and discharge efficiency, lighter weight, no maintenance, solid and they don’t require refills.

Types Lithium-ion Batteries

There are many different types of Lithium-ion batteries. To name a few: Lithium Cobalt Oxide, Lithium Manganese Oxide, Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide, Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide, and Lithium Iron Phosphate.

Lithium Cobalt Oxide batteries are very stable and small, making them a popular choice for cell phones and laptops. They have a higher risk of thermal runaway and fire danger, which is why often hear news of some cell phones catching fire.

Lithium Manganese Oxide batteries have fast-charging properties and increased thermal stability making them a popular choice for medical devices and power tools.

Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide batteries have high specific energy and stability. But their use of cobalt increases the risk of thermal runaway.

Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries have increased safety, thermal abilities, and a long lifecycle. Since they generate little heat, they can be installed in more unique, indoor applications.

Lead-acid Batteries

Lead-acid chemistry is one of the oldest forms of energy storage and is widely used. Lead-acid batteries are known for being dependable and inexpensive. Lead-acid batteries are heavy because of the materials involved. They have a limited cycle life and are inefficient when it comes to charge and discharge compared to Lithium chemistries. But they’re cheap to manufacture and reliable if it’s operated and maintained properly.

Types of Lead-acid Batteries

Flooded lead-acid batteries must be flooded with a liquid. They require significant care and maintenance. Flooded batteries need to be refilled regularly as the electrolytes evaporate during charging. These batteries must also be housed in an enclosure with enough ventilation to keep off-gassing levels from reaching a dangerous point.

Valve Regulated Lead-Acid batteries are “sealed” and use valves to regulate off-gassing. They require little to no maintenance when compared to flooded lead-acid batteries. There are two categories of Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid batteries – AGM and gel. AGM batteries perform better in colder temperatures, while gel batteries work better in warmer temperatures.

 Flow Batteries

Flow batteries use two chemical components dissolved in liquids separated by a membrane to provide a charge. Flow batteries can be recharged instantly by replacing the electrolyte liquids and store additional electrolytes externally in tanks that are pumped into the system as required. Flow batteries excel in long-duration storage applications and require little maintenance.

Benefits of Solar Energy and  Myths Limiting its Widespread Use

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With prices falling rapidly in recent years, installing residential solar panels system can dramatically trim energy bills. A decade ago, residential photovoltaic (PV) systems costed more than $50,000. However, mass production using new technology has sent prices plummeting more than 60% in the past several years. Today, the average upfront cost of a six-kilowatt solar panel system — one of the common sizes for residential homes — runs between $16,00 and $21,000.

Further research finds that homes with solar PV system have sold for a premium, expressed in dollars per watt of installed solar PV system. Homes equipped with solar power systems on average sell for 3.74% more compared  to non-solar properties. Solar energy is a guaranteed investment that pays for itself. Any upfront costs are paid back from the energy cost reduction (or elimination), and appreciation of property value. Solar customers can expect to see at least 2-3 times return of their initial investment over the life of the solar system.

With all these known  benefits, what is still preventing some of homeowners from choosing  solar energy?

As with any new technologies, there are myths that create doubt in human mind and here are some of the common myth that’s preventing the widespread use of solar energy:

1. Solar Energy Systems are too expensive.
As mentioned above solar system Installations are more affordable than they have ever been in 40 years. Photovoltaic modules cost per watt, installed, started at $32 a watt, now at an all time low of under $3.

2. Typical homeowner will not live in their home long enough to get their solar investment returns.
As mentioned above a solar system actually increases the value of the home. For every $1,000 that has been saved in annual electric costs, your home’s value rises $15,000.00, in addition to the benefit of lower utility cost.

3. Solar panels require constant maintenance.
Typically, the solar panels rarely require any maintenance or cleaning. The rest of the system components, doesn’t require  more than any other electrical equipment.

4. Solar panels do not work in cold, cloudy places/states.
Germany, who ranks low in sunny days, is the solar energy capital of the world. In fact, when the solar panels are cold, they perform better and produce more energy.

5. The solar panels cannot withstand harsh climates (snow, hail, winds, sleet, disasters).
Today’s solar panels are built to code and it can withstand most severe climatic changes in various applications. Also. the color of solar panels is dark which aides in melting snow.

6. Solar systems are unreliable and inconsistent.
On the contrary, solar electric systems can be more reliable than utility power companies. Typical solar modules warranty lasts 25 years or more. They have no moving parts and off-grid systems are not subject to power outages, as energy storage provides continuous operation. In fact, solar technologies are used to power many vital systems: aircraft warning lights, railroad crossing signals, navigational buoys, etc.

7. We cannot use solar energy because I don’t have enough sunlight and no southern roof exposure.
Cloudy areas could still generate energy, but may require more solar panels like BC. East/West roof exposure is also effective based on applications, as well as the use of ground mounted systems.

For many years, these myths have been preventing people from taking advantage of the solar energy. Now is the best time to benefit from affordable solar PV systems to reduce your electricity bill and increase your property values. Please contact us for a free proposal at info@newdawn-es.com or 416-855-9377.

ADVANTAGES OF NET METERING PROGRAM

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We all know that the Ontario government’s Feed in Tariff programs had been phased out but many do not know that Ontarians can still install solar panels and connect them to the grid under Net Metering program.

The Net Metering program provides Ontarians with the opportunity to optimize their energy usage and generate the electricity needed with solar panels on their rooftops. From start to finish, a typical Net Metering installation takes two to three months and New Dawn Energy takes care of the entire process for you from initial assessment to commissioning with skills and professionalism.

New Dawn Energy designs and installs Net Metering systems that allow you to use the electricity from the solar panels to reduce or eliminate your dependence on the utility company. The amount of electricity you can generate depends on the number of panels your roof can accommodate.

You will receive credit for your excess solar electricity production and you can use the credit when there is not enough electricity production from your solar system to get the electricity from your utility company. This means you only pay when your solar electricity credit is less than the electricity power supplied by the utility. The credit your solar power system produce can be carried forward for up to a year.  This means you can create credit during summer months when your solar power system produce more electricity and use during winter months when you solar power system produce less electricity.

Net Metering program allows to integrate energy storage with your solar power system. When energy storage is integrated into your solar power system you get to use most of the electricity your solar power system produce. Energy storage system can also help to reduce peak demand thereby reducing demand charges, provide backup power for you during blackouts and help to buy electricity at lower price time for using at high price time.

New Dawn Energy’s Net Metering system is constructed with high quality durable components from tier-one manufacturers. The components we choose to use are the best in their category hence give you the ability to produce maximum electricity from your roof area and without regular maintenance requirements.

The City of Toronto offers Torontonians Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), which is a low-interest loan program to cover the cost of new rooftop solar power systems and other energy efficient technologies. In addition to low-interest rates low as 2%, repayment terms can be up to 15 years and the loan can be paid off at any time without penalty. If you sell your home and don’t want to pay off the loan, the new homeowner can assume the payments and enjoy the savings from the solar power system.

If you would like to know more about New Dawn Energy’s Net Metering solutions or energy storage solutions, or would like a free quote, contact us by clicking here and submitting the form or give us a call at 416-855-9377.

New Dawn Energy’s Solar + Storage Offering

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New Dawn Energy sets a new standard in clean energy by offering the highest quality pairing of solar + energy storage equipment. This solution is now available to our residential grid-tied and off-grid customers in Ontario and around the world.

New Dawn Energy focuses on quality, performance and customer satisfaction as the keys to enhance the rapid adoption of clean energy technology. New Dawn Energy has identified the best-performing solar + storage equipment to provide the best performing solar + storage systems to our customers.

New Dawn Energy’s systems are smart, safe and the battery technology is warrantied to last longer than most other energy storage systems. By combining solar + storage energy systems homeowners are able to store energy, and manage electricity usage efficiently. Most importantly, they can gain peace of mind with the ability to power their homes and communities with clean energy, even during brownouts, blackouts and extended periods of power outages.

With our high quality intelligent residential storage solution, we are confident in our ability to meet growing consumer demand for solar + storage and further adoption of sustainable technologies by homeowners in GTA and around the world. New Dawn Energy’s all-in-one turnkey energy solutions not only seamlessly integrate into modern and tech-savvy homes, but also provide power to remote area homes and communities in Canada and elsewhere.

Benefits of Solar + Storage

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solar+storageAs our electricity price is low, it is difficult to see the economic advantages of solar + storage. It is also difficult to place value on avoided power outages to make the economics work for solar + storage projects. But we all know that power outages can cause health hazard, economic loss and most importantly immeasurable inconvenience.

Even though power outages are very common in most parts of the world, we have been lucky enough to have minimal of these events here in North America. However power outages are becoming increasingly common in our neighbourhoods in GTA and throughout North America in recent years.

According to researchers recent Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands set a record for the longest blackout in U.S. history. Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce estimated economic losses at a minimum of $20 billion. Some economists say that when the drop in productivity is considered, the number could be twice as that.

These extreme weather events have highlighted the need for more resilient energy systems with backup power. While gas and diesel generators are often used, they are unreliable due to various equipment failures, fuel shortages and they are dirty, noisy, and dangerous.

Solar + storage solution is an alternative that can provide dependable, cost-efficient backup power. Due to high upfront cost, solar + storage had not been the obvious choice for backup power in the past. But solar + storage system costs have been steadily declining in recent years and it has become primary choice to reduce high utility demand charges. With new government incentives, use of solar + storage for emergency backup power in case of blackouts also will become the primary choice.

With electricity rates steadily increasing over the last 10 years, going solar makes financial sense. While providing you much needed backup power, Solar + Storage further helps you to take control of demand charges. Also depending on electricity rate structure solar+ storage can offset energy costs when electricity rates are at their peak.

Going solar with our solar+ storage solution is the best way to take control of your energy cost. Interested in solar or solar+ storage? Contact us.

TYPES OF SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEM INSTALLATIONS

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Written by Nani Pradeepan, P.Eng.

 

Depending on the type of property and where it is located a specific type of solar electric system that best suits for the needs. Depending on where a property is located – in the heart of a city, in the suburbs or in the woods an appropriate type of solar electric system installation must be implemented.

Location is the key characteristic as grid availability and distance from the grid will be determinant in choosing the type of system best for a given property.

There are basically three types of Solar Electric Systems:

Grid Tied Solar Systems, Grid Tied Solar System with a Battery Back-up or Hybrid Power Generator, and the Off-Grid Solar Power System.

Grid Tie Solar System:

This is a very common type of installation for cities and suburbs with close proximity to the electric grid. In this system, the PV installation is connected to the grid and two meters or one two-way meter may be installed to measure the flow of electricity to and from the grid.

In Ontario residents participates in Micro FIT program need to have two meters to measure the flow of electricity and the Ontarians participates in Net metering program need to have one two-way meter to measure the flow of electricity.

The advantage with Grid Tied Solar System is that the PV installation need not necessarily be seized to meet all the needs of a property. If demand surpasses supply at any one time especially in peak hours, electricity is simply pulled from the grid to make up. This situation is reversed when the capacity of the installed Grid Tied Solar System is high enough and produces more than needed electricity. The extra electric power is pushed or back-fed into the grid which produces credits the consumer can then use at periods of low production such as at night to offset their power consumption.

Grid Tie Solar System with Back-up or Hybrid Power system:

Grid Tie Solar System with Back-up system differs from the above described in that it has a battery or power generator to provide power during grid outage. Grid Tie Solar System with Back-up best suits areas without a reliable power grid. Our solar engineer design the system to store some of the electricity produced when production exceeds demand for use when the grid goes down. This type of system can also incorporate an electric generator for the same function.

Off-Grid Solar Power System:

Off-Grid Solar Power System is for locations without traditional electric grid. It best suits for properties located in the woods, mountains or remote areas of the developing world with no electric grid.

Off-Grid Solar Power System also incorporates the battery and the power generator in its design. Instead of using a battery or generator as a back-up as in the previously described system, it is used as a necessary component.

The battery is used to save electricity produced during the day time to use in nights and during rainy/cloudy days. A generator is provided in this case when the battery drains out due to continuous use and in days with no low power production from solar.

Use of these systems depends on location and it is important to note that in each design, convenience and efficiency will vary significantly depending on the use and location.

Now you know more about solar electric system types–which of these would best suite your needs depending on your location? We can help you pick the best solution for your need and location; do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Phone: 416-855-9377