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Is Your Solar Panel Installation Battery Storage Ready?

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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.

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.

Phone: 416-855-9377