Commercial battery energy storage for solar
When diving into renewable technologies, in this case, solar energy, one aspect often stands at the forefront of conversation: battery storage. At its core, solar energy uses the sun's unlimited power by converting its light into a usable form of electricity.
However, without battery storage, solar energy is only as useful as the amount of sunlight available. In some parts of the world, sunlight is widely available while in others this would cause a significant constraint on solar as a renewable energy source. For this reason, as a renewable power source used in isolation, solar is often not a reliable power source. It is optimised when combined with battery systems that can act as a backup power source that provides a continuous energy flow and gives businesses peace of mind in case of an emergency.
Understanding and optimizing energy storage technology not only amplifies the benefits of solar energy but also paves the way for a more sustainable future with plentiful electrical energy capacity.
What is a commercial battery energy storage system?
At their most basic level, commercial battery storage systems store large amounts of electrical energy for later use. Energy from renewable sources such as solar is stored in batteries that can be used to generate electricity when needed.
At a more sophisticated level, commercial battery energy storage systems can be configured to improve site electrical power quality, act as a site UPS, receive grid system services revenues and manage site MIC/MEC. The results are increased revenue, greater grid stability and lower carbon footprint.
As commercial battery storage systems are designed to store large amounts of energy at one time, they can be used as an emergency backup source of energy when needed. This ensures a quick response time and consistent energy output in the event of a power outage, as these systems can be used to smooth out fluctuations in supply and demand.
A battery energy storage system also enables renewable energy to be sent to the grid. Because of this efficient energy management supply to the grid, renewable technologies can produce power during both peak and non-peak hours, thereby sustaining the electricity network infrastructure. This reduces environmental impact while lowering energy costs.
Commercial battery storage systems have been used for years by utilities to store energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power. They provide an alternative to grid electricity when there is excess electricity from wind or solar power available. They also help with cost reduction of electricity during peak electricity demand times, by avoiding paying grid prices for electricity. Learn everything you need to know about how solar electricity is used to power solar farms here.
Battery Energy Storage for Commercial Solar
CoolPlanet's battery energy storage solutions allow you to save energy generated by your solar array for later use. You can also use battery energy storage to reduce expensive day-rate electricity by charging the battery at night and discharging the energy by day.
CoolPlanetOS, our energy management tool, can forecast the best times to store and release energy, allowing you to save money, avoid excess energy use, and reduce demand charges on your energy bills.
How do battery storage systems operate?
Throughout the daylight hours, battery storage systems operate by harnessing renewable green energy. This means that as solar panels capture sunlight and produce electricity, this energy is directed into the battery storage units.
As a result, instead of immediately consuming all the generated solar power, a portion is reserved and stored for later use. This stored energy acts as a reservoir, ensuring that surplus energy isn't wasted but is saved for times when it's most needed.
The efficiency of battery storage systems doesn't stop at the mere collection of electrical energy; it's enhanced by smart battery software which determines when to utilise the stored energy. Solar production, electricity consumption history, utility price levels, and weather patterns are all factors that battery software should consider.
Avoiding High Energy Charges
One of the standout advantages of battery storage systems lies in their ability to provide significant cost savings for businesses. Particularly during periods characterised by high energy demand, businesses with these systems in place get their reward.
By releasing stored energy during these peak demand times, they effectively reduce reliance on grid services. This action not only helps in stabilising energy costs but also plays a pivotal role in demand charge management (i.e. avoiding expensive demand charges imposed by utility providers).
Benefits of battery energy storage for commercial solar
Site supply back-up/UPS: Your company will be protected from power outages, as your battery energy storage system can continue to supply the site with backup power should an outage occur.
Improved energy resilience: Batteries can be set to automatically provide the site (or parts of it) with a reliable electricity supply during electrical interruptions. No diesel emissions or related refills are required as the site will recharge when the power supply returns.
Lower Carbon Emissions: Batteries allow your site to maximise your use of clean energy from renewable resources, leading to lower emissions related to your site. On overcast days when your solar electricity system doesn’t produce as much power as you need, you can pull from the battery energy storage system instead of the grid.
Electricity price arbitrage/Reduced energy costs: Batteries can be used to store power in off peak demand times when electricity is cheaper. The power can then be used during demand peaks when electricity is more expensive. Wholesale energy prices are generally 200% more expensive at the evening peak versus the night rate. Reduce your use of electricity at peak times by charging the battery at night, releasing the energy at high-price periods (day time), and avoiding peak demand charges.
Maximise use of clean energy technology: By using a solar battery energy storage system in conjunction with solar, you can ensure any surplus energy produced does not go to waste.
Improved Power Quality: When grid-connected, battery energy storage systems can provide ancillary services to improve power quality such as voltage and frequency regulation. Stabilise your electric grid and reduce severity of transient voltage drops using battery current injection. The battery control system (FREQCON) can be set to respond to voltage drops by injecting virtual current into the circuit, reducing the observed voltage drop.
Improved Financial Performance: By utilising your battery during times of peak energy usage on the country’s power grid, you can earn significant financial rewards through demand side response. Eirgrid/SONI pay significant revenues to industrial sites that have batteries as they help them manage the electrical grid during times of frequency deviations. These additional revenue streams generally fund the upfront cost of the battery.
MIC/MEC Management: The battery control system can be set to automatically respond to MIC/MEC limits and begin to charge/discharge to ensure that the battery capacity is not exceeded. Set controls for Maximum Input Capacity or Maximum Export Capacity. The control system will respond and the battery will begin importing/exporting as appropriate based on the battery capacity. The savings gained by not exceeding storage capacity can be very significant in avoiding charges.
Solar Batteries: How Long Do They Last?
Battery duration is typically between 5 and 15 years for solar batteries. However, regular maintenance can have a significant impact on the lifespan of your solar battery. Temperature has a big impact on solar batteries, therefore shielding your battery from severe temperatures can prolong its life.
How does battery energy storage affect peak shaving?
Peak shaving is a simple concept. You can avoid paying expensive utility power costs by using on-site storage to level out the dips and peaks.
You charge your batteries whenever electricity rates are at their lowest (i.e. during off-peak hours or with your free renewable energy) and then discharge them to avoid paying peak demand pricing during the most high-priced times of the day, using on-site storage instead.
This method helps in saving money while keeping your business running smoothly. When it comes to peak shaving, you only pay for the lowest options. On-site batteries, in effect, let you smooth out the sharp fluctuations in your energy expenditure so you can save as much as possible on your overall spend .
Your power system may actively regulate charging and discharging without any direct involvement from you with the right administration and planning. It can do so in real time, this is beneficial to the customer given the pricing changes in response to the rising costs of energy.
In other words, reliance on a solar panel or solar farm to generate electricity is made practical and possible when combined with a commercial solar battery storage system.
How can CoolPlanet help you?
CoolPlanet's battery storage solutions enable energy from renewables, such as wind or solar electricity, to be stored for use at a later time. Don't have any renewable energy sources on site? Not a problem. Reduce your use of expensive day rate electricity by charging the battery at night and discharging the energy by day.
CoolPlanet commercial business owners and large commercial customers benefit from battery storage, bringing you from the design phase right through to installation and grid integration, with financing options included.
We provide solutions that are tailored to your business's needs and budget, concentrating on cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption and cut electricity costs, and carbon emissions.
Our engineering and process team can assist you in identifying and implementing the best energy storage solution for your business. Schedule a call with one of our energy experts today to discuss cost reduction, carbon savings and a payback period for your business.