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Energy Storage

Energy Storage

We recognise that solar is one of the best technologies available to decrease a organisation demand on the grid and intern reduce operating costs.

Solar enables energy to be produced at the site where it is needed, as opposed to paying for the transmission of power over great distances. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that solar is, “by a large magnitude”, the most feasible technology that will reduce emissions made by producing electricity. This is of paramount importance because decreasing emissions should be the key outcome of any technology that produces electricity.

Energy storage is a “hot topic” at the moment and this is completely justified?

It’s a very exciting time because energy storage in form of batteries is becoming more and more cost effective as each day goes by.

Even here in Australia, there are companies such as Redflow leading the charge on battery storage for the home or business. And of course there is Tesla and other large manufactures like LG, all competing for a slice of the storage market. For our customers this means it is now possible to not only harvest energy but to store it for use at a later time.

While energy storage in many people’s minds refers to batteries, batteries are not only type of storage. In actual fact 99% of the world’s energy storage is in the form of pump hydroelectric storage. This is where dams are used to accumulate water at high or higher than normal altitudes. The water is then passed through a turbine, downstream, and this in turn generates electricity. Another ancient storage technology is the fly wheel. Fly wheels work by using an object with a large moment of inertia, for example, a potter’s wheel. The fly wheel is used to store energy for moments in time when power is applied and assists in obtaining an even power distribution. While pump storage and fly wheels are very proven technologies, they lack the ability of being portable (for the most part). Fuels such as hydrogen, LPG, petrol, coal, etc. are great because they have very high calorific values, or in other words they contain a large amount of stored chemical energy. However, besides hydrogen which produces water as a by-product, the other fuels mentioned all produce harmful emissions. Batteries on the other hand produce no emissions and are much safer than hydrogen. They can be used for a multitude of purposes, from torch batteries to back up power supplies for hospitals.

Batteries work by converting chemical energy to electrical energy (electrochemical). They can do this in many different ways but there are some underlying principles that all batteries share. Most batteries have three parts, the negative electrode, the positive electrode and a liquid, gel or powder that separates the two called electrolyte. The anode or negatively charged electrode wants to give electrons while the positive charged electrode (cathode) wants to receive electrons. The purpose of the electrolyte is to separate the electrodes but allow positively charged atoms to travel to the cathode. This happens because the metals used for the electrodes are made from dissimilar metals and can only work for such metals. One gives electrons and the other receives. To recharge the batteries the chemical reaction is reversed. An electrical current is applied in the reverse direction and this hence reverses the reaction that has taken place in the battery to produce power.

For our customers every case is unique when it comes to energy storage (batteries). We do not intend to oversize a system to receive greater returns but chose to design a storage system that meets the individual requirements of our customers. It is not simply a case of “one size fits all” but rather a more detailed analysis of each customer’s needs. So if you are looking for a comprehensive, well rounded energy storage system look no further than Greenwood Solutions, request a consultation today.

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