Blog

Demand Charge Management Tips for the Commercial, Industrial Segment

Storage solutions must be customized to align with the specific power or energy demands of a commercial or industrial customer. It’s no secret that commercial energy users in every industry are seeking to reduce energy costs today and achieve long-term cost predictability for the future as utilities implement increasingly unfavorable rate structures. Energy storage provides a powerful, multifaceted solution to lock in rates and achieve power security. Savings opportunities Energy storage can provide a significant ROI when it comes to utility bill...
Read More

Temperature Considerations in Battery Selection

As is true with solar projects, the range of environments in which energy storage is being applied has grown and diversified significantly. This diversification in deployments means a deeper understanding of the temperature-related performance and safety issues tied to battery selection and storage system design. For solar installers, understanding which battery chemistries and energy storage solutions offer the most environmental flexibility in terms of project suitability is an important advantage in the ability to successfully deploy more storage in more...
Read More

AC vs. DC Coupling: Which is Best for Your Application and Why?

AC or DC coupling refers to the way in which solar panels are coupled with and interact with a battery system. A hotly debated topic among solar installers today is whether AC or DC coupling is the best approach for solar+storage installations and retrofits. The truth is there really is no right or wrong answer. Both approaches have their merits, and the optimal approach depends entirely upon the application. What is AC coupling? AC coupled systems require two inverters: a common...
Read More

Here’s a Crash Course in Battery System Sizing

Get your calculator ready. Depth of discharge As discussed a few days ago on the Fourth Day of Storage, depth of discharge plays an important role when sizing batteries because battery banks must be calculated according to the actual amount of usable energy storage. Check your battery’s warranty for the most accurate statement of its depth of discharge. For example: 80% DoD = 3.5 kWh x .8 = 2.8 kWh 90% DoD = 3.5 kWh x .9 = 3.1 kWh 100% DoD = 3.5...
Read More

The Value Proposition of Energy Storage Without Solar

It’s no surprise that within the solar community energy storage is most often discussed in the context of solar+storage. But what about the potential for energy storage where there is no PV system? Whether you’re talking about residential or C&I applications, the truth is that batteries can help optimize any power generation source including solar, wind, grid power, or fuel-based generators by storing reserves and lowering energy costs, creating energy security for home and business owners. Solar installers know that in...
Read More

Solar + Storage Inverter Selection: Inverter Stacking vs. High Voltage Inverters

Scaling an energy storage system requires stacking both energy (batteries) and power (inverters). Batteries that were designed to be modular can typically be stacked without limitation. However, inverter stacking presents more challenges. The question installers must answer is at what point does it make sense to jump from a multi-inverter stack of 48V inverters to a higher voltage inverter option. Regardless of the energy storage demand, the power requirement of a project’s load profile is the most important factor when...
Read More

Know Your Battery Specs: Nameplate Capacity (10 kWh) vs. Usable Capacity (7 kWh)

A common misconception is that lead acid batteries cost less than lithium-iron phosphate batteries. However, what most fail to consider is that you have to buy many more lead acid batteries — sometimes double, triple or quadruple as many — just to reach the same usable capacity as you would achieve with far fewer lithium-based batteries. How many of these will you need to size a job properly for its lifetime? The misconception is largely due to battery manufacturers touting their...
Read More

Battery Performance: 7 Things in Your Battery Warranty’s Fine Print

Beyond merely setting guidelines for battery repair and replacement, battery Warranties can serve as a valuable buyer’s guide for your next energy storage project. As the old adage advises, “it’s all in the fine print!” Indoor vs. Outdoor Installation Location: If the Warranty specifies coverage limitations related to the temperature in which the batteries are installed, you know that you’re limited to an indoor installation location, which may present challenges in terms of available space in a home or garage....
Read More

Storage Delivers Resiliency and Security Against Growing Threats to Grid Power

With extreme weather events, wildfires, earthquakes and other threats to energy security increasing in number and duration, homeowners from coast to coast and businesses from Main Street to Wall Street are contending with an ever-present danger of losing access to reliable power supplies. Beyond emergency scenarios, utilities in California have also begun instituting “public safety power shutoff” blackouts during high-wind conditions to prevent power lines from causing more fires. A 100 percent solar + storage powered clinic at Burning Man. According...
Read More

Storage Delivers Significant Savings for Both Commercial and Residential Customers

Throughout the United States, utilities are now applying rate structures to residential customers’ electricity bills that have historically been reserved for commercial and industrial customers only. These new rate structures, such as time-of-use (TOU) and peak demand, are significantly increasing electricity bills for residential, commercial and industrial customers alike, and will continue to do so for years to come — not to mention California SB 700, which will result in nearly three GW of energy storage systems at schools,...
Read More