Have you thought about getting a home energy storage system installed on your home? Nowadays it has become a more popular, economical, and sustainable way of life. Let’s know something about home energy storage!
What is energy storage?
Just like the batteries in your phone or laptop, energy storage is a way of capturing electricity and saving it for later use.
It is important for the future of renewable energy because it means we can store the energy created during times of high winds or sunshine. And there are a few different ways of doing that – including giant electrochemical batteries, hydro storage (which stores energy by pumping water uphill), or thermal energy storage (which holds onto energy as heat).
What about energy storage in the home? Batteries are becoming an increasingly popular way of storing the energy people generate at home from their solar panels or other renewable sources. For those on Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariffs, energy storage can also create a way to “buy” energy from the grid when it’s cheapest, and save it for use during peak hours.
At present, there are fewer options for home energy storage, because there’s a bit less space in your house than there is on a wind farm! Lithium-ion batteries are one option, and thermal energy storage is another.
What benefits does home energy storage have?
- It’s efficient, which is great for the environment. The more you’re able to store and use renewable electricity, the less electricity you’ll have to take from the grid. That’s a win for sustainability.
- Lower electricity bills. Being less reliant on the National Grid also means lower bills, which always deserves a celebration!
- Make your home smarter. Many batteries now offer an online portal so that you can track your home energy online, therefore you always know how much you have stored. Heat storage systems are also becoming smarter. Some storage heaters even use weather forecasts to plan their days! Combined with a smart meter, you’ll always be informed when it comes to how much electricity you’re generating, how much you’re using, and how much you can export to the National Grid.
- You can still make money from the electricity you don’t use. If you’re currently getting Feed-In Tariff (FiT) payments for exporting electricity from your renewable energy to the grid, these may not be influenced by your energy storage system. Applications for FiT payments closed in 2019 and were replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Under this scheme, you could make the best of a flexible tariff to export your electricity.
- You could get back-up electricity in a power cut. Some electric batteries can give you backup power – but once a power cut occurs, not every home battery will be able to. This is because you’d need a lot of storage and some complicated wiring. However, home energy storage makes backup electricity possible in the event of a power cut.
What are the systems for home energy storage?
There are 2 common kinds of energy storage systems that store power in the form of heat.
- Thermal energy storage
If you already have a hot water tank or cylinder next to your trusty boiler, you’ll be familiar with how thermal energy storage works. Like a hot water bottle, it keeps the energy in the form of hot water.
- Heat batteries
Heat batteries are an innovative block when it comes to thermal energy storage. They store energy as something called “latent heat”. Because there’s less water involved, there’s also less risk of growing bacteria in a heat battery – and no risk of it leaking into the rest of your house. Heat batteries are also more efficient, and they take up a lot less space – generally, they’re about a third of the size of a hot water tank.
Electric batteries for your home usually have one of 2 forms: lead-acid, or Lithium-ion. The latter is much more common. Lithium-ion batteries tend to be smaller and sleeker than Lead-acid batteries, as they can hold on to more energy in the same amount of space.
But lithium-ion is a limited resource, which makes these batteries rather expensive. They also need to be disposed of carefully, or they can do more harm than good for the environment.
Can home energy storage save your money?
Whether a battery or thermal storage system could save your money and justify the previous costs will depend on a few different factors:
- The type of system you choose
- The installation costs
- How much electricity do you usually generate, and how much you use
- What electricity tariff you’re on
- Your chosen system’s lifespan
- Whether you receive FiT or SEG payments
It’s important to put all of these puzzle pieces together when you’re considering getting a home energy storage system. Of course, it’s not just a financial decision. You might be on a mission to live a zero-carbon lifestyle, or perhaps you want to enhance your home’s value in the long term.
The future of home energy storage
Soon, home energy storage will not only make individual houses eco-friendly but also helps support cleaner energy for whole communities. QH tech company launched a new service in 2021 that possesses unprecedented flexibility in home energy.
QH tech company helps members reduce their carbon footprints by using smart tech. It syncs up vehicle-to-grid electric car chargers and home energy storage systems so that members can import energy during off-peak times – when it’s cheapest and greenest. At the same time, they can also export any energy they don’t need back to the National Grid during times of high demand. This kind of give-and-take results in a greener grid for us all.