SEN Presents - May 2016 - Battery Storage - where are we and where to from here?

This SEN Presents on 2nd May attracted our biggest audience ever, of about 125, due to widespread public interest in this rapidly emerging technology. Rooftop solar PV is in the process of disrupting traditional centralized electricity distribution systems and addition of battery storage systems threatens further such disruption.

Our first speaker, Masoud Abshar of Magellan Power, provided background on battery storage, for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. His company has been supplying high reliability DC and AC power systems and associated equipment to industry since 1992, including energy storage devices. More recently, they have moved into residential energy storage systems. However, he pointed out that we are only at the base of a potential adoption curve for home energy storage, as there are several factors that would determine the extent of adoption, such as costs and future policies affecting the existing grid. He also pointed out that development of appropriate software to manage efficient use of an energy storage system was crucial.

Then, Craig Donohue of Clean NRG, gave practical insight into the logistics and economics of installing battery systems at residential and commercial level. He stated that simply replacing a grid connection with energy storage was at present not economic, although of course new energy storage options are a boon for those off-grid. He emphasized the need to fully understand the customer’s needs and expectations before recommending a particular energy storage system. He then described the procedure for installing fit-for-purpose energy storage systems.