How does Battery Storage work?
Battery Storage systems are not like typical batteries you would find at home or use to power your TV remote. These larger scale batteries use software driven algorithms to store energy produced by renewable, low-carbon methods such as solar photovoltaic panels or from the grid. Energy stored in the battery system is released during times of peak demand, ultimately reducing electricity bills and lowering the demand on the grid.
“The UK government estimates technologies like battery storage systems – supporting the integration of more low-carbon power, heat and transport technologies – could save the UK energy system up to £40 million by 2050, ultimately reducing people’s energy bills.” – National Grid
AC Coupled System
There are two types of battery storage solutions, AC coupled and DC coupled. AC coupled batteries stored energy is generated from solar power in DC current or purchased from the grid in AC current.
Battery systems store energy in DC current. An alternating current coupled system therefore needs to invert the energy before it can be stored. Power produced from the photovoltaic panels is sent through an AC inverter. As it is an AC inverter, the inverter will turn the power into AC current first, to feed into the home. Any surplus energy is inverted back to DC current and stored in a battery.
Energy purchased from the grid and stored in a battery during a cheaper nighttime tariff rate, feeds into the home in alternating current. The AC inverter changes this to direct current for storage.
DC Coupled System
DC Coupled systems are more efficient. Current is not inverted multiple times before being stored or released into the home. A DC Coupled battery sends energy directly from the solar panels, through a DC inverter and into the battery/batteries.
As we’ve previously mentioned, energy is stored in direct current, when in a battery. The only inverting with a DC coupled system is when energy is discharged from the battery to meet the demands of the home. It is inverted from DC into AC.
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