Is it worth it to install PV plus Storage?
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has shown a severe negative impact on supply and demand agreements splintering long-standing agreements. Massive numbers of users who have been given access to clean energy will have to revert back to old means of unsafe and unhealthy energy usage.
With the current global energy crisis, users are looking at various avenues to reduce their dependability on power utilities to provide energy for operations. Generally a PV plus storage renewable energy system will provide value by reducing cost as well as provide resilience within an organization. It creates a balance between electricity generation and demand.
Seen as a self-consumption system, the PV will provide energy to an organization or residential installation which covers the daytime loads as well as charge the battery for nighttime use. This method of installation is particularly popular in South Africa with the energy utility not being able to provide energy where needed. Users will install a LiFePO4 battery for load shedding protection with a hybrid inverter which allows for a PV installation later on. There are also users that have the PV installed for dependance from the grid during the day.
On the international front, users would have installed PV only for little dependance on the energy utility and to reduce cost of electricity. Daytime PV usage would reduce the requirement from the utility for generated capacity to be used for industrial applications.
An energy audit needs to be done to determine various values such as loads of the premises as well which equipment will be powered up during night time usage for maximum efficiency of the battery. This same calculation is used when the PV segment is designed. The system would be oversized based on losses in order to provide loads as well as enough energy to charge the battery. An energy management system is installed with the PV plus storage application for a full overview of the system as well as indicating where changes can be made for maximum system efficiency.
In the event of an existing aged PV installation, there will possibly be some rewiring required though most PV inverters can be coupled as an AC power generation system to a battery inverter which will be handling the loads. With an unstable grid it’s becoming a popular scene for users to install PV plus storage.
For new installations, hybrid inverters can be used which will allow the user to manage costly installation fees once-off by either installing the battery or the PV first for either of the components to be added later on. The user can request quotes on both DC or AC coupled solutions based on various feasibility factors which will be determined by the installer with both AC and DC-coupled systems offering positive and negative attributes.
The main benefits of the system is to have power available for use in a power outage as well as minimize the use of electricity supplied by the utility,