The storage system of home energy is getting increasingly popular in America. As a matter of fact, solar installers claim that around one-third of the customers across the US are interested in installing solar power battery system. With over 70% of solar shoppers, the number is even higher on EnergySage’s Marketplace.
From ‘solar shoppers’ to ‘Home energy storage’ etc, there are so many new terminologies to digest, therefore, we thought that it would be a good idea if we come up with a glossary. Unlike other literature dictionaries and thesauruses, this glossary will contain the common terms and concepts regarding the batteries and the energy storage. So, read on to understand some of the key terms you will come across while you are researching for the batteries.
The Battery Operations
When you add electricity to your battery it is called ‘charging.’ The meaning of the battery here is the same as charging your phone. To charge your battery, you can either use an on-site renewable resource or an electrical grid, such as the solar panels on your house.
Just like charging is providing electricity to your battery, discharging means removing the electricity from your battery. Again, just like how your battery of the phone discharges over a day, the level of solar battery also decreases. Similarly, the more apps you use on your cell phone, the quicker will your phone battery die, the more appliances you get powered with your battery, the faster your energy storage will run out.
The different types of batteries have distinct methods of storing electricity. While most residential energy storage solutions tend to use chemistry for the storage of the electricity, some, such as flywheels would make use of the mechanical system to store kinetic energy in potential energy form. The most commonly found chemistries for batteries are infused with lead-acid and lithium-ion.
Understand the Battery Sizing
It is crucial to make a distinction between energy and power, especially when you are reviewing the information on the size of the energy storage system. Power is at the size of the pipe, at a high level. It determines how much electricity can push through a pipe at once. Whereas the flow through the pipe is called energy, it is the measure of electricity that has moved through the pipe over a specific period. There are several terms specific for battery, which can help you to describe the power and the energy of the system.
Power is defined as the maximum amount of energy that an appliance requires at an instant and it is measured in watts and kilowatts. In terms of batteries, power is a vital metric, since it determines how many home applications and appliances can be powered concurrently. If you are keen to understand which size battery would you need, it is suggested to compare the typical power rating of a residential energy storage system and the power requirement of the appliances you want to run with your battery.
Generally, the appliances at your home require several Watts of power to several hundred Watts and sometimes even more than a thousand Watts of power. For instance, a standard phone charger requires just 10 Watts of power and a typical compact fluorescent needs only 15 Watts. Your LED TV and the refrigerator pull around 200 Watts of power on average. On the other hand, the appliances like dryers, your cloth washer, the coffee machines, hairdryer and air conditioner utilize more than a thousand Watts of power!
The amount of time you use your appliances for is rated in kilowatt-hour and is known as energy. To sum it all, energy is the consumption of power over a certain time. We can calculate energy by multiplying power in kilowatts to time in hours. To understand the energy sizing of your battery, you would first need to decide how long you would want to use the battery to run your appliance. If you want to run multiple appliances for a long time, you would need a larger battery with more powerful energy and power. Similarly, if there are fewer appliances you want to run and that too for a shorter period, then you would need a small battery from both energy and power perspective.
Just as its name suggests, the Max power is defined as the absolute maximum amount of energy needed by a battery to discharge completely over a short burst of time.