picture credits: Dreamtime.com Danabliss
Really? a battery operated home ?
Better yet, batteries charged by Wind & Solar generation?
and.. the local grid will buy back any extra power generated not used for charging your home battery? (more on this in another blog…)
Home 3.0: Battery Operated, Rechargeable, Green
Sounds too good to be true, However every one of us is only a few steps a way from realizing the Battery Powered Home, and the freedom and cost savings that go with it
Take the red pill (Li-Polymer Batteries)…
And go off grid, and disconnect from the Matrix at last..
Yes, this little old world of chaos has collectively created the silver lining called energy storage. Energy Storage 3.0 is really lead by Lithium Ion Polymer formulas, where porous separators laced with low viscosity stable polymer electrolyte using readily available material, Lithium, create a safe, green, long lasting battery with fast recharging characteristics which are crash and puncture proof, and most importantly now less reliant on cooling systems (www.electrovaya.com), due to advance ceramic stable separator material which bond well to the cathode and anode and do not expand and separate causing shorts which result in fires in high temperature operation.
Ok that was a mouthful. 🙂
Li-Poly Secret Sauce: It is Clean, Green, Power Dense?
Here is the high level Li-Polymer secret sauce according to Battery University which separates the Anode from the Cathode,where a low viscosity Lithium polymer (many different variants) is impregnated into the separator (electrovaya.com), usually in “pouch” or “prismatic” or flat battery cells, where all separators and their low viscosity electrolytes are not created equal:
“Li-polymer is unique in that a micro porous electrolyte replaces the traditional porous separator. Li-polymer offers slightly higher specific energy and can be made thinner than conventional Li-ion, but the manufacturing cost is said to be higher than cylindrical design. For purpose of discussion, pouch cells are often identified as being Li-polymer.”
Separating the Competition in Lithium Batteries: Li-Polymer factoids
…Ceramic Separators and low viscosity Li-Poly Recipes… AND smart low cost (low power bill) manufacturing processes
picture credits: Batteryuniversity.com
Making the right Home Operated Battery Choice: Price/Performance vs. BE/ROI targets
When looking to battery operate your home, the type of Li-polymer battery really matters and these Electrolyte Li-Poly recipes and their separator materials, are what distance the market leading Li-Poly battery vendors from their would be competitors. Of course your Li-Poly battery selection “success is in the details” is dependent on your research and make the right trade-offs to get the pre/performance and return you are looking for in your in battery operated home decision.
Electrovaya: Li Polymer which is Green, Lean(little power consumption) and means(best price performance)..
It’s our opinion at Starwind5, after our own research, that Electrovaya is leading the way in price/performance and clean production (safe for manufacturing employees) and disposal practices (safe for the environment) of Li-Poly, provided you have a long term outlook on your Li-Poly battery investment. Electrovaya also offers 8000-9000 recharge cycle life in a very dense (3X better than lead acid batteries) capable of discharge levels of 90-95% depending on the application.
Today Li-Poly battery prices are dropping fast as manufacturers tool up to get economies of scale now that recharge cycle life is in the 4000 to 9000 cycle range, where short and medium life projects between 5 and 10 years operate in the lower range of 4000-5000 and use less costly Li-Poly Electrolyte materials with less expensive separators which will require more puncture proof casings, and have potentially less stable Electrolyte/ceramic substrates which separate in high temperature and can cause shorting.
What is important is the price of Li-Poly as offered by the top 5 vendors today in 2016 are all bankable, and easily financed by your banking partner provided you have a well balanced power generation and energy storage design which best leverages your home sites renewable energy generation (wind and solar, and some times geothermal) untapped energy generation assets.
The Telsa Powered Home… ala Gizmodo Feb.6 2016
No blog on home battery storage would be complete without mentioning Tesla and Elon Musk, so here goes. Tesla is certainly bringing home battery storage to the fore in combination with their Tesla Car Battery re-charging station. The concept makes perfect sense, and over time the execution will improve as battery prices fall in the face of Li-Polymer manufacturing method improvements to go with early stage economy of scale advances. Tesla is the latter, relying on current battery build methods which require much electricity and space to produce their Power Wall in volume via their super-sized Gigafactory, poised to become, ironically one of the largest on grid power sucking alien factories of all time.
picture credits: bizjournal.com
Let’s hope Tesla adopts the latest in Li-Poly flat prismatic cell approach as offered by Electrovaya and others, where there is a much greener(safer) and lower manufacturing cost (90% less electricity used in the drying process after R2R “Roll to roll” sandwiching of the anode and cathode to the electrolyte laced separator) , so that Tesla can expand their 50GWhr annual production capacity to 2X or 4X that in the same factory foot print.
That indeed would be a sweet accomplishment and change the world for the better, much faster.
GETTING PRACTICAL: Battery Operated Home Checklist
Here are a few practical steps you can take to Battery Power your home (or business of any size):
- LED Lighting Everywhere
- High Efficiency Large Appliances: Dishwasher, Dryer, Stove, Washer, Fridge
- In Cold Weather: where a sweater, long pants, socks and slippers
- It means your thermostat can be set to 20C/68F – to turn on heat
- In Hot Weather: where a t-shirt, shorts, and go barefoot (grounding=health)
- It means your thermostat can be set to 23C/76F – to turn on A/C
- Upgrade your Roof Insulation, its more important than walls
- Go to Triple Pane Gas Filled Window Panes
- Wide Soffits on Your House are good, otherwise Use White Reflective Blinds
- Direct sunlight in your home to be avoided in summer
- Dark Floors are good in Winter, with the reflective blinds open
- Direct sunlight to be welcomed at all times in winter
- Thermal Curtains are great hot or cold
- Cool your home with greenery and lower basement windows away from Sun
- This lower your AC power consumption in the the summer,
- Use a low powered ceiling mounted circulating fan in the main hallway
- keeps are air and temperature from stratifying,
- it can be set on the absolute slowest setting
- Keep your body fluids up
- Amazing what good clean alkaline filtered water does to regulate body temperatures
- Keep your Vitamin C levels up, 1000mg+ per day (2* 500mg chewables)
- Keeps all inflammation in check, the main source of localized body heat
- These are daily recommended values from the 1970s, when we were healthier
- Lower your stress levels the way you know best 🙂
- lowers your pulse, less energy burn, less heat…
Hybrid Generation and Green energy Storage is the ultimate, but not all home sites are created equal, so get practical, and make sure you have engine generation backup, for the wind-less, cloud filled days, which can persist in the worst case between 4-5 days, and typically last 1-2 days. (www.mobisun.ca the prepper’s ultimate kit)
This means hybrid power generation with wind, solar and ICE “Internal Combustion Engine” with the latter filtered for noise and pollution, is the practical electricity generation mix of choice, where the fuel type for the ICE is whatever makes sense locally. (Diesel, gas, Natural gas, propane, take your pick), ICE systems can be small, 500W is enough when charging batteries, which means fuel costs will be low using ICE as generation of last resort, and your ICE plant will last for 15-20 years with minimal maintenance (spark plug change, oil change, air filter change, and 5 year lubrication points using the good ole automotive grease gun).
Of Course we are biased on choice particulars, with Solar (Mobisun) and Wind Power (Starwind5) being key and the co-prime mover generation sources used always, or as often as possible to generate your local electricity. Balancing the size of wind and solar generation is largely depending on your needs, when they happen and what your site is capable of producing. Thereafter the ICE generation and storage is sized to create the best fit hybrid power generation and storage facility or your battery operated home.
Get Mean: It’s all about price/performance within your budget and BE/ROI Time frame.
Price/performance on budget also means creating a bankable solution the local bank will finance. Let’s face it not many of us have the equity in the bank these days to completely or even partially capitalize the the cost of acquiring a battery operated home. This means the balance of power generation and storage has to be sized correctly for your home or small business given your BE “Break Even” and ROI “Return on Investment” targets expressed in $ and years. Using the best leading edge Battery Storage will be 50% of your purchase with 4-5 days backup, less if your in a location where it stays windy and/or sunny most of the time, regardless of the season.
Tesla might be the right choice if you are considering an electric car in the mix, which can also help to charge up your home when the car battery is 100% full and you are only using 10-15% of the battery capacity 5 days a week. Tesla can also make sense given its innovative Garage wall vertical packaging and easy to connect modularity, not to mention the good looks of the Power Wall.
Otherwise, if you are looking for a faster return, and have less capital to backup your bank loan for the complete system, it’s ok to economize and go with 4000-5000 re-charge cycle batteries of Li-Poly type provided they will guarantee the battery for the payback period of 5 to 8 years, which is what the bank will be looking for. This means companies like Discover Energy should also be consider as a source for Li-Poly batteries, otherwise if you are in it for the long haul, Electrovaya or one of their partners (as they do sell flat Li-Poly cell components to OEM Battery manufacturers) is a really good choice, when looking for a 10 year+ plus guarantee on the batteries and an effective 20 year useful life.
All things considered, given inflation and the de-valuation of the currencies worldwide, and the erosion of our buying power daily, it’s better to get into Battery 3.0 operated homes now than later. At Starwind5 w are here to help, so send us a note if you need help.