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Battery Installed

Shay Brazier

There have been a lot of technology advances in energy storage since our house was built.

Back in 2012 battery technology was generally only used for short term UPS and off grid systems.

Lithium-ion batteries were being used in appliances but nothing had been developed for home energy storage. In 2015 Tesla released the first generation of its Powerwall, this was an indication of what had been happening with battery development. At about that same time Panasonic and solarcity NZ started working together to design a fully a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to store energy for load shifting, backup power and self-consumption of solar power.

We were keen to learn about how a battery might play a role in the energy management of the Zero Energy House. A beta version of SolarCity’s new battery was installed in our house in September as part of a trial.

We are expecting that it will help us reduce the amount of energy that we export to the grid, and provide us backup in the unusual event of a power cut in Pt Chev. Overtime we hope that we can use it make the most of time of use energy pricing. Coupled with the load control of our hot water and electric vehicle charging, we are expecting big changes in how we use power. We expect that the viability of solar for households will be increased with these technologies.

We’ll give you some feedback on how it’s performing in a month or two.

There was a little bit of media coverage, but unfortunately the reporters didn’t pick up in the details of what we were discussing. Newshub, Stuff, solarcity’s press release.

There has been some good coverage of the potential for solar power and energy storage lately.

  • Vector put out a report saying solar power and battery storage was an easy and cost effective way to improve a homes energy resilience.

  • The Productivity Commission said solar, along with wind and geothermal, will be part of NZ’s portfolio of renewable generation needed to meet growing demand.

  • Greenpeace unveiled a plan called Solarise New Zealand that would see half a million homes solarised over the next 10 years with money currently being used to subsidise the oil and gas industry.