Battery STorage Systems

If you have a Solar PV System, you’re already Battery-Ready. Maximise the potential that your Solar PV installation has to offer with home energy storage. The technology is mature, it’s accessible and it’s the next step. 

Grid Neutral Ltd are offering battery storage systems for your home or office that work with your existing Solar system. Our 3kW/2.4kWh stand-alone battery storage systems start at £2,150 +VAT and are fully configurable depending on your needs. They also offer you the following benefits:

  • Enhance your savings – carry the benefits of your Solar PV system into the night.
  • Reduce your Carbon Footprint
  • A reliable, Emergency Power Supply for use during power-cuts, brown-outs, etc. 
  • Reduce reliance on the grid – and energy companies
  • Protect yourself from future energy price rises
  • Alleviate eco-guilt: turn your kettle on with a smile, even if the sun isn’t shining.
  • No effect on your FiT payments

Product details. We use Solis inverters along with PylonTech Batteries. Both are long-proven manufacturers and are designed to work with each other:

  • AC Connected (DC systems also available for new installations or replacement of faulty inverters).
  • Compatible with any existing Solar PV system
  • 3kW power output, higher output systems available
  • 2.4kWh nominal storage capacity, subject to 90% Depth of Discharge (DoD)
  • Scalable up to 19.2kWh storage capacity
  • Compatible with energy diverter systems, such EV Chargers, Immersion Heater Controllers etc.
  • Compact, lightweight system. Each Battery is the size of a briefcase
  • Very low maintenance
  • Online energy monitoring
  • Fast, neat installation, with immediate energy-saving results

All of our systems are modular in nature – which means they can be increased in size/capacity at any point in the future – so install now, we will assist you with monitoring the System’s performance and together we can decide whether an upgrade in capacity would be something that would suit you.

Don’t have Solar? No problem: 2kW PV systems, complete with 3kw, 2.4kWh battery storage starting at £4,480.85 +VAT*. See details of our Solar PV Systems here.

*Not Incl. Scaffolding. Based on a standard, non-slate on-roof installation.

FAQs - Glad you asked. See below:

With the use of a simple sensor installed in the vicinity of your electricity meter, the system can sense whether electricity is being used in the house, or if excess electricity is being exported to the grid. It means that over the course of the day, when there’s often a significant amount of excess energy being generated, energy can be diverted to the battery bank. During night-time periods, or where use within the home exceeds what is being generated during the day, the system will then convert this battery energy into AC electricity on demand to make up the difference – meaning you don’t have to import from the grid. Depending on specification, our smallest battery inverter system will provide up to 3.0 kW of instantaneous power. This means that power can be supplied to the house whilst the demand is up to and including this power rating. This is sufficient to power items such as kettles, washing machines and tumble dryers etc. When demand in the home exceeds the power output of the battery, or if the battery state of charge has been depleted, the shortfall is supplemented using electricity from the grid as normal. The battery systems we offer are modular and have the capacity to be upgraded in the future: a total of 8 batteries can be added to the battery storage system, giving 19.2 kWh/units nominal storage in total.

Surprisingly, and despite having the prerequisites for it, not all battery storage systems offer the ability to function and provide power in the event of a power cut. Ours do: as standard our systems include a stand-alone, 10A RCD-protected emergency power supply which works independently to give a source of energy in the event of a black out. The larger systems we offer will provide 13A. On AC connected systems this will function for as long as there is sufficient energy in the batteries – this will depend on what time of day, and time of year the system is called upon and the rate of subsequent power consumption during operation. On DC connected systems, the batteries can be charged from the solar PV system and power the EPS simultaneously – it operates as if it was an off-grid energy system. Just like a stand-by generator – though without the need for re-fuelling and far better long term reliability.

It depends on how much you use. Frugal households will get by on just a few kWh’s/units of electricity per day, whilst others can expect to use upwards of 20-30 units. That said, a typical system will produce well in excess of what the average homeowner will use over the course of the day – except without being able to store it, excess energy is sent to the grid. You then have to pay to effectively get it back again later that evening/night. The less your day-to-day consumption, the less you will effectively ‘earn’ by not having to import from the grid. A paradox of Solar PV that heavy users of energy get the greatest financial benefits. That is not to say that if you’re economical you won’t benefit – you will, along with greater satisfaction. In interseasonal periods, such as spring and autumn, and into winter, the output of a PV system is far less – and here’s when the benefit of having a battery can really assist. It is useful then to be able to store every last drop of energy that the PV system can generate during these times – for use as far as possible when the sun isn’t shining. How home energy use throughout the year compares against electricity is shown on the graph below. For the most part, the dwelling is a net exporter during the summer, with perhaps 95% of energy needs seen to by the battery system. During the winter, the house becomes a net importer.

It depends on what your energy consumption looks like already – and whether this depends on electrically powered devices. Switch to using energy hungry machines like tumble dryers and dishwashers during the day when their use is more likely to be offset by your Solar PV system and you can ensure that there will be more left over in the battery to run your house overnight. The main thing is to avoid using more than one device at any one time – this will reduce the requirement to import electricity to fill in the gaps between what your battery can deliver.How long will the system last?

The system that we install will provide you with the option to monitor how your Solar PV and battery storage system performs via an online portal hosted by the inverter manufacturer. Online monitoring is a great way of enabling you to see how effective your battery storage system is at saving you money and helping you economise on energy consumption. It is important that a reliable WiFi connection is available or the inverter can be placed in the vicinity of a router for hardwired connection with an ethernet cable.

This is what some of us thought. However, after speaking with industry figures, the consensus seems to be that equipment cost, specifically batteries are not likely to come down anytime soon and in fact could go up: with the anticipated rise in Electric Vehicle ownership, smart devices etc. demand for raw materials such as Cobalt, Manganese and Lithium, which constitute a significant portion of the cost of batteries is already outstripping supply – and batteries aren’t the only use for the materials.

Provided everything goes to plan, battery installation should take half a day. We will need to switch both the electricity supply and the Solar PV system off for a period of no more than an hour during this period. For a Solar PV and battery installation, we would expect to be on task for two days.

Lithium batteries have been around since 1912, but it took the next 6 decades for the first commercially available lithium batteries were launched, albeit it in non-rechargeable form. Rechargeable lithium batteries followed shortly after and were based on metallic lithium and offered very high energy density – however, lithium metal is unstable, especially during charging,  The temperature would quickly rise to the melting point of the metallic lithium and cause a violent thermal run-away and subsequent development slowed and shifted to a non-metallic lithium battery using lithium ions this system is safe, providing certain precautions are met when charging and discharging – but the penalty is slightly lower energy density. 

Battery capacity, both in terms of power and energy, correlates directly to energy density, and of course high capacity is one of the principal consumer demands. For manufacturers, the challenge is in achieving the right balance between energy density and safety.  Manufacturers increase energy density and power by reducing the thickness of metallic films, electrolytes and separators that make up a battery – batteries are manufactured in clinically clean environments in order to to achieve this without incurring critical failure: the smallest dust particle would cause a ‘bridge’ leading quickly to thermal runaway during charging. Lithium-ion batteries are pretty much at their theoretical energy density limit and battery manufacturers are now focusing on improving manufacturing methods, lowering costs and increasing production volume, safety and long-term durability/lifespan. Lithium-ion Batteries are now one of the most successful and safe battery chemistries available: two billion cells are produced every year and there is little to show for failures etc.

Standard warranty is 5 years for the battery and inverter. For a small fee, this manufacturers warranty can be extended to 10 years.

Minimal yet we would still like to visit for a quick check on an annual basis. We have a great sense of loyalty to our customers and take pride in our work. We want to ensure that the system is delivering what it says it can and working as it should.  It’s a low maintenance system – which in itself is an advantage that most other systems cannot legitimately claim. There is no requirement to regularly monitor and top-up electrolyte/acid levels etc. and they exhibit little in the way of memory. Long term storage presents no problem either – provided they’re charge to about 60-70%. Many Li-Ion Battery management systems will self-discharge to this level if they detect lack of activity.

Yes. The system is not “tied” to the house or the meter etc, there is no MCS certificate (as it stands) or tariffs that tie the technology to a particular address, however you would require the services of an electrician with experience of battery storage systems to decommission and remove the system ready for installation in your new home. 

Our smallest system is mounted on a strong plywood board 600mm Wide by 1200mm high – so not much room at all, though of course this can be changed if your installation deems it necessary. The system will stand out from the wall by 260mm – but it is important to maintain space around the sides and front of the installation for ventilation purposes.

Nothing. The system is fully automatic. You won’t experience any unwanted switch-over glitches in your energy supply, you don’t have to tell it when you’re putting the kettle on or if the sun is shining. You don’t have to tell it if you;re going on holiday. Everything is automatic.

Certainly. The systems we provide run parallel with existing systems – but we can provide DC connected systems for barely any variance in the price when compared to a similarly sized AC connected system.

Installing a battery storage system will have no effect on your entitlement to payments from the Feed-in Tariff. You will also continue to receive the export-tariff as you do currently as this is a deemed amount (50% of what you generate). You may however notice a slight drop in the amount of kWh’s shown to be generated on an annual basis, perhaps a few percent – this is due to DC to DC charging loss between the panels and the batteries, though the differences would equate to what one might expect within annual output variation simply due to weather!

Future MCS-accredited PV installations will qualify for the Smart Export Guarantee. This will pay a small fee of around 5.5p for each kWh that you export to the grid, and it will be paid to you by the energy company. A battery storage system installed alongside a PV system will reduce the amount of energy that you export – because you’ll be keeping it for yourself and so would reduce the fee that you could earn. This is OK though, on a perkWh basis, the export tariff would pay you about half of what the electricity would cost. So you’re better off with battery…

Don’t worry about them. The geography of energy suppliers is changing rapidly – and it has to. Switching to a low-carbon economy does not suit the financial interests of “The Big Six”, and so far more flexible smaller suppliers are moving in on their turf. Suppliers such as OVO, Octopus, Out Fox The Market, Bulb etc. all make a point of selling electricity that has been purchased from 100% renewable sources. This is good; it moves the game on.

The fate of used lithium-ion batteries from cars, laptops and battery storage systems etc is often seen as a weak point in an otherwise positive action in the fight against climate change. However a significant proportion of batteries will likely end up being used in second-life applications such as in developing nations etc. and options for recycling in the UK and EU are becoming more common. 

Second life options are an important category in the energy storage terms, they could be a key pathway for developing nations. Batteries produced by car and battery storage manufacturers today could be used in second-life projects as long as they are in good shape and the mechanism for moving them to demand nodes is sufficient.

In terms of recycling, considerably more batteries are being recycled than previously thought – though not in the EU but in China and South Korea. Approximately 179,000 tonnes of batteries will reach their end of life this year. Portable devices, such as laptops, smartphones and power tools, will account for 83% of this volume. Currently only 20,000 tonnes will come from electric vehicles. Of the total volume reaching end of life, 97,000 tonnes will be recycled

 

China will recycle 75% of portable device batteries traded across the EU in the future. The rest will be swallowed up in the rapidly growing reuse industry that prepares industrial and portable batteries for second-life use in applications ranging from small power banks to utility-scale energy storage.