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  • Would you buy if offered Battery Bank?

    How many of us would buy/finance battery banks? No matter what costs they are? I mean it has to be a reasonable price. For us little consumers I am willing to pay up to $100 / month for a battery bank. For the bigger consumers I would say $200 / month. What are your comments on this?

    Would you pay a little more for electricity to be completely self powered / or own supplier?

    My monthly payment before was $40 to $150 /mo now it is $60 to $170 but I am solar. If I had the option to buy a battery bank I would be willing to pay another $100 / month to completely tell Edison no more! With solar I know my monthly bill will not go up for at least 30 years.

    With local electric companies they charge taxes, connection fees, emergency service fees, and so forth. I just heard they are trying to increase minimum wage... guess what... do you think those fees will stay the same? Over the past century electric costs doubled if not tripled in some places.

    As minimum wage increases; living expenses will surely increase shortly after.

    With solar and a 30 year contract you are guaranteed a set price for up to 30 years. If you paid it off sooner you would save even more by being your own supplier!

    Adding a battery bank you would be able to consume the energy you produced during the day minimizing or even eliminating the local electric consumption costs.

    A battery bank will give you the ability to become more self reliant and independent.

    Concerns:
    C: Batteries will need replacing within 3 years!
    IMO: Technology has come along ways since then and now batteries last up to 5 years and then some. With the MPPT charging system it might even push them to 15 years if properly balanced at time of build. I even believe battery banks if sized properly will last up to 20 years!

    C: Battery banks cost too much!
    IMO: Small demand for battery banks a larger cost to build them. The more demand; the less they will cost.

    C: What size battery bank would I need?
    IMO: the bigger the better! The more batteries you have the less stress you put on each battery extending their life expectancy.

    C: Who pays for the replacement battery bank when mine goes bad after warranty?
    IMO: This question can be answered by Honda in accordance with their Civic Hybrid. We the consumers will pay and maybe if we are willing to vote it in maybe the government might provide incentives to assist in replacement costs. They do for Solar Arrays why not the battery banks too? You can either buy/finance the new battery bank.

    With all this said, I am willing to go that extra mile and buy/finance a battery bank coupled with my solar array system.

    Just think! We buy vehicles with 5 year warranties and they cost more than most solar array systems including the battery banks! After the warranty what do most of us do? We buy a new one or repair our old vehicle! What makes batteries different?

    Vehicles are as dangerous as batteries if handled improperly!

    Are you?
    Last edited by einsvanian; 07-07-2016, 04:38 PM. Reason: added more pros and cons

  • #2
    Sounds to me like you are a salesperson trying to sell batteries.

    Some of your answers to your questions are way off the mark.

    At present ( and probably for the near future) batteries cost way too much and do not have very long lives. Getting 5 years is pretty good. Getting 15 or more is fantasy.

    Most people will not live in the same house for 30 or even 20 years so a long term commitment with a solar pv system or contract is not going to reap a big savings.

    The cost of power is actually going down for most people and the reliability is getting better so an energy storage system is a very costly way to invest.

    I can go on with my thoughts as to why a battery system is illogical for most people in the US (except for Hawaii or maybe some parts of CA).

    Call back in 5 years and maybe I will change my mind. Until then batteries is a luxury for the rich and will not pay for themselves over their life except for very very few cases.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by einsvanian View Post
      C: Batteries will need replacing within 3 years!
      IMO: Technology has come along ways since then and now batteries last up to 5 years and then some. With the MPPT charging system it might even push them to 15 years if properly balanced at time of build. I even believe battery banks if sized properly will last up to 20 years!
      "MPPT charging system" has nothing to do with battery life.
      C: Battery banks cost too much!
      IMO: Small demand for battery banks a larger cost to build them. The more demand; the less they will cost.
      The same batteries that are used for solar backup systems are also used for telecom, industrial DC backup, electric vehicles, house batteries for RV's etc. There is a tremendous demand for them already.
      With all this said, I am willing to go that extra mile and buy/finance a battery bank coupled with my solar array system.
      That's fine. It's your money.
      Just think! We buy vehicles with 5 year warranties and they cost more than most solar array systems including the battery banks! After the warranty what do most of us do? We buy a new one or repair our old vehicle! What makes batteries different?
      You don't need batteries. Most people do need a car. So that's a pretty big difference.

      Like I said, do whatever you want with your money. But I would suggest doing a bit more research before you spend a lot of money on something that you don't quite understand yet, and that will cost you far more in the long run.

      Comment


      • #4
        You would be an idiot plain and simple.

        What you are saying is: Instead of paying that mean ole POCO $5000 every 5 years, is you prefer to pay the friendly battery dealer $25,000 every 5 years. No to add more misery, you want to float a loan on top of that with Interest pushin git over $30,000 every 5 years. Only a moron would do that.

        Are you a moron?
        Last edited by Sunking; 07-07-2016, 11:19 PM.
        MSEE, PE

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by einsvanian View Post
          With all this said, I am willing to go that extra mile and buy/finance a battery bank coupled with my solar array system.

          Are you?
          @#$%& NO! No way am I spending money for batteries.

          Every con you listed (cost, lifespan, sizing, lifespan/replacing, hazardous material) and the ones you didn't (extra maintenance item, zero-benefit-for-the-cost) are reasons for me not to.
          And the benefits you listed are not benefits for me. (I rarely have a power outage. Before I got solar I didn't worry about being "independent" from the grid)

          So why would I (or most rational people) buy a battery system when we have POCO grid readily and easily available. It's a huge cost with at best marginal benefit.

          They're great for people who need them (ie. no grid available or very unreliable grid.)
          But for most of us in the US, it isn't a financially sound idea. (And even ignoring the finances, I'm not thinking it's a good idea to have 100s of pounds of lead-acid batteries in my garage. Nor many kwh of stored energy where a dropped wrench could release it)

          Comment


          • #6
            There are a couple of rare customers for grid connected batteries.

            The clueless that believe salesman

            The lunatic fringe, end of the world as we know it crowd.

            Rural folks with real crappy grids (some parts of Vermont might qualify )

            Folks with a really attractive incentive to install batteries to offset the significant cost. It happens on occasion where some entity with access to federal state or ratepayer energy efficiency charges will subsidize pilot projects for a few individuals so they can get publicity.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you all for your insights.

              I've worked in solar array systems for over 16 years now. I've seen battery banks last over 5 years. I replaced several known good batteries at the cost of taxpayers' dollars.

              I am not a salesperson but I am a solar owner and own a 600ah battery bank and only paid $4000 for it in 2010. It powered 80% of my home for up to 6 hours. I had to disconnect it due to it being non permitted when I had Solar City install a 5kw solar array and 3600w inverter. I plan to reconnect it soon but I am talking with Solar City about legal issues that might occur; I'll be talking with my local electric company as well. The local building inspector is very interested in the battery bank and would love to see it once I get it reconnected.

              I live in Southern California where we get outages a couple times out of the year. When the power goes out at 120 degrees Fahrenheit I'm flipping my battery bank on (it's actually automatic). My toddler gets to watch TV and my other children get to play video games.

              I am trying to let people know that battery banks can be cheaper and can last over 15 years. Right now I am building one that is 3000ah which will power my home for the whole night for $10k. I'm using the same type of batteries I used in my 600ah bank for the past 6 years. I don't use lead acid batteries or solar batteries. I will give my battery bank 15 years before I have to replace it.

              I've been researching and designing alternative energy sources since I was 11 years old. I know several ways to generate energy and how to store it. Nothing is free! Everything costs something!

              I am a certified electrician and electronics technician. I know what makes a battery and how solar panels actually generate energy to include gas generators and alternators. I had to learn: physics, electrical and electronic theories, and several other items to be certified. I love this stuff, I soak it up and continue my research. I worked with a few electrical and electronic engineers and they all said I should become one. I love being a tech not a pencil pusher.

              So I am not blowing smoke up anyone's you-know-what when I say some batteries can last over 15 years. Those who are solar installers would agree they've seen batteries last over 5 years. Some would even agree that some batteries could last over 10 years.

              Also, I am here to let people know that battery banks are as safe as the little batteries in your TV remote. Battery banks don't sit out in the open they are locked away in a storage box. I built a metal shed in my backyard and used it for my battery bank. I was able to lock it and open it to show others. I did demonstrations for several people. These batteries sat in 140 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. I test them with a battery interrogator for any abnormalities. I can build legitimate battery banks that start from $600 up to $3.6mil. They are tested, balanced, custom built to each home, and properly installed and I will put my name on it and give out 15 year warranties. If they break which I'm bound to have one or two out of 100 sales I will replace them.

              Is there a market?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
                "MPPT charging system" has nothing to do with battery life.

                The same batteries that are used for solar backup systems are also used for telecom, industrial DC backup, electric vehicles, house batteries for RV's etc. There is a tremendous demand for them already.

                That's fine. It's your money.

                You don't need batteries. Most people do need a car. So that's a pretty big difference.

                Like I said, do whatever you want with your money. But I would suggest doing a bit more research before you spend a lot of money on something that you don't quite understand yet, and that will cost you far more in the long run.
                MPPT does extend the life of a battery bank. It does so many things behind the scenes that it is not worth my time trying to explain it to someone who doesn't understand it.
                You need to do your research into MPPT before opening your mouth.

                You don't need vehicles either and guess what those vehicles NEED batteries!

                It's funny crossing people like you... just by reading something I post you automatically assume you know me and tell me that I quite don't understand. When in all reality its people like you who are the ones that need the understanding.

                I am not here to start a war, I am here to do research and see how many people would like to have a battery bank. Okay my post may be a little unorthodox and sounds like a sales pitch which reading it again myself I second most of your statements.

                For those who are going to nit pick my postings please keep your rude and disrespectful comments to yourself.

                If you are truly negative about this please keep yourself grounded and don't short others out who might benefit from this. PUN intended.

                P.S.: IMO equals IN MY OPINION meaning everything I say I believe and I am not forcing you to believe it.
                Last edited by einsvanian; 07-08-2016, 12:54 PM. Reason: addedd p.s.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by einsvanian View Post
                  So I am not blowing smoke up anyone's you-know-what when I say some batteries can last over 15 years.
                  If not cycling very often or very deeply, sure they can.
                  The 5 year lifespan that is often used is I believe based on daily cycling - so really it's ~1800 cycles.

                  Is there a market?
                  No, not much of one.

                  You're spending $10K for a 3000AH bank (unspecified voltage)

                  And your reasoning is that it'll let your kids watch TV and play video games if there's an outage.

                  Wouldn't a whole-house generator for $3K be a better choice? Or a noisier 2kW one for $500 serve the purpose?
                  I think $7000-$9500 will buy a LOT of fuel.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by einsvanian View Post
                    So I am not blowing smoke up anyone's you-know-what when I say some batteries can last over 15 years. Those who are solar installers would agree they've seen batteries last over 5 years. Some would even agree that some batteries could last over 10 years.
                    Sure. It's definitely possible. (There are also lots of ways to screw up, and spend money on storage systems that don't make the user happy.) And storage is potentially more climate-friendly than generators.

                    The question is, a) what's the warranty duration, b) are they cost-effective, and c) are they user-friendly?
                    If they do last a long time, that will be reflected in the warranty (and if the vendor is stable and reputable, the warranty will probably mean something).

                    IIRC Hawaii (and New York, and Australia) are the markets where local storage is closest to cost-effective, and deployments are just now starting.

                    I'd like to hear about success or failure stories for the current generation of install-and-forget home storage systems. If you hear any, please pass them along.
                    17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by foo1bar View Post
                      If not cycling very often or very deeply, sure they can.
                      The 5 year lifespan that is often used is I believe based on daily cycling - so really it's ~1800 cycles.



                      No, not much of one.

                      You're spending $10K for a 3000AH bank (unspecified voltage)

                      And your reasoning is that it'll let your kids watch TV and play video games if there's an outage.

                      Wouldn't a whole-house generator for $3K be a better choice? Or a noisier 2kW one for $500 serve the purpose?
                      I think $7000-$9500 will buy a LOT of fuel.
                      Thank you for your opinions:

                      5 year warranties are for manufacture defects and defects only! Cycling is a variable and that is why most manufacturers' offer only 5 year warranties on their batteries and some reduce it to 12 months when you mention battery banks. I called up Outback and asked them for a cost quote on their pre-bundled battery banks and was told $20k for a 500ah battery array plus it has to be installed inside. I'm providing at least a 3000ah bank for half that price and can be installed next to your weather head(load center). For larger consumers I would recommend 6000ah and more. The bigger the better.

                      In details of the 3000ah is 24vdc for my inverter but can be changed to 12, 24, 36, 48, and so forth. For instance, say someone wants to add one to Solar City's solar array and inverter: a battery bank can be built to produce 120vdc and higher. Back in the day during Edison, Tesla, Einstein, and so many others: Alternating current was the best solution at that time. Now days Direct Current is becoming more popular; and did you know that at least 50% of your home uses Direct Current. (TV's, Radios, Phones, etc., etc.) They all convert AC to Pulsating DC.

                      The amp hours are a tricky topic; depending on C/5, C15, C/20, C100 and so forth.

                      At C/20, the battery bank will be drained for 17 hours during the night at a rate of 75amps per hour which equates to 1725 amps total which drains the bank down to 42.5% capacity. The batteries I am using can be drained to 20% of capacity which most batteries(solar) can't handle. Also, I am using the grid as a backup source so in case of an emergency I can use the grid to charge batteries. I can program my charge controllers to turn on grid once the batteries reach 80% but I don't want to use the grid at all. This is my preference and I want to know how many are out there that are just like me. Also, my battery bank can either be the primary source or the back up system to the grid and vice versa.

                      Building a battery bank isn't just putting multiple batteries together and call it good. There is so much other things that are required that it is too time consuming to go into. For instance: chemical make up of batteries, cabling, temperatures, variable loading averages, locations, storage facilities, testing each battery and then the whole bank, and so many other factors.

                      Yes, you are right about using my kids as the only reason for battery banks. There are many reasons to go with a battery bank. Doomsayers love them for one (had to include them). Mom and Dad who are 70 to 90 years old enjoy their Air Conditioner. Families would benefit because we all know that kids are not energy compliant; they waste so much electricity. FEMA loves them for hurricane victims and natural disaster victims who go without power for months. Hospitals use them (i.e. someone on life support during a power outage). Better yet, say your relative is bed ridden and requires a lot of electronics to live; don't you want them to have a battery backup?

                      Battery banks don't have to power the whole house. Take the 600ah battery bank I built powered 80% of my home and was charged from the grid; my electric bill was $40 a month.

                      It is good you mentioned back up generators: instead of going solar why didn't you go with the generator? Many reasons: requires high maintenance (oil, fuel, fuel filters, air filters, oil filters, tune-ups, etc) ask any RV'er why they would want to go solar on their rigs. I'm an RV'er myself. A generator that uses gasoline or diesel will use about the same amount of fuel that a natural gas or propane generator uses. I've used my wall heater during the cold seasons out here and saw my natural gas bill go from $5 / month to $150 / month. So I can just imagine the costs to run a fossil fueled generator for a month. A battery bank doesn't need a lot of maintenance; and is automatically charged either by the grid or solar arrays.

                      My main reason for this, is that I am trying to convince people that battery banks are not that bad of a choice. To some it may not be feasible but to others it might make a big difference.

                      Did you know that most of the power outages from the local electric companies are test runs of terrorist attacks. They do drills in case of an attack. So sooner or later your system will go off: either by accidents or by scheduled outage. Repairs are always going to be needed on everything including battery banks.

                      I am here to just enlighten everyone that no matter what we do electricity will never be free. The closest you can get to free is going solar and/or using battery banks. Which no matter what you do you will have to pay for it. Those who use the grid will be charged for those who go solar and feed back into the grid. I'm solar and I still have to pay my local electric company.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DanKegel View Post

                        Sure. It's definitely possible. (There are also lots of ways to screw up, and spend money on storage systems that don't make the user happy.) And storage is potentially more climate-friendly than generators.

                        The question is, a) what's the warranty duration, b) are they cost-effective, and c) are they user-friendly?
                        If they do last a long time, that will be reflected in the warranty (and if the vendor is stable and reputable, the warranty will probably mean something).

                        IIRC Hawaii (and New York, and Australia) are the markets where local storage is closest to cost-effective, and deployments are just now starting.

                        I'd like to hear about success or failure stories for the current generation of install-and-forget home storage systems. If you hear any, please pass them along.
                        Thank you for your response.

                        I like your statement "storage is more climate-friendly". Why didn't I think of that!

                        The ones I am trying to see if there is a market for:
                        a) 15 year warranty for any defects
                        b) Cost effective for those that pay $600 / month on electricity: even if they go solar they will still pay local electric company over $1k per year.
                        c) Completely Plug-n-Play and can be monitored.

                        Vendor stability and reputation is my main goal. I'm German-American heritage so either I can say German made or American made. I am also a Veteran of the US Military. Plus I am certified and will be established as a business once my research is done.

                        Okay, let me rephrase my statement: I can't say German made but I can say everything will be American made with German quality.

                        Or American Made with German Innovation, Integrity, and Quality. Or just say American Made with Innovation, Integrity, and Quality. I would love to build and give these battery banks to people for free but I can't. Maybe in the near future if I can sell enough of them I could probably donate a complete battery bank to those in need but being a startup it is not feasible now.
                        Last edited by einsvanian; 07-08-2016, 03:12 PM.

                        Comment


                        • DanKegel
                          DanKegel commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Where are you planning to sell these systems?
                          Whether a particular system is cost-effective depends strongly on local policies and conditions.

                        • einsvanian
                          einsvanian commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Mostly in Southern California, I was hoping nation wide shortly after. I keep forgetting not all states are as strict as California so some allow 100% production and not charge for using them as a backup.

                      • #13
                        Originally posted by einsvanian View Post
                        MPPT does extend the life of a battery bank. It does so many things behind the scenes that it is not worth my time trying to explain it to someone who doesn't understand it. You need to do your research into MPPT before opening your mouth.
                        I've designed MPPT power converters. And if you think that MPPT converters will make batteries last longer - then you are believing your own sales propaganda. All they do is match the impedance between a battery bank and a solar panel to maximize power transfer. Their output is smoother - but pulsed charging during the absorb and float stages has not been shown to be detrimental to batteries.
                        You don't need vehicles either . . .
                        Most people in the US do.
                        I am not here to start a war, I am here to do research and see how many people would like to have a battery bank.
                        That's great! Now perhaps you could learn from people who _have_ battery banks and have lived with them for decades in solar power applications. You could then apply your new knowledge to your upcoming business endeavor and increase the likelihood of success. A good example is this statement:
                        Also, I am here to let people know that battery banks are as safe as the little batteries in your TV remote.
                        You haven't been working around large scale storage batteries much if you think they are as "as safe as the little batteries in your TV remote." They're not - they require a high level of competence, respect and care to work with them safely.

                        Last edited by jflorey2; 07-08-2016, 03:12 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by einsvanian View Post
                          a) 15 year warranty for any defects
                          With daily cycling?
                          If so, I think it'll be far too expensive to be commercially viable.

                          b) Cost effective for those that pay $600 / month on electricity: even if they go solar they will still pay local electric company over $1k per year.
                          $600/month on electricitly is quite a bit.
                          I don't see how it follows that people spending that amount would still pay the electric company $1k/year if installed solar.
                          Nor how you would build something with batteries that would reduce the amount paid to the POCO.

                          As others have pointed out, with net metering the POCO provides the "battery" for free.
                          They "store" the energy for months at no additional cost.
                          (Sure it's not actually a battery, nor is it stored energy - but from the homeowner's use model it acts the same way.)

                          If I were you, I wouldn't invest much into this endeavor.
                          You don't have a compelling reason for customers to buy it.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
                            I've designed MPPT power converters. And if you think that MPPT converters will make batteries last longer - then you are believing your own sales propaganda. All they do is match the impedance between a battery bank and a solar panel to maximize power transfer. Their output is smoother - but pulsed charging during the absorb and float stages has not been shown to be detrimental to batteries.

                            Most people in the US do.

                            That's great! Now perhaps you could learn from people who _have_ battery banks and have lived with them for decades in solar power applications. You could then apply your new knowledge to your upcoming business endeavor and increase the likelihood of success. A good example is this statement:

                            You haven't been working around large scale storage batteries much if you think they are as "as safe as the little batteries in your TV remote." They're not - they require a high level of competence, respect and care to work with them safely.

                            For those who don't know what impedance is: it is the total resistance in electronic circuits.



                            Your statements:
                            "All they do is match the impedance between a battery bank and a solar panel to maximize power transfer"
                            Electrical and electronic theory: Impedance matching minimizes on heat. Which is detrimental to chargers, batteries, cables, and connectors! Therefore, extending life of battery banks.

                            I recommend you Google: Impedance Matching

                            Impedance is resistance: resistance controls current in a circuit which creates heat. So when you match the resistance in one device to another you create less heat. batteries in battery banks maintain their temperatures during charging prolonging the life of the battery.

                            I rest my case.

                            BTW: I was using MPPT as an example: there are other types of chargers out there that used multiple types of charging techniques depending on the chemistry of the battery bank and other sorts.

                            In my honest opinion MPPT is the best type of charging system for any battery bank. In my opinion they have increased the left span of battery banks compared to 40 years ago. If you don't believe that then take a hike and get off my thread.

                            Comment

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