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  • FIRST POST
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 5th Dec 16, 3:57 PM
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    Martyn1981
    On-grid domestic battery storage
    • #1
    • 5th Dec 16, 3:57 PM
    On-grid domestic battery storage 5th Dec 16 at 3:57 PM
    Hello!

    Right, as discussed elsewhere, battery storage for self generation (typically PV) is interesting (to some), and gathering momentum in the UK. So here's a thread to discuss it, and watch it develop.

    I've called it on-grid, as off-grid is so much more specialised. And domestic as commercial scale storage, or grid scale can be chatted about on the Green & Ethical energy issues thread.

    So, where are, well this article lists about 20 systems that are available or should be available soon:-

    Introducing CleanTechnica’s New Home Battery Overview Page

    Jumping straight in with personal opinions:-

    Economical - Not yet. Prices are falling fast, the range of products is expanding fast, and large numbers are being deployed in some countries, either because the price of leccy is high (Australia & Hawaii) or because subsidy schemes exist (Sweden & Germany).

    Where are we today. My needs are a 4kWh system. That's 4kWh of useable capacity, which would mean about 8kWh of lead acid (LA), or about 5kWh of lithium ion (Li-ion). My research has found batts in the high £2k and up range. I need the price to be nearer to £1.5k.

    The Tesla Powerwall II, installed is approx £6.5k, which works out at about £2.2k for 5kWh, but of course, it doesn't work quite like that, as smaller systems will cost proportionately more.

    Environmental - Tricky one this (to say the least). Until storage is needed, it's not environmental. Renewable energy (RE) generation currently displaces gas generation, which is a demand follower. Once gas generation is pushed down to zero (at times) we need storage, but we aren't there yet.

    However, to push gas generation down to zero, we need more RE, and to ensure it is viable/economic/profitable, we will need storage - chicken and egg situation.

    The advantage of storage to the environment, is to take peaks of RE and timeshift them to peaks in electricity demand. On a domestic level, this works quite well as PV generates during the day into the afternoon (or evening) depending on the month, so any stored leccy is available for the evening peak 5pm to 7pm.

    That's the background, and now here's a thread to discuss options, prices, economics, and watch things unfold. Enjoy.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
Page 5
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 20th Mar 17, 5:46 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Your link didn't work for me. This did though.

    https://www.recc.org.uk/pdf/guidance-on-supplementary-solar-pv-equipment.pdf

    Also, and interestingly the paper suggests that we will be moving from deemed to actual export with smart meters. This is the first I've heard of this. Every other time smart meters have been mentioned I've always heard that same story, which is that they are only being used to measure import and so are of no benefit to us for export. If export metering goes ahead then for battery storage to pay for itself then costs will need to come down to about a quarter of what they are today, unless of course we are all forced into demand led pricing for import in which case they may well become viable at a higher price.
    Originally posted by Exiled Tyke
    For myself, I currently export about 900kWh pa more than I'm paid for, so it wouldn't reduce my export income v's today, but if my export was to be metered, the storage would reduce my potential of getting more export payments in the future.

    Then again, don't forget the Aussie model that's already in use where domestic battery owners can sign up, and the 'company' negotiates a sale price for stored leccy during peak times, sometimes as high as AUS$1/kWh (when spot prices hit AUS$1,400/MWh). In that situation many of us might be happy to sell/discharge our batts onto the local grid during evening peaks - though it's probably the case that UK spot prices would be peaking in the lower generation months when we may not have much to sell.

    This subject ain't getting any easier.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 20th Mar 17, 7:41 PM
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    zeupater
    This may be a daft question and not even sure if this would work, but has anyone tried using a UPS (Uninteruptable Power Supply) normally used for PC equipment, as "Domestic Battery Storage" for alternative relatively low power equipment?

    For example; charging it up during the day, (from solar power) and then using it to power a LED TV or LED lighting during the evening, with power switched off at the socket.

    The payback time may make it not worth it, but there are some smaller UPS's available for under £100 which may store enough power.
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    Hi

    The issue is that UPS systems aren't normally based on deep cycle usage - they're usually designed to be continually topped up so as to be available for occasional power outages ... as for 'enough power', well that depends on what you want to power and for how long, for example for ~£100 you may just be able to provide ~700W for around 2 minutes .... a decent capacity UPS which is capable of supporting an IT server environment at (say) 11kVA for ~60minutes would cost considerably more than a 13kWh Tesla Powerwall battery system.

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 21st Mar 17, 9:21 AM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    Hi

    The issue is that UPS systems aren't normally based on deep cycle usage - they're usually designed to be continually topped up so as to be available for occasional power outages ... as for 'enough power', well that depends on what you want to power and for how long, for example for ~£100 you may just be able to provide ~700W for around 2 minutes .... a decent capacity UPS which is capable of supporting an IT server environment at (say) 11kVA for ~60minutes would cost considerably more than a 13kWh Tesla Powerwall battery system.

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    As mentioned, was not thinking of using anything that took a lot of power ("a LED TV or LED lighting") so maybe less than 100 watts for the tv, or less than 15 watts for the lighting, on for 3-5 hours, so a maximum of 500 watts for the TV or 75 watts for the LED lighting.

    However, it seems that the batteries used in UPS's, are the type that do not like being discharged & charged up on a regular basis, so may not last that long.
    Rhondda Cynon Taf, 4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, 16 x 8.33 Eternity 250w E+10 panels, Solar Edge SE4000-16A Inverter + P300 Optimisers & REUK Diverter
    + Toshiba RAS-10G2KVP-E Ultra High Efficiency Air Conditioner/Heat Pump
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 21st Mar 17, 12:13 PM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    As mentioned, was not thinking of using anything that took a lot of power ("a LED TV or LED lighting") so maybe less than 100 watts for the tv, or less than 15 watts for the lighting, on for 3-5 hours, so a maximum of 500 watts for the TV or 75 watts for the LED lighting.

    However, it seems that the batteries used in UPS's, are the type that do not like being discharged & charged up on a regular basis, so may not last that long.
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    Done a quick count on the figures for payback time, and it does not seem worth it. Max could save with a low power LED TV, is about £20 a year; so would take at least 5 years to cover it's cost and batteries probably would not last that long.
    Rhondda Cynon Taf, 4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, 16 x 8.33 Eternity 250w E+10 panels, Solar Edge SE4000-16A Inverter + P300 Optimisers & REUK Diverter
    + Toshiba RAS-10G2KVP-E Ultra High Efficiency Air Conditioner/Heat Pump
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 21st Mar 17, 5:36 PM
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    zeupater
    As mentioned, was not thinking of using anything that took a lot of power ("a LED TV or LED lighting") so maybe less than 100 watts for the tv, or less than 15 watts for the lighting, on for 3-5 hours, so a maximum of 500 watts for the TV or 75 watts for the LED lighting.

    However, it seems that the batteries used in UPS's, are the type that do not like being discharged & charged up on a regular basis, so may not last that long.
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    Hi

    Using a 500W on a £100 UPS may give you around 3 or 4 minutes of off grid usage, with a decent LED TV you may get 15-20minutes whilst the batteries are still in good condition ...

    Regarding the battery types (highlighted in red) ... Correct, that's why I mentioned you'd need a deep cycle battery system ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 21st Mar 17, 5:47 PM
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    zeupater
    Done a quick count on the figures for payback time, and it does not seem worth it. Max could save with a low power LED TV, is about £20 a year; so would take at least 5 years to cover it's cost and batteries probably would not last that long.
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    Hi

    Using a standard UPS on a deep cycle basis will kill your batteries in next to no time, you'd be lucky if you'd save anywhere near the first year's £20 before the system stops accepting charge or delivering power for any acceptable time ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 23rd Mar 17, 1:19 PM
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    Martyn1981
    I've just been watching an oldish interview on WA's (Western Australia) roll out of PV and storage.

    I thought it worth mentioning on here as the speed is catching everyone out, and WA's energy minister has stated a couple of things.

    Firstly that by 2025 Perth would get all of its daytime electricity from solar, and secondly, that also by 2025 that Perth would get 70% of its electricity from solar and batteries. [Edit: Further reading seems to suggest his claims relate to the whole of WA, not just Perth. M.]

    Given the scale and speed of rollout needed to meet these claims/assumptions, I though it was worth mentioning on this thread as it seems to confirm thoughts that Australia will be a major driver of storage, and will hopefully help to bring prices down fast / faster.

    Distributed Solar and Storage: Disrupting Australia's Energy System

    The Perth claims are in the last 5 minutes, and relate to statements made in 2015.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 23-03-2017 at 1:21 PM. Reason: Added an edit
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 24th Mar 17, 1:02 PM
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    Ectophile
    I've just had a visit from the guy who sold me my solar panels back in 2011. He's running a different company now, after the solar industry collapsed, so the new one does other sorts of building maintenance as well as solar.

    He says he can fit a new Solax inverter and battery unit for around £5.5K. The battery has a capacity of 4.8kWh, of which 3.85kWh would be usable. That's with a 10 year warranty on the inverter and 5 years on the battery (expected life 10 years). Apparently, it can even operate in islanded mode if there's a power cut.

    My old inverter is about to go out of warranty (5.5 years), so I need to consider that as well.

    I haven't done the maths yet to work out what the payback period is likely to be.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 24th Mar 17, 1:53 PM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    I've just had a visit from the guy who sold me my solar panels back in 2011. He's running a different company now, after the solar industry collapsed, so the new one does other sorts of building maintenance as well as solar.

    He says he can fit a new Solax inverter and battery unit for around £5.5K. The battery has a capacity of 4.8kWh, of which 3.85kWh would be usable. That's with a 10 year warranty on the inverter and 5 years on the battery (expected life 10 years). Apparently, it can even operate in islanded mode if there's a power cut.

    My old inverter is about to go out of warranty (5.5 years), so I need to consider that as well.

    I haven't done the maths yet to work out what the payback period is likely to be.
    Originally posted by Ectophile
    If you estimate the inverter to be worth about £1k, that leaves £4.5k's worth of electricity to import over the next 5-10 years. With already having Solar Panels, is it likely that you would import that much during the lifetime of the battery?

    Since we had Solar Panels installed, we import less than £250 worth a year (including standing charge), so it would take over 18 years to break even.
    Last edited by ASavvyBuyer; 24-03-2017 at 1:56 PM. Reason: typo
    Rhondda Cynon Taf, 4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, 16 x 8.33 Eternity 250w E+10 panels, Solar Edge SE4000-16A Inverter + P300 Optimisers & REUK Diverter
    + Toshiba RAS-10G2KVP-E Ultra High Efficiency Air Conditioner/Heat Pump
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 24th Mar 17, 3:19 PM
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    Martyn1981
    He says he can fit a new Solax inverter and battery unit for around £5.5K. The battery has a capacity of 4.8kWh, of which 3.85kWh would be usable. That's with a 10 year warranty on the inverter and 5 years on the battery (expected life 10 years). Apparently, it can even operate in islanded mode if there's a power cut.

    My old inverter is about to go out of warranty (5.5 years), so I need to consider that as well.

    I haven't done the maths yet to work out what the payback period is likely to be.
    Originally posted by Ectophile
    Hiya, having a ponder here, ASavvyBuyer has broken it down sensibly, so let's say £4.5k for the battery.

    Loads of negatives I'm afraid.

    Firstly, 5yr warranty isn't enough, and 10yr life expectancy is too short too.

    Secondly, 3.85kWh useable, let's go super optimistic and assume you get 5kWh out of it each day, and it lasts 10yrs, that's 18,250kWh, which at 12p import would be worth £2,190, so half the cost of the battery. £4,500 / 18,250kWh gives you a cost of nearly 25p/kWh stored.

    Thirdly, Tesla PWII installed is £6.3k, I now that's £2k more but it has a useable 13.5kWh ..... just for comparison.

    Fourthly, also for comparison, I got quotes, including install from Powervault, which are approx:
    4kWh useable (8kWh) lead acid - £2.7k 5yr warranty
    4kWh useable (4.4kWh) Li-ion - £3.8k 10yr warranty
    6kWh useable (6.6kWh) Li-ion - £4.9k 10yr warranty


    So, still far too expensive, prices still falling, and a good chance that prices will fall faster each year, than current savings, so even if it was questionably viable today, it would probably still be worth waiting for a few years till we see where the market is going, and if prices are stabilising.


    Lastly, you mention it can operate in Islanding mode during a power cut. Worth double checking that. Islanding allows the inverter to keep working even if the grid is down, some can do this, but they are usually more expensive and 'meatier' inverters.

    You may be absolutely correct, or he may have meant that the battery has a dedicated socket for you to plug essentials into during a powercut, such as freezer, laptop, battery charger (flashlights) phone etc. Lots of the batts seem to have one of these, but the PV system would be shutdown.

    Islanding is great if you need it, with lots of powercuts, but otherwise it probably adds a lot of cost.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 26th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
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    Ectophile
    I was told that the islanded mode was a matter of flipping a switch, so presumably it's a mode that the system can be put into when disconnected from the mains.

    But I rarely get power cuts here, in an urban area.

    It's not looking very cost-effective when you do the maths.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 30th Mar 17, 4:37 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Solar-and-storage homes set for Swansea under historic investment deal for Wales

    Thousands of new and existing homes are to be fitted with a range of low carbon technologies including integrated solar PV and battery storage systems as part of landmark funding agreement for the Swansea Bay area of Wales.
    The Neath development will be used as a pathfinder vehicle to evaluate and test the design, implementation, installation and performance of the houses as power stations. The council is expecting to draw in excess of £517 million of funding for the total programme, generating an estimated 4,512 new jobs.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 3rd Apr 17, 1:18 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Article states that 50% of new PV installs in Germany now include storage. Unfortunately the video (interview) isn't working, but fingers crossed.

    Also, "Dirk Uwe Sauer, Professor of storage system technologies at RWTH Aachen", prof of storage .... cool!

    Storage is becoming more attractive in German power market
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 03-04-2017 at 4:31 PM.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 3rd Apr 17, 5:04 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Ffu 8
    Info for March. All seems relevant and interesting, so I've cut and pasted it again:

    March 2017
    Imported 195kWh (249kWh March 2016)
    Generated 205kWh (about average - best year was 238, worst was 108, but that was before I had the W-facing extra panels)
    Battery discharge - 74kWh!!
    ImmerSUN diversion - 9.9kWh (in March 2016 this was 35kWh - so again the ImmerSUN is getting pushed out of the system somewhat!)

    So, it looks like we've noticeably reduced grid import with the Solar plus Battery, and the Battery has probably saved at least £11 this month in imported electricity avoided, quite a gain again over Feb. I wonder how much more it'll get in April!

    You'll also be pleased to hear that on 3 days the battery discharged more than 4kWh - those were all on days where my generation was >10kWh which for my system counts as a very good day for March.

    Definitely seems that the longer days, and of course higher sustained outputs, are both contributing (remember, the PowerVault can "only" charge at 800W max).

    I'm definitely seeing battery support stretching later into the evenings now - so on those good days, the battery has been discharging until about 9pm - definitely peak shaving! Hopefully that trend will continue as we move towards those long summer evenings with late sunsets and my West-facing panels pushing out some late evening watts.

    I guess if you've got more west-facing generation capacity (as you have), and if you've got a bigger battery than I have, you could peak-shave for much longer in the evenings. We'll see how it goes.
    He talks about peak shaving for longer, but I assume (any thoughts?) that if the batt supplies a significant contribution till around 9pm, then from a national point of view it's done its job, as demand, price and carbon intensity will then start to drop.

    I think these FFU's are educational, I've certainly learnt a lot from him. Ideally I suppose we need similar info from someone with a larger PV system, larger batt, and larger charge/discharge limits, but I'm sure that will come. Or perhaps there are folks out there blogging such stuff already - so much internet, so little time!
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 6th Apr 17, 8:54 PM
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    Martyn1981
    New episode of Fully Charged discussing the Redflow 10kWh flow battery and multiples thereof - 600kWh anyone?

    Not cheap, about £10k I think in Australia, but also relatively new, and low production, so more time needed. The advantages though are that there is no loss of performance over time, and the battery is happy to be discharged 100%. Also the liquid is actually a fire retardant, so super safe.

    Redflow ZCell batteries | Fully Charged
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 7th Apr 17, 2:28 PM
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    NigeWick
    New episode of Fully Charged discussing the Redflow 10kWh flow battery and multiples thereof - 600kWh anyone?
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    I watched it and thought it looked like a good idea. Then I thought what if I have a 60kWh battery electric car, why would I want the goo tank as well?
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 13th Apr 17, 5:08 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Possible confirmation that domestic storage is not yet viable in the UK.

    Battery storage draws one complaint a week says consumer protection scheme


    Not only do we need to see prices come down, but also some sort of standardisation, and industry regulation. But, in fairness, it's still early days.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 19th Apr 17, 4:41 PM
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    Martyn1981
    E.on is now in the PV and storage business, though storage prices look high, and leccy savings seem a bit ambitious, but just to let folks know that interest in the market is clearly growing.

    Energy giant E.on enters UK solar and storage market
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 22nd Apr 17, 12:24 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Ffu 9
    Here is a compilation of battery use updates, which seems to show that April is a key crossover month, and might mean 6 months of major battery use per year.

    With the excellent sun conditions we've had in the last few days, I've seen some really good numbers from my SolarPV, but also from the PowerVault.

    5th April - 3.85kWh
    6th April - 4.33kWh
    7th April - 3.66kWh
    8th April - 2.73kWh
    9th April - 5.77kWh!

    On those same 5 days, my generation was all above 12kWh, with 9th April being 14.21kWh, my best day of the year.

    Looking at the data in more detail, the 8th April, we were all out of the house for most of the day and didn't come home until early evening, so there was comparatively little daytime use and no big ticket draws like dishwasher or electric oven. Consequently, the battery didn't have to actually do much - this meant it was able to discharge all the way through the night covering the fridge freezer into 9th April - which is why I think 9th April looks so high as it had a good 7 hours of that nighttime 90-180watt draw covered before sunrise, then the solar panels woke up, fully covered all daytime demand, fully re-charged the PowerVault and then was able to discharge again in the evening

    In addition, the ImmerSUN has been taking at least 3kWh/day in the same period and has fully covered our hot water needs. There is now sufficient surplus power during the day to cover daily consumption, charge the battery, heat the HWT and actually still export a bit to the grid.
    We were away on Sat and Sun [15th & 16th] so this is what the solar and battery can do without any big ticket home use items like the washing machine, dishwasher, tv and PS4 - 3.3kWh of battery discharge alongside the solar generation during the day basically covered the whole 24 hour period with effectively zero import.
    It's definitely starting to feel like a more successful and useful installation now April has arrived - 67kWh from the battery up to the 19th, so I reckon 100kWh is achievable, and the ImmerSUN has been able to heat the hot water tank alone for most of those days with the export the PowerVault can't take. This seems to happen in the afternoons when the PowerVault charging rate falls away - I've noticed this pattern quite a lot now on the graphs, I'm guessing it's something to do with how the batteries cope with taking charge as they get towards full capacity and preserving the battery life?
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 22nd Apr 17, 12:27 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Just some general battery news / official launches, but no prices.

    Mercedes now selling into the UK, that should help create a market, competition etc etc.

    Mercedes-Benz Ready To Sell Residential Storage Batteries In UK

    and LG Chem launching in the US, which will hopefully create competition with Tesla, and stir up publicity, which again should help with markets, prices, progress etc.

    LG Chem Officially Launches Home Batteries In North America
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
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