Grid Scale, Rooftop, Solar, Storage

Listen Up: Energy Storage is the Home Appliance of the Future

Twenty years ago, the problem with rooftop solar was that customers needed a large collection of lead acid batteries to store their daytime energy and use this energy at night. But simple net metering rules made it possible for the electric grid to function as a 100 percent efficient storage device. Unfortunately, utilities are doing everything they can to eliminate net metering so they can maximize their profits. So the compelling need for battery storage linked with rooftop solar has re-emerged.

Although lead acid batteries are an inexpensive and mature technology, they are not well-suited for home energy storage applications. Fortunately, lithium-ion batteries have become much more reliable and inexpensive — primarily because of production volumes required by the automotive industry. That availability comes just in the nick of time as net metering is constrained in some states, and time-of-use electric rates shift towards late afternoons and evenings (limiting potential rooftop solar savings).

LG Chemical is one of the largest battery manufacturers in the world. They recently introduced a line of residential and commercial energy storage systems that are optimized for both residential and commercial solar applications. LG knows how to make reliable appliances — which is essentially what a home battery storage system will be in the home of the future.

My guest on this week’s Energy Show is Linh Tran, Western Regional Sales Manager for LG Chem Power. In addition to explaining the features and benefits of LG Chem’s battery storage products, Linh also explains the special handling requirements that are mandatory for installers of large battery storage systems (hint: DOT Hazmat training is required). For a quick education on the latest in home battery storage, please Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

About the Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

This podcast was originally produced by Spice Solar and was presented here with permission.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr