Ever heard of Solar Power as a Working-From-Home Perk? Installing solar power systems is already a tedious process for homeowners, and with many of us working and learning remotely, we’re too distracted to get started. Those renting or living in states where policies have made solar power a no-go can forget about it — lower bills due to solar are a pipe dream. But as many companies scramble to keep their employees motivated and rethink perks while their employees work from home, a Washington, D.C.-based startup says it has a solution.

Arcadia describes itself as the first nationwide “digital utility” in the U.S. Since its founding in 2014, the company’s platform is now available in all 50 states and with more than 100 power utilities. Users can acquire a solar power subscription from Arcadia, buy as little as one solar panel or more, and see the results as a credit on their monthly utility bills.

Therein lies an opportunity for a company’s virtual human resources desk to offer a new benefit to employees.

It’s true that we’ve seen a decrease in emissions worldwide due to the novel corona virus pandemic; how much of a reduction varies by the sources consulted. But here’s the problem for companies: For those that are tabulating their emissions as part of their sustainability or environmental responsibility strategies, many of those emissions have simply shifted from the properties they own or lease to their employees’ individual homes. Solar power can help solve that problem.

After all, many individuals’ utility bills have bumped upward, as we’re leaving our devices charged and air conditioning units running with greater frequency — not to mention the fact we’re using our household appliances more (yes, opening that fridge door constantly as a procrastination tactic adds more to your utility bill in the long term). But with working from home becoming the reality for many through 2021, companies now have the chance to offer employees financial relief while swatting away some of their own emissions.

In a recent interview with Fast Company, Arcadia CEO Kiran Bhatraju said the company’s corporate clients so far include McDonald’s, SkySpecs and CustomerFirst Renewables. But with more companies saying that working from home for the most part ended up becoming a net positive after the initial shell shock, watch for Arcadia to win more clients as remote work is redefining the very notion of “perks.”

In Ghana, where the Corona virus has increased working  from home options for many employees especially in the banking sector. Nocheski has therefore developed  special packages solar packages at very competitive prices. Call 0244270092 for more information


Low cost, large-scale Battery  storage is the key to accelerating the renewable energy revolution, and now shrimp have been enlisted in the cause. The aim is to push down the cost of flow batteries by using bio-based materials such as shrimp shells. That would help ramp up the transition   out of fossil fuels and into clean power, thus saving the planet in time to avert a climate catastrophe.

Scientists led by MIT have suggested chitin, a carbon and nitrogen-rich material made from waste shrimp shells, could produce sustainable electrodes for vanadium redox flow batteries and other energy storage technologies.

Expert projections indicate a potential annual revenue of $2 billion (€1.8 billion) from shrimp farming in Ghana, which in 2015 had excited the country’s President John Dramani Mahama, who foresees it overtaking incomes from oil and gas if successful.

Thank you, shrimp. Wait, what is a flow battery?

 

Shrimp (May) Be The Key to Energy Storage That Flows

We’ll get to that flow battery thing in a minute. First let’s clarify the news about shrimp shells and energy storage, which has been zooming all over the Intertubes in recent days.

The news involves research published in April at ACS Sustainable Chemical Engineering under the title, “Exploration of Biomass-Derived Activated Carbons for Use in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries.”

The research team did not exactly determine that shrimp shells are the best bio-based material for flow batteries. What they did was compare shrimp shells to pine wood, in order to develop a method for determining the performance of a wide variety of bio-based materials and develop a general set of design principles.

Got all that? Good! Shrimp could still come out on top, but shrimp shells are just one of many bio-based sources that could be used to produce the activated carbon used in flow batteries.

The bio-based approach is relatively new, so before anybody skips to the front of the line, there needs to be “a systematic approach to advancing biomass-based functional materials for use in energy applications,” as the research team explains.

If you know your atoms, you know what the team means when they conclude that “electrochemically accessible surface area, rather than the heteroatom composition” is a more effective representative of the material’s performance.

Spoiler alert: surface area is a big deal in energy storage performance.

Why Shrimp Shells & Energy Storage Go Together Like Rice & Beans

The big question is why shrimp shells for energy storage, and the answer is chitin. Pronounced KY-tin, chitin is found in the exoskeletons, beaks, scales, and other hard parts of insects and aquatic creatures, as well as the cell walls of fungi, with shrimp and crab being the most common sources.

Chitin is already commonly used for edible film and other food products. It also pops up in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications.

As a large-scale byproduct of the food processing industry, chitin is cheap, abundant, and available practically all over the world. In other words, perfect for a world in search of low cost, sustainable energy storage.

Chitin has been a wallflower in the clean tech field, but it lately it has been emerging as a sustainable alternative to petrochemicals, and there have been hints that it could be used to make solar cells.

About That Flow Battery…

So, flow batteries. For those of you new to the topic, flow technology has been around for a while, but it has gained new significance in the age of decarbonization because it can provide for large scale, long duration energy storage at a relatively low cost.

Shrimp to Spark Flow Battery Storage RevolutionLithium-ion batteries are still the gold standard for energy storage, but they only last for a few hours. In order to integrate more wind and solar into the grid, you need energy storage technology that costs less and is more flexible and resilient, and is capable of handling grid-scale operations.

Flow batteries fit the bill. The basic idea is that two specialized liquids can generate an electrical current through a chemical reaction, when they flow adjacent to each other. Typically they are separated by a thin membrane, though researchers have experimented with formulations that do not require one.

Membrane or not, the two liquids can be stored indefinitely in their own tanks, of practically any size. Aside from providing for large-scale storage, the setup does not lose capacity over extended down time, as is the case with conventional batteries.

The US Department of Energy is all over flow batteries as a sustainable replacement for centralized, fossil fuel power plants. The technology is part of the agency’s broader push for large scale, long duration energy storage.

Energy Storage, Now With Vanadium (Not Vibranium)

As you may surmise, flow batteries involve two key challenges. One is how to ramp up the efficiency of the chemical reaction between the two liquids, while keeping costs down. That’s where the new chitin research comes in (for those of you keeping score at home, the research team includes scientists from both MIT and Tufts).

The other challenge is to formulate the optimal liquids for enhancing the reaction. The chitin research team settled on the all-vanadium redox flow battery formulation.

That’s vanadium, not vibranium. Both are metals, but only one actually exists outside of the Marvel Universe.

Our friends over at the Energy Department are quite interested in the all-vanadium formulation. Back in 2012, the agency discussed the pros and cons.

“There are many kinds of [Redox Flow Battery] chemistries, including iron/chromium, zinc/bromide, and vanadium,” the Energy Department explained. “Unlike other RFBs, vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs) use only one element (vanadium) in both tanks, exploiting vanadium’s ability to exist in several states.”

The one-element solution enables VRBs to avoid cross-contamination issues, which is a significant problem for other chemistries.

That doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing for VRBs, though.

“Sulfuric acid solutions, the electrolyte used in current VRBs, can only hold a certain number of vanadium ions before they become oversaturated, and they only allow the battery to work effectively in a small temperature window,” said the Energy Department.

“The low energy densities and small operating temperature window, along with high capital cost, make it difficult for the current VRBs to meet the performance and economic requirements for broad market penetration,” the Energy Department summed it up.

That didn’t stop New York City from dabbling in the technology back in 2014, in a project featuring vanadium technology developed by the company CellCube.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been among those on the prowl for improvements to the technology, and the lab has come up with new energy storage chemistries that help keep costs down while addressing the energy density and temperature issues.

Last year the Energy Department surveyed emerging grid-scale energy storage options and noted that redox flow batteries “appear to be well positioned” due to the rapid pace of improvement in the technology.

As one indicator of stepped-up activity in the vanadium flow battery field, earlier this year the US company Avalon  joined with redT Energy of the UK to form Invinity Energy Systems, which bills itself as “the world’s leading vanadium flow battery company.”


Introducing Tesla Ambulance. powered by Victron Energy .Typically an ambulance is a medically equipped vehicle which transports patients to treatment facilities, such as hospitals.[1] Typically, out-of-hospital medical care is provided to the patient.

Have you ever wondered what you would do if your electric vehicle ran out of fuel – in the middle of nowhere? calls for Tesla Ambulance

Well, we’ve got an interesting video for you.

Lucian Popescu has driven his Tesla Model S into the mountains of Romania leaving himself insufficient power to get home again. A distributor comes to his rescue with an experimental re-charge.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Just before we begin you might be interested in a quick roundup of the setup for  Tesla Ambulance we’re about to see:

  • 3 x Quattro Inverter 10kVA are configured to recharge the vehicle with 3 Phase power. It’s not always possible to charge an electric vehicle remotely because they require a Neutral Ground which is not available on many generators or alternative power supplies – but which the Quattro inverters can be switched to provide. This arrangement provides 11kWh – the standard ‘maximum’ charge acceptance rate for the Tesla AC inlet – but wait, we’re in for a surprise.
  • 4 x 25.6V Lithium Batteries which between them store 20kWh.
  • VE Bus BMS protects the battery during charge/discharge cycles
  • Cerbo GX ties everything together; and we get a look at the neat GX Touch 50 display in action.

The video saves the best for the end with a sneak preview of an early prototype of the Victron Car Charger – the EV Charging Station. Capable of providing 22kWh – electric car charging just came home. At this rate an hour of charge will provide up to 90 miles (145 km) of range; and a typical electric vehicle battery can be taken from empty to full in around 5 hours.

In other news,Emergency service giant Falck, a Denmark-based first responder and ambulance operator, wanted to test if they could make a zero-emission emergency service vehicle. To do this they turned a roomy, fast, and long-range Tesla Model X into an ambulance.

The company operates in over 35 countries worldwide. It provides ambulance services in close cooperation with the national authorities. Falck is today the world’s largest international ambulance operator with more than 5000 vehicles around the globe, but very few are powered by electricity. It makes complete sense that they would try to implement the electric vehicle era in the fleet.

 

 


Ghana’s Plastic manufacturer Miniplast will buy electricity from a 704 kW grid-connected solar array owned and operated by Norwegian  renewable energy developer Empower New Energy AS.

Norway-based Empower New Energy has secured one of Africa’s first power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the supply of solar electricity.

Empower, which has a focus on  renewable energy project deployment in sub-Saharan Africa, said Ghanaian plastic manufacturer Miniplast Limited has agreed to buy electricity from a 704 kW rooftop solar array to be installed on its manufacturing and recycling facility in Accra, in the Ghanaian capital.

The plant will be installed and operated by Stella Futura Ltd under a power sales agreement signed between the three partners,” Empower New Energy said. “The investment will be made through a local project company majority owned by Empower Invest, the impact investment fund managed by Empower New Energy.” Stella Futura will act as EPC contractor for the project.

Terms

The financial terms of the PPA were not revealed.

The rooftop installation is slated to become operational in July.

bilateral solar PPA in Africa was signed in January 2019 between Egyptian solar company SolarizEgypt and the Arabian Cement Company.

Renewable Energy :Ghana’s first bilateral solar PPA to be set up on factory rooftops of Miniplast in Spintex Industrial Area of Accra city, the 704 kW system is planned to be grid connected by July 2020. It will help the manufacturer reduce its consumption of diesel to power its factories while bringing down its electricity costs.

“We’re excited to install one of the largest industrial and commercial solar PV systems in Ghana,” said Nadim Ghanem-Pares, Deputy Managing Director of Miniplast Limited. “Furthermore, this will be a flagship project to promote the use of renewable energy within the Spintex Industrial enclave of Accra.” Empower Invest’s Empower New Energy (EmNEW) is funded by Norway’s development fund for emerging markets Norfund, and European Union’s first electrification financing initiative, Electrify, among others.

Ghana is increasing efforts to raise the share of renewables in its electricity mixUnder its energy strategy, the nation wants 2.5 GW of renewable energy generation capacity – probably including hydroelectric – by 2030. Ghana had just 64 MW of solar capacity at the end of 2018, according to International Renewable Energy Agency statistics.

Credit

This article was originally written by Emiliano Bellini.He joined pv magazine in March 2017. He has been reporting on solar and renewable energy since 2009.

A solar-powered  farm in Mali, West Africa, is stretching the boundaries of what’s possible. In a landlocked country well-known for producing Cotton, Rice Millet and Corn, the Complex Agro Industrial de Baragnouma produce fish – at a rate of 5 tons a day.All powered by Victron Energy and Fronius…

In order to maintain conditions in which the fish can thrive water has to be continually filtered and oxygenated. Water treatment takes a lot of power – at the Baragnouma complex that power is provided by solar energy from Fronius and victron.

It seems fatuous to say that the reliability of their remote power plant is paramount …but if the power were to fail for just 30 minutes, the fish would die.

It was decided at the outset, in 2014, that the farm would incorporate solar energy power provision to the greatest possible extent – though few could have foreseen the scale of its success. Ninety-eight per cent of the power requirement is met by solar energy, back-up generators providing the other two percent.

victron Energy & fronius: solar -powered agriclture in Mali

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0032.JPG

In fact there are seven off grid solar-powered electrical installations at the Complex Agro Industrial de Baragnouma which provide inexpensive sustainable energy not only for their pisciculture but also for: Chicken, Dairy, Fruit and Vegetables; a factory which produces animal feed; workers houses; and two small offices.

Fortunately sunshine is very dependable in Djoliba which is 40km from Mali’s capital, Bamako. Their investment over 6 years has exceeded a million dollars – yet these investments are lower than the cost of the diesel which would otherwise have been used. And the solar installations save more than 400 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The carefully orchestrated infrastructure includes a Fish nursery for 20,000 Alvins per cycle of production, which are reared in 8 ponds. There are a further 14 ponds each of 1000m² for the specie Clariidae. Thirteen much larger ponds provide the habitat for rearing Tilapia. There is a recycled water requirement of 14,570 cubic metres per day with pumps working at up to 180 cubic metres per day; and top-up pumped from boreholes.

victron Energy & fronius: solar -powered agriclture in Mali

The seven Off-Grid Systems have a total capacity of 520kW.  Generating a similar amount of energy using diesel would cost around $260,000 a year …add to that the cost of maintenance, transport for fuel, and depreciation of the generators and it’s easy to see how the cost savings, and power security make the solar option so desirable. And the farm operates silently – which is a bonus for the 100 or so employees who are all fully engaged with the project.

The installation was carried out by Sonikara Solar Electro – overseen by company CEO and Founder Mouctar Doucoure. Working with the support of Victron staff, it is a ringing endorsement of the technological ability of Sonikara that they have been awarded the maintenance contract to oversee this huge installation for the next five years – monitoring and maintaining the system so that it runs without missing a beat.

victron Energy & fronius: solar -powered agriclture in Mali

Anco van Bergeijk (support engineer for Victron in Africa) Mouctar Doucoure (CEO and founder of Sonikara Solar)

The Biggest standalone Victron/Fronius installation provides 3-phase power to the fish and chicken food factory – which can be seen in the video below. It employs:

In 2018 a dairy was added, together with a food processing factory. Last year saw the construction of some impressive looking greenhouses for vegetable production. As each success is chalked up so more new ideas are tried the owner has ever greater plans for the future of this diverse farming model.

The latest installation powers the greenhouses, and provides water treatment and pumping, together with a heat regulation system. It employs:

victron Energy & fronius: solar -powered agriclture in Mali

Other installations in this large farm complex provide:

    • 5kVA for the Egg incubators (poultry)
    • 10kVA for the Poultry farm
    • 60kVA for the Fish nursery and lab
    • 10kVA for the Offices and Conference suite
    • 10kVA Further offices
    • 3kVA for Employees houses
    • 3kVA for the Cattle farm

Victron products have a broad range of compatibility with third-party manufactured equipment. Fronius inverters and BYD’s Iron Phosphate chemistry batteries – chosen here for their scalability, and their ability to operate in temperatures of up to 55°C – all work seamlessly with Victron Solar Charge controllers, Inverters, and with our data-comms controller the Color Control GX (CCGX).

Using Victron’s Remote Management platform (VRM), the CCGX provides at-a-glance remote monitoring and management so that the Sonikara team can perform interventions whenever required, from their own offices.

Victron provides training and support in West Africa (and indeed all over the world) to ensure that the skills are available for projects of this scale to be built, and offers continued training to equip solar engineers with the necessary expertise.

victron Energy & fronius: solar -powered agriclture in Mali

The positive social and economic advantages are substantial and far-reaching. The farm provides fresh fish, chicken, milk and vegetables to the national and local market of Mali, Bamako.  In addition to the farm’s 100 employees, it provides work for local traders, and trickle-down benefits for other commercial operators.

Mouctar Doucoure said: The challenges of an off-grid electrical project of this size is to constantly adapt to growth, and to educate all involved. We accomplished this by creating local expertise and by expanding the systems step-by-step. The quality of wiring installations, batteries, and the system design was tested after each phase. Also; all the systems can be constantly monitored online.

Let’s take a look at the site through this informative video. It’s interesting to hear a word or two about how the video was made. Seizing the opportunity to provide experience for some Video School graduates in Mali, it was decided to commission them to film and produce the promotional video below.

Much was learned and the result by Israel Oron and his colleagues – former students from Conservatoire des arts of Bamako – is excellent:

 

The ‘win-win’ success of this project which creates useful employment; increases education; produces healthy food in a noise and pollution-free environment; as well as reducing costs and reduces carbon emissions – is that it becomes a beacon showing the way ahead …demonstrating how technology can be harnessed for the future benefit of local communities.

 

All images: Photos/Film: B-Twien Clicks | Film & Photo or Ewien van Bergeijk – Kwant.


Panasonic has achieved the world’s highest energy conversion efficiency of 16.09% for a perovskite solar module (aperture area 802 cm2: 30-cm x 30-cm x 2-mm thick) by developing lightweight technology using a glass substrate and a large-area coating method based on inkjet printing. This was carried out as part of the project of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which is working on the “Development of Technologies to Reduce Power Generation Costs for High-Performance and High-Reliability Photovoltaic Power Generation” to promote the widespread adoption of solar power generation.

This inkjet-based coating method that can cover a large area reduces manufacturing costs of modules. In addition, this large-area, lightweight, and high-conversion efficiency module allows for generating solar power highly efficiently at locations where conventional solar panels were difficult to install, such as façades.

Going forward, NEDO and Panasonic continue to improve perovskite layer materials, aiming to achieve high efficiency comparable to that of crystalline silicon solar cells and establish technologies for practical application in new markets.

By focusing on the inkjet coating method that enables the raw material to be coated precisely and uniformly, Panasonic applied that technology to each layer of the solar cell including perovskite layer on glass substrate and realized high power conversion efficiency for a large-area module.

About Panasonic
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. The company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018, has expanded globally and now operates 582 subsidiaries and 87 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 8.003 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2019. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic: https://www.panasonic.com/global.

About NEDO:
NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) plays an important role in Japan’s economic and industrialization policies through its funding of technology development activities. NEDO also acts as an innovation accelerator to realize its two basic missions of addressing energy and global environmental problems and enhancing industrial technology.
To learn more about NEDO: https://www.nedo.go.jp/english/introducing_index.html

Source: https://news.panasonic.com/global/press/data/2020/02/en200207-2/en200207-2.html

Related Links
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
https://www.nedo.go.jp/english/

Panasonic R&D Overview
https://www.panasonic.com/global/corporate/technology-design/r-and-d.html

 


The new Cerbo GX, along with the optional GX Touch 50 display, were announced and demonstrated at METS, November 2019. GX products are Victron Energy state-of-the-art monitoring solution. The family consists of the different GX products, and their accessories.

The GX-device lies at the heart of the system – providing monitoring, and operating as the communication-centre of your installation. All the other system-components – such as inverter/chargers, solar chargers, and batteries – are connected to it. Monitoring can be carried out locally and remotely – via our free-to-use Victron Remote Management portal (VRM). The GX-device also provides Remote firmware updates and allows inverter/charger settings to be changed remotely.

Personally I’m a great fan of GX devices, the Color Control GX, Venus GX and more – all being a part of the Victron GX product range.

Detailed introductory blogpost by Panbo

However, my 6 years personal experience is with the Color Control GX model – so I’d be doing you the reader a disservice by reviewing the Cerbo GX. Also, as I blog for Victron, I admit to a natural and faithful bias. It seems only right and proper then to let an independent reviewer give you their take on this exciting new product. What I can say though – is that going by the review on Panbo, the product will be in great demand.

For a detailed introduction, I recommend reading the Panbo blog post by Ben Ellison:

Victron Cerbo GX, good AC/DC power monitoring gets better.

Introductory video

GX Touch 50 display

The GX Touch 50 is the optional display for the Cerbo GX. Its water proof, thin, and easy to mount. There is a cable coming out on the back with two plugs on it: the HDMI goes into the HDMI port on the Cerbo, and the USB (used to power the display) goes into one of the USB sockets. For all details, including dimensions and the manual, see the GX Touch 50 product page.

Optional DIN rail adapter

The optional DIN rail adapters are to easily mount the Cerbo GX on a DIN-Rail. Dimensions and details are available on its page on our website.

Conclusion

When you consider just how far GX devices have come in the last 6 years (just take a look back to 2014), then the Cerbo GX is to my mind the ultimate GX turbo charged device for connectivity.

Learn more at the Cerbo GX product page.


Tesla model 3 cars,now made in China.Tesla has delivered its first cars made in China, marking a major milestone for the electric vehicle maker.

Fifteen Tesla Model 3 cars were handed over at the company’s so-called “Gigafactory” near Shanghai.

It comes as Elon Musk’s company aims to secure a significant slice of the world’s biggest car market.

Tesla’s move into the country comes as the trade war has forced other American companies to shift production out of China.

During a ceremony at the company’s multi-billion dollar plant in Shanghai, 15 of its employees received cars they had purchased.

The event means deliveries of cars have started a little over a year after construction of the factory got underway.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olUBAIvoLpo

California-based Tesla said that it wanted to start handing over vehicles before the Lunar New Year beginning on 25 January, and now plans to scale up deliveries from the start of 2020.

The Chinese-made Model 3, priced at $50,000 (£38,000) before subsidies, will compete with local electric car makers, including NIO and Xpeng Motors, as well as global brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

US technology giants Apple, Google, HP, and Dell have all reportedly started the process of moving production from China to other Asian countries.

That’s as US tariffs on Chinese-made goods make them more expensive when they are imported into America, or companies have to absorb the cost themselves.

It also comes after intense pressure from US President Donald Trump for American companies to bring back manufacturing to the US. In August Mr Trump issued a demand for all US firms to move production out of China.

However, Tesla doesn’t plan to export the cars it makes in China to the US, where they would be hit with tariffs. Instead it wants to sell these Tesla Model 3 cars in China itself.

Previously Tesla was exporting all of the cars it sold in China from the US, which meant they were hit with tariffs in China.

The company isn’t just expanding its manufacturing into China. In November, it revealed plans to build a huge European production facility on the outskirts of Berlin in Germany.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EQcGVJAFx0

About Elon Reeve Musk

born June 28, 1971 ,Elon Musk  is an engineer and technology entrepreneur.He holds South African, Canadian, and U.S. citizenship and is the founder, CEO, and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX; CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; co-founder of Neuralink; founder of The Boring Company;and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2018.In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People, and was ranked (co-)first on the Forbes list of the Most Innovative Leaders of 2019. He has a net worth of $23.6 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 40th-richest person in the world. He is the longest tenured CEO of any automotive manufacturer globally.

 

Source: BBC


Everybody wants the best solar battery in Ghana.There are certain specifications you should use when evaluating your solar battery options, such as how long the solar battery will last or how much power it can provide. Below, learn about all of the criteria that you should use to compare your home energy storage options, as well as the different types of solar batteries.

LITHIUM VS AGM Ghana

freedom won lithium-ion battery installed in Accra,Ghana

How to compare your solar storage options

As you consider your solar-plus-storage options, you’ll come across a lot of complicated product specifications. The most important ones to use during your evaluation are the battery’s capacity & power ratings, depth of discharge (DoD), round-trip efficiency, warranty, and manufacturer.

Capacity & power

Capacity is the total amount of electricity that a solar battery can store, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Most home solar batteries are designed to be “stackable,” which means that you can include multiple batteries with your solar-plus-storage system to get extra capacity.

While capacity tells you how big your battery is, it doesn’t tell you how much electricity a battery can provide at a given moment. To get the full picture, you also need to consider the battery’s power rating. In the context of solar batteries, a power rating is the amount of electricity that a battery can deliver at one time. It is measured in kilowatts (kW).

A battery with a high capacity and a low power rating would deliver a low amount of electricity (enough to run a few crucial appliances) for a long time. A battery with low capacity and a high power rating could run your entire home, but only for a few hours.

Depth of discharge (DoD)

lithium vs AGM ,DEPTH OF DISCHARGE GRAPH,GhanaMost solar batteries need to retain some charge at all times due to their chemical composition. If you use 100 percent of a battery’s charge, its useful life will be significantly shortened.

The depth of discharge (DoD) of a battery refers to the amount of a battery’s capacity that has been used. Most manufacturers will specify a maximum DoD for optimal performance. For example, if a 10 kWh battery has a DoD of 90 percent, you shouldn’t use more than 9 kWh of the battery before recharging it. Generally speaking, a higher DoD means you will be able to utilize more of your battery’s capacity.This has always been an issue in Ghana .Most people have erroneous impression that batteries need to be completely drained for batter performance.

Round-trip efficiency

A battery’s round-trip efficiency represents the amount of energy that can be used as a percentage of the amount of energy that it took to store it. For example, if you feed five kWh of electricity into your battery and can only get four kWh of useful electricity back, the battery has 80 percent round-trip efficiency (4 kWh / 5 kWh = 80%). Generally speaking, a higher round-trip efficiency means you will get more economic value out of your battery.

Battery life & warranty

For most uses of home energy storage, your battery will “cycle” (charge and drain) daily. The battery’s ability to hold a charge will gradually decrease the more you use it. In this way, solar batteries are like the battery in your cell phone – you charge your phone each night to use it during the day, and as your phone gets older you’ll start to notice that the battery isn’t holding as much of a charge as it did when it was new.

Your solar battery will have a warranty that guarantees a certain number of cycles and/or years of useful life. Because battery performance naturally degrades over time, most manufacturers will also guarantee that the battery keeps a certain amount of its capacity over the course of the warranty. Therefore, the simple answer to the question “how long will my solar battery last?” is that it depends on the brand of battery you buy and and how much capacity it will lose over time.

For example, a battery might be warrantied for 5,000 cycles or 10 years at 70 percent of its original capacity. This means that at the end of the warranty, the battery will have lost no more than 30 percent of its original ability to store energy.

Manufacturer

Many different types of organizations are developing and manufacturing solar battery products, from automotive companies to tech startups. While a major automotive company entering the energy storage market likely has a longer history of product manufacturing, they may not offer the most revolutionary technology. By contrast, a tech startup might have a brand-new high-performing technology, but less of a track record to prove the battery’s long-term functionality.

Whether you choose a battery manufactured by a cutting-edge startup or a manufacturer with a long history depends on your priorities. Evaluating the warranties associated with each product can give you additional guidance as you make your decision.

LITHIUM VS AGM, Ghana

Victron Energy AGM super cycle batteries installation in Accra

Automotive companies are jumping on the energy storage bandwagon

Home energy storage technology and electric vehicles are a lot alike: they both use advanced batteries to create more efficient, sustainable products that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As electric vehicles become more popular, more companies are dedicating significant research and development funds to developing batteries, and they’re expanding into the energy storage business. Tesla is the first mainstream example (with their Powerwall battery), but Mercedes-Benz and BMW are also bringing standalone batteries to the market in 2017.

How long do solar batteries last?

There are two ways to answer this question and the first is to determine how long a solar battery can power your home. In many cases, a fully charged battery can run your home overnight when your solar panels are not producing energy. To make a more exact calculation, you’ll need to know a few variables, including how much energy your household consumes in a given day, what the capacity and power rating is for your solar battery and whether or not you are connected to the electric grid.

For the sake of a simple example, we’ll determine the size of a battery needed to provide an adequate solar plus storage solution with national average data from our research at Nocheski Solar. The average Ghana household will use roughly 15 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per day and a typical solar battery can deliver some 5 kWh of capacity. Thus a very simple answer would be, if you purchased three solar batteries, you could run your home for an entire day with nothing but battery support.

In reality, the answer is more complicated than that. You will also be generating power with your solar panel system during the day which will offer strong power for some 6-7 hours of the day during peak sunlight hours. On the other end, most batteries cannot run at maximum capacity and generally peak at a 90% DoD (as explained above). As a result, your 5 kWh battery likely has a useful capacity of 4.5 kWh.

Ultimately, if you are pairing your battery with a solar PV array, one or two batteries can provide sufficient power during nighttime when your panels are not producing. However, without a renewable energy solution, you may need 3 batteries or more to power your entire home for 24 hours. Additionally, if you are installing home energy storage in order to disconnect from the electric grid, you should install a few days’ worth of backup power to account for days where you might have cloudy weather.

 

Solar battery lifespan

The general range for a solar battery’s useful lifespan is between 5 and 15 years. If you install a solar battery today, you will likely need to replace it at least once to match the 25 to 30 year lifespan of your PV system. However, just as the lifespan of solar panels has increased significantly in the past decade, it is expected that solar batteries will follow suit as the market for energy storage solutions grows.

Proper maintenance can also have a significant effect on your solar battery’s lifespan. Solar batteries are significantly impacted by temperature, so protecting your battery from freezing or sweltering temperatures can increase its useful life. When a PV battery drops below -1.1 ° C, it will require more voltage to reach maximum charge; when that same battery rises above the 32.22 ° C threshold, it will become overheated and require a reduction in charge. To solve this problem, many leading battery manufacturers, like Tesla, provide temperature moderation as a feature. However, if the battery that you buy does not, you will need to consider other solutions like earth-sheltered enclosures. Quality maintenance efforts can definitely impact how long your solar battery will last. Temperatures in Ghana range between 25-35 deg Celsius.

What are the best batteries for solar?

Batteries used in home energy storage typically are made with one of three chemical compositions: lead acid, lithium ion, and saltwater. In most cases, lithium ion batteries are the best option for a solar panel system, though other battery types can be more affordable. Order you Lithium batteries in Ghana here

  1. Lead acid

    Lead acid batteries are a tested technology that has been used in off-grid energy systems for decades. While they have a relatively short life and lower DoD than other battery types, they are also one of the least expensive options currently on the market in the home energy storage sector. For homeowners who want to go off the grid and need to install lots of energy storage, lead acid can be a good option.This is the most common solar battery type in Ghana.

  2. Lithium ion

    The majority of new home energy storage technologies, such as the , use some form of lithium ion chemical composition. Lithium ion batteries are lighter and more compact than lead acid batteries. They also have a higher DoD and longer lifespan when compared to lead acid batteries.  However, lithium ion batteries are more expensive than their lead acid counterparts.This is the least common solar battery type in Ghana

  3. Saltwater

    A newcomer in the home energy storage industry is the saltwater battery. Unlike other home energy storage options, saltwater batteries don’t contain heavy metals, relying instead on saltwater electrolytes. While batteries that use heavy metals, including lead acid and lithium ion batteries, need to be disposed of with special processes, a saltwater battery can be easily recycled. However, as a new technology, saltwater batteries are relatively untested, and the one company that makes solar batteries for home use (Aquion) filed for bankruptcy in 2017.This battery type is virtually non existent in Ghana.


Solar Power ,energy excitement in Nigeria.The market at Sabon Gari in Kano state, Nigeria, has 12,000 shops where you can buy everything from vegetables to visual arts. It’s so big they call it ‘Mini Africa’. Several kilometres of bustling passageways and roads, packed with shoppers and the shouts of traders calling attention to their bargains, makes for an exhilarating atmosphere …you simply can’t visit Nigeria and not go there!

Solar energy POWER excitement in Nigeria World recognition for huge Solar-Powered Market 8

© Alexander Kohler, Source Persistent Energy

However until recently there’s been something else in the atmosphere, too: quite a lot of smoke!

Noise and fumes

Grid electricity supply problems resulted in 72% of the shops which needed electricity deciding to generate their own power using petrol and diesel generators – a survey found. Apart from the pollution and the noise, the market regularly experienced destructive fires causing damage estimated in the millions of Naira.

Solar power, energy excitement in Nigeria World recognition for huge Solar-Powered Market

© Alexander Kohler, Source Persistent Energy

To address this and similar issues, The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Rural Electrification Agency launched Energising Economies Initiative (EEI), to focus on building a reliable energy infrastructure at markets and other economic hubs – together with private developers.

Solar power energy excitement in Nigeria World recognition for huge Solar-Powered Market 5

His excellency the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo accompanied by REA CEO/MD Damilola Ogunbiyi conducting inspection of one of the energy hubs at Sabon Gari.

 

His excellency the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo accompanied by REA CEO/MD Damilola Ogunbiyi conducting inspection of one of the energy hubs at Sabon Gari.

Survey, design, install

The Nigerian based off-grid energy specialist Rensource – who aims to build West Africa’s largest portfolio of electricity micro-grid utilities using best-in-class technologies – were asked to carry out the installation.

Rensource recruited and trained 100 engineers, administrative staff, and craftsmen. Like so many countries, Nigeria has a large jobless population – new recruits were drawn from amongst Nigeria’s unemployed.

The first goal was to win the confidence of market stall holders that reliable power provision could be a reality – it was something no one had experienced before. A ‘needs’ survey provided the team with information essential to their system design …some shops needing only lighting; others had  air-conditioning and refrigeration units.

Solar power energy excitement in Nigeria World recognition for huge Solar-Powered Market 2 

How was it achieved

Working from survey results, a colossal 1.6MWh bank of Lithium-iron Phosphate batteries from hybrid battery manufacturer and technology partner BOS AG, based in Germany was selected as the power storage solution. The power installation was zoned into 160 10kWh systems – each providing power for between 60 and 80 shops.

Solar power energy excitement in Nigeria World recognition for huge Solar-Powered Market 3

800kVA of power is made available using 160 Victron MultiPlus inverter/chargers. These inverters have a peak power capability equal to double their continuous output – which ensures smooth power supply even as air conditioning units, for example, cycle on-and-off.  320 Blue solar MPPTs 150/70 units harvest the power from a 1.6MWp solar array, optimising the charge current to the Lithium iron battery bank.

Solar energy excitement in Nigeria World recognition for huge Solar-Powered Market 6

The system allows for future expansion – which is just as well because business is booming and demand for power is growing.

This clean electricity – made affordable by smart meters – brings only benefits it seems: Whereas the price of generator-produced electricity was around 1000 Naira per day, smart energy has brought that cost down to 116 Naira, typically.

International recognition

The success of this huge project has received deserved international recognition – Rensource won the Excellence in Climate Solutions award at the Transformational Business Awards ceremony (also known as ‘the Oscars of the renewables world’) which was held in June 2019, hosted by The International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group and Financial Times.

Since the completion of this project, four more markets now benefit from renewable electricity with a further fourteen scheduled. These developments are bringing welcome employment and training to enthusiastic young people who are really enjoying being involved with such a worthwhile scheme.

Rensource team after the inauguration ceremony! This project helped create many jobs for the youth of Nigeria.

Veeresh Anehosur of BOS AG says: The key to these mini grids and micro utility projects is that they need to be commercially attractive and sustainable in long-term. This is possible only if the technology works flawlessly over the years. ‘Low’ or ‘No’ system downtime and good system-level performance helps win customer confidence in the project – which decreases non-payment risk …a perfect scenario to recoup the initial investment. How do you ensure an efficient and cost-effective mini grid over time? One key element is to include lithium. Lithium has one of the least LCOE [Levelized Costs of Energy] compared to Lead acid. For projects where an initial low-capital investment is critical, a combination of Lead acid and Lithium can be used which gives a cost-effective high-performance solution.

Let’s have a look around the market, and hear how market traders are getting on with their new clean power:


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