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A simple guide to solar battery storage and technology

We all know batteries, but the latest battery tech can power far more than our TV remotes.

BY Simply Energy
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From Powerwalls to Virtual Power Plants, there’s a lot of discussion around how battery tech can provide flexible and renewable energy to power our homes and sustain our local grids. It’s all pretty positive, but let’s take a look at how it works.

Understanding battery technology

Batteries provide storage for energy. From your little AAAs up to your Tesla Powerwall, they typically use chemicals to absorb and release energy on-demand. The great thing about batteries is that the release of energy is quicker than any other energy source. They can respond within fractions of a second.

How do solar battery systems work?

It all starts with your solar setup.

Solar panels generate electricity from the sun, this electricity is converted for use in your home – powering appliances etc. Usually when you have a surplus of energy generated by your solar panels, the excess is sent back to the grid. If you are using a battery system, you can use that excess to charge your battery first. Storing the energy to power your home when the sun goes down, or if there’s a blackout.

Solar batteries provide a reliable and renewable energy source

When installed in your home, solar batteries provide an excellent source of back-up power or energy. When attached to a grid system they can help maintain power for an entire community.

As Australia moves to harness more renewable energy in the future, large scale battery projects are popping up all around the country. Hundreds are being set up and installed around local networks, and in combination with the popularity of residential battery systems, they can provide communities with reliable, renewable, and consistent energy.

Especially when working together as part of a Virtual Power Plant.

What is a Virtual Power Plant?

With a Virtual Power Plant, it’s possible to connect multiple residential batteries together and operate them as a collective. The batteries work together, pooling their stored energy and sharing it with the grid when the need arises.

How does a virtual power plant work?

If your solar system is generating more energy than it needs to use, that surplus energy will be stored in your solar battery. If your local grid is ever under stress, the spare energy in your battery can be utilised to help your community – and you’ll receive energy credits for helping out.

It’s a way to support sustainable energy, save on costs, but also support the people around you.

How do I get started with a VPP plan?

First things first, you’ll need to have solar, and a Tesla Powerwall battery installed. Check out our eligibility criteria and see if you can join our Virtual Power Plant.

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