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  • Next step in home solar electricity storage batteries?

    One of the possible next generation of storage batteries for solar panel generated electricity that could become common for domestic use.

    They sound to be safer, cheaper to produce, more efficient, quicker charging etc.

    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/...attery-mb0957/

    Gelion Technology – Gelion Technology

  • #2
    Yep, have been watching this one closely for a while now and looks to be very encouraging. Far better (Zinc Bromine) than using Lithium Ion batteries for home/grid energy storage...

    Mal.

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    • #3
      You sound like you don't like living with a bomb strapped to the side of your house Mal?

      Comment


      • #4
        Could be one of the reasons...

        Mal.

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        • #5
          This is interesting, thanks for sharing! I've been keeping an eye on the ZCell for a while - whilst the power density isn't up there with lithium batteries, the other advantages are very desirable such as 100% discharge, lack of degradation, more sustainable materials and the fact you don't have a spontaneous incendiary device strapped to the side of your dwelling. I'm not sure what the advantages of going with gel as opposed to liquid is, other than use in non-static devices (e.g. cars)?

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          • #6
            This is the ABC Catalyst episode on Home Storage batteries where the Gelion battery developer makes an appearance towards the end of the program.

            https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/batt...homes/11016162


            Originally posted by CoffeeHack View Post
            I'm not sure what the advantages of going with gel as opposed to liquid is, other than use in non-static devices (e.g. cars)?
            Somewhere in the earlier linked information was a reference to how the Gel and battery construction can be better tailored to suit the intended application for optimum performance.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CafeLotta View Post
              This is the ABC Catalyst episode on Home Storage batteries where the Gelion battery developer makes an appearance towards the end of the program.

              https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/batt...homes/11016162




              Somewhere in the earlier linked information was a reference to how the Gel and battery construction can be better tailored to suit the intended application for optimum performance.
              G'day CafeLotta

              And I thought most CS's weren't following both Solarquotes and Catalyst. You aren't also an Energybiz subscriber are you? Using the gel to place batteries within walls seems to be pretty straightforward once the tech gets mature enough. Add the clear solar cells (see CSIRO) to the windows and roof and it would be hard to even spot it was there. An unobtrusive self-powered insulated building with battery storage may be fairly close in time. Mind you, I do take the "no need for active cooling" with a grain of salt if it gets scaled up - it may end up being more useful in Antarctica and northern climes than hot, dry Oz. I think of it as edge heating, not central heating.

              The only addition to the above battery portion is that the must maligned Tesla "big battery" in SA actually stabilised the entire eastern seaboard grid about 3 days after it was installed - before the Victorian grid management team realised there was a grid issue that needed sorting. Impressive. Gives their gas generators enough time to get up to speed (roughly 6 seconds) before the voltage drops too much, and if it is really major the hydro can join in later (neither are instant, with hydro slower than gas).

              Meanwhile internationally China installed more solar power last year than the whole US grid has installed to date, and their factories are still ramping up production. No wonder the Chinese wires are lagging behind their tech... China has also cancelled virtually every coal powered station that has not installed their generators yet (for obvious reasons). Beijing Olympics had an entirely unexpected bonus - it woke China up as to declining air quality and made them fix it.

              However, for places like the US and Oz, rather than large scale deployments, I suspect our power structure will alter one roof at a time as homes and businesses just go ahead and do it whilst idiots in their respective parliaments (and their bureaucratic hangers on) promote coal - potentially with a large amount of bribery, as the economics simply do not stack up. Only an idiot would reckon coal is a good future investment.

              In my case, this partially shaded house installed 3KW of solar plus micro inverters in late 2013. The setup sent a nett of 2MWH of power to the grid in the first three years - and the ******* still sent us bills. Currently looking at installing batteries when ever the costings work - hopefully within the year. An EV may be an ideal supplement to a small home battery as I rarely need more than a 160Km round trip these days and the car is mostly sitting in its carport.

              Enjoy your solar powered coffee - I do.


              TampIt

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 338 View Post
                You sound like you don't like living with a bomb strapped to the side of your house Mal?
                We've had a Tesla power wall installed at home for about 3 years now, so I thought I'd chime in with some first hand experience.

                First up, I'd make the point that there's a fair bit of FUD around the subject of Lithium Ion household batteries. People think because cousin Billy's chinese "hoverboard" off AliBaba caught fire, that all lithium batteries must be the same.

                The household storage batteries from the big manufacturers have about as much in common with the hoverboards as a Profitec 700 has with an Aldi capsule machine.

                They have sophisticated Battery Management Systems (BMS), active cooling and highly engineered module arrangement. They even use modern Li-ion batteries on the International Space Station. I'm not aware of a single case of a fire with a home storage battery from any reputable maker like Tesla, Sonnen.

                As for our experience - fantastic. It gets a full charge nearly every day, even in the dead of winter (5kw solar). Battery powers the house whenever the clouds pass over and during the night. In summer we usually get a credit, and in winter a small bill (and that includes EV charging).

                Definitely the way forward.

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                • #9
                  I designed the roofline for the house we are building to maximise solar collection (but the builder then Effed it up by changing the angle without consultation). The idea is to install lots of solar as soon as we can afford it then battery storage after that.

                  If the GelIon thing is even close to the price / performance promised it looks very attractive. I personally cannot see the sense in using lithium technology in a static installation. I get that Tesla is leveraging their existing manufacturing base but if specific capacity isn't your primary driver lithium doesn't stack up IMO.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lyrebird View Post
                    . I personally cannot see the sense in using lithium technology in a static installation. .
                    There’s a number of advantages.

                    It’s physically compact due to the high energy density. This allows for a very favourable form factor that can be fitted to most homes, even very small ones.

                    The switching capability between charge and discharge is extremely quick. Fast enough for backup power without interruption.

                    No daily maintenance cycle. Some flow batteries go offline every day for a 1 hour maintenance routine. This means if you want uninterrupted power, you need two of them.

                    And the biggest advantage, it’s available right now.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by herzog View Post
                      And the biggest advantage, it’s available right now.
                      Granted. Given that I won't be in the market for a few years, I'm actively looking at alternatives.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by herzog View Post
                        We've had a Tesla power wall installed ... It gets a full charge nearly every day, even in the dead of winter (5kw solar). Battery powers the house whenever the clouds pass over and during the night. In summer we usually get a credit, and in winter a small bill (and that includes EV charging).

                        Definitely the way forward.
                        How does it go if you have a rainy week or two?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flynnaus View Post
                          How does it go if you have a rainy week or two?
                          We're not off grid, so no real issue. Rainy weather just means the panels produce less power. Even then, we still get a partial charge on bad weather days.

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                          • #14
                            Herzog, what you say about the battery management system and active cooling is the biggest difference between poor and good lithium ion batteries and battery installations. There are plenty of similarities though as well with lower cost installations. The Tesla Model S and X cars use 18650 batteries as did the early Powerwalls. An 18650 is probably the most common lithium ion battery, well priced and energy dense. They are used in many household devices such as notebooks, drills, etc usually in packs. Often you can put an 18650 next to a notebook battery and see how it would be made up of. Tesla is moving to a new battery, the 21700 for it's new car (Model 3 from memory) and already uses this battery in the Powerwall 2. The difference is size, an 18650 cell is 18mm by 65mm, the 21700 is 21mm by 70mm. Batteries are more efficient at a larger size, so the 21700 is a better match for vehicles and Powerwalls.

                            When used in one or two removable battery installations it is usual to specify a 'protected' 18650, meaning it has a chip to protect from overcharging or discharging. Usually when a battery in this style of installation has a problem it is because a non protected cell is used. In notebooks, which are known for their problems it is usually because the battery management system hasn't reacted to a weak or poor cell properly. In use the good cell tries to shunt the poor cell, which leads to exceeding it's design parameters and overheating, often going into thermal runaway. A poor effort by the battery management system. Similar thing on the hover boards. Of course the most famous of these pack fires is the Tesla motor car, which really has no excuse with it's good battery management system. The Model S uses something like 7,000 of the 18650 cells. When these go into thermal runaway they are hard to stop, the Tesla Model S fire in Antwerp needed a 24 hour water bath to stop it.

                            https://www.news.com.au/technology/i...057c03acfbe2b0
                            https://www.news.com.au/technology/i...0ed5d749baaa40
                            https://www.forbes.com/sites/billrob.../#2f3637eb7bd9

                            or the video of one catching fire
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtjjuk_p2pA

                            Disclaimer. I don't have first hand knowledge of the Powerwall like Herzog does, I don't own one. I do supply about 9 or 10 thousand 18650 batteries a year, mainly to government departments and hear a lot of anecdotal issues. I also have been involved in a number of investigations, most notably one in a power station no less, where their safety department spent two months investigating an 18650 fire and organising procedures around it. Turns out the purchasing department had bought some bargain batteries which were unprotected.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah I’m across the 18650 and 2170 based modules.

                              Worth noting that the cells in question are form factors, but the chemistry can vary. In the case of Tesla, the chemistry is proprietary and not the same as a typical laptop cell.


                              On the subject of vehicle fires, Tesla vehicle fires always make the news, but statistically they are far less likely to catch fire than petrol/diesel vehicles.

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