How to store electrical energy?

Drawing electricity from the sun is profitable, but some are concerned about power outages on cloudy days. Learn how to introduce customers to energy storage technology.

Searching for low-emission solutions in times of climate disaster is a priority. If the application of a technology is not only environmentally friendly but also budget-friendly, it can be considered almost perfect. This is the case with photovoltaics. However, many people are reluctant to use it for fear that in the fall and winter, when there is much less sun than in the summer, solar modules will not generate enough energy. From a layman's perspective, this is a perfectly reasonable argument against solar panels, but in reality, it is not a real threat. Thanks to the storage of electrical energy in photovoltaic installations, your clients will not have to worry about power outages even in winter.

What is an energy storage?

When solar technology was still in its infancy, the most important question was: "how to produce the most energy?".

Nowadays, photovoltaics have developed to the point where the bigger concern is storing the electrical energy that is generated in solar modules in excess. It is worth presenting customers with specific information and definitions.

Energy storages are defined in energy law regulations as: "a separate device or set of devices used for storing energy in any form, not causing emissions that burden the environment, in a way that allows at least partial recovery".

How does electrical energy storage work?

The high efficiency of modern photovoltaic installations makes electrical energy storage a necessity.

It will be easiest for the customer to understand the principle of their operation when you say that it is based on similar technology as batteries. Photovoltaic modules generate energy that powers the grid, and the excess current is used to charge the storage. When the sun starts to run out or night falls and electricity cannot be produced on an ongoing basis, the installation begins to draw it from the storage. This ensures continuity of supply and no interruptions or voltage drops in the power grid.

In the event of a complete discharge of the accumulator, there is still no concern that the production line will stop for several hours. In such a situation, the power supply switches to drawing current from the local energy supplier, which is a safeguard for such cases. Using solar panels and storing electrical energy can help significantly reduce electricity bills in the enterprise. When presenting the product to the customer, it is worth emphasizing that this solution allows for significant savings on an annual basis, thus reducing the costs of running a business, which are currently extremely high.

Types of energy storages

There are many ways to store electrical energy.

Different photovoltaic installations use various solutions, depending on needs and capabilities. There are several types of energy storages, each characterized by slightly different technology and capacity, which is worth pointing out to the customer. The most popular are electrochemical storages, which function like a rechargeable battery, storing and then releasing energy. However, not all methods of storing electrical energy work on the same principle as batteries. Among energy storages, there are also:

• thermal storages (accumulation of sensible or latent heat),

• mechanical storages (pumped-storage power plants, compressed air storages, flywheels),

• electrical storages (supercapacitors),
• chemical storages (fuel cells, energy production from methane or hydrogen).

All these types of energy storages can be used in photovoltaic installations, but electrochemical models dominate the market. This is the easiest to apply and use solution that does not require additional elements or accessories.

Thanks to electrical energy storage, it is possible to significantly reduce costs even after a few months. Installing a photovoltaic system is a considerable investment. However, customers will certainly be encouraged by the fact that the savings provided by using solar panels make this expenditure pay off very quickly.

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