With the evolution of Electric Vehicles, Battery Storage Technology has continued to introduce innovation and reduce costs over the past years, where, from a commercial perspective, has become a justifiable part of the energy mix in the South African context - energy security being the major advantage. Indeed, Battery Storage is now able to compete with "polluting" Emergency Diesel Generators.
In the 21st Century, Battery Storage capacity forms part of a renewable energy strategy, where batteries are charged each day and the energy (kWh) used at night.
Battery Storage is generally guaranteed for 6,000 cycles (15 years), and the capacity purchased in kWh. Systems will start at around 4 kWh, expandable to 50 kWh or even much larger scale is now possible.
With many schools looking to install a Solar PV System, the possibility of including a Battery Storage is a calculation that cannot be ignored. Indeed, with the recent announcement of Electricity tariff increases for 2019 to 2021 of around 30%, Battery Storage will become ever more financially viable and a fundamental part of an energy strategy in schools.
Suntricity recommends a strategy where an initial Solar System is installed of 20KW (Primary Schools) and 40KW (Secondary/High Schools), from which careful monitoring is carried out, in order to determine the need for additional Solar capacity to be added over time, and where data also provides the data to calculate the financial justification for Battery Storage.
Battery Storage presently cost around R15,000 per kWh (depending on the technology), and schools would need a minimum of 10 kWh Storage capacity. The total life-time "battery electricity " provided by a 10 kWh (6,000 cycles) is 60,000 kWh, which at a kWh average cost of say R7,50 (over the 15-years) would provide electricity savings of approximately R450,000 for an initial investment of around R150,000. The cost to 'top up" the batteries (from Solar Electricity) daily, will however need to be add.
Should the recent spate of "load shedding" continue, the decision to implement Battery Storage could, of course, be accelerated.
We are accompanying this Battery Storage theme very carefully and will continue to report.