Battery Storage: a day in the life.

November 17, 2021 by Greg Bishop

NGRE is seeing an increasing number of customers invest in battery storage systems either when they initially fit a solar PV system or later, as a complimentary additional investment.

Why and how are Battery Storage Systems Used

Using a variety of modes, systems can store excess energy from PV systems and then use it in the evening when buying energy is expensive or at night when the PV system is not generating, or even sell it back to the grid for profit.

If used with flexible tariffs, such as Octopus Agile tariff, the system can also be charged from the grid at times when electricity is cheap, during the night, or during ‘price plunge’ events where users are actually paid to use energy.

A Day in the Life: Cutting Through the Data

Managing Director, Greg Bishop looked at a day in the life of his own system to attempt to cut through the, often, over-whelming data for a real-world assessment.

After living with a PV system for 10 years, Greg decided to put his money where his mouth is earlier this year and invest in a GivEnergy battery storage system.

Consisting of an 8.2kWh Lithium battery with a 3kW AC Coupled inverter, the system was connected to his existing PV system, consisting 12, 185w panels (2.2kWp) with solar inverter.

Like his customers, Greg wanted to be even more efficient in his energy usage at home, using a combination of free electricity generated by his PV system and cheap electricity stored by his battery at night, and then, and only then, turn to peak grid prices.

An Average Autumn Day

Greg said: “Last month I thought I’d have a quick snap-shot of my figures and share my own experience to give people, who were thinking about battery storage, an idea about how it works and the efficiency savings.

“I didn’t pick a red-hot day in the summer – the weather wasn’t great with rain and sunny intervals – but an average British day in October.”

85p for a whole day

Greg charged his battery at night (he uses Octopus’ Go tariff in which tariffs drop for customers during the night) at 5.5p/kWh, so around 50p to charge. A combination of the energy from the cheaply charged battery and from his PV system then ran his house right through until 9.30pm. It was at this point he started to import power from the grid, using a further 1.5kWh at a cost of 35p. So, in total, Greg only spent 85p powering his house for a whole day.

Greg said: “Although I’ve got an obvious vested interest in this technology, at the end of the day, when it comes to my house and my bills, I am a customer and a consumer as well and I have invested in the technology for my house to cut my bills, use my energy more efficiently and lessen my family’s environmental impact.”

He added: “A lot of figures are banded about in the world of solar PV and battery storage, so it was a really interesting exercise to stand back and see just how the system was working for us and a great confirmation that our electricity bill could be so low.”

What the customers say

We spoke to our customers to see why they decided to invest in their battery storage systems.

Mature, Reliable, Technology – “people using these systems successfully”

Oxford resident Tony Brett ran his 18-panel, 3.3kWp PV system trouble-free for 10 years before investing in a new GivEnergy battery storage system featuring an 8.2kWh battery and 3kW AC Coupled inverter.

He said: “I’m one of those people that likes to adopt new technology but not too early. I think it’s fairly mature technology now and there have been plenty of case studies of people using these systems successfully.”

Investment Costs Dropping – “It just makes sense now”

Businessman, Adam Bewsey, invested in a 10-panel, 3,300 kWp solar system last year, linked to a battery storage system developed by Social Energy. Together it is estimated to generate 2775 kWp annually and save him £1,000 per year.

He said: “I’ve been looking into solar energy and battery storage for a couple of years but thought it was just a bit too expensive. But costs have come down a lot and so it just makes sense now.”

Cheap Tariffs – “The difference between energy tariffs is huge”

Tony Brett said: “We wanted to be even smarter with our energy usage. We’ve also signed up to Octopus Energy’s flexible tariff, so for example, today I could ask the system to charge the battery, say, at 2pm and stop when it gets too expensive at, say, 4pm. I’m not sure everyone realises it, but the difference between energy tariffs at different times is huge.”

Maximising Self-consumption – “making a huge difference”

Mr Brett added: “One March day, we used 12.8kWh of energy, but only bought 3.5kWh from the grid, getting the rest from the PV and energy stored in the battery. It’s already making a huge difference.”

Energy Security

Mr Brett continued: “In the UK we’re moving into a period of economical difficulty and we’ve moved out of the European Union, from which we are dependent on buying a lot of our energy. The combination of these two systems gives me a little more control over my energy.”

Are you interested in solar PV and/or battery storage solutions?

If you’re interested taking advantage of the benefits of a solar PV system and/or battery storage system from an MSC and NICEIC installer, fill out our contact form, and one of our experienced team will be in touch.

NGRE specialise in the supply of the latest renewable solutions for architects, builders and homeowners in Oxfordshire and surrounding areas and have more than 10 years’ experience.