There is a common belief among people that installing solar on their homes will always have reserve power. This is a misconception about the abilities of solar power. Without a way to harness and store this renewable energy, there is no way to reserve and use this energy at a later time. A standalone battery will allow for backup power during emergencies. Along with this invaluable resource, home batteries also allow you to use your reserve power during peak hours of consumption from the electric company. Having a standalone battery unit to store renewable energy will allow for exponential savings in the long run.
How Can Wind and Solar Energy Be Stored?
Solar panels and wind turbines produce energy at a lower cost than fossil fuels. The sun stops shining, and the wind can stop blowing at any moment. These factors make renewable energy less reliable than fossil fuels. How do we ensure these renewable energy sources are utilized fully? We install a home battery system that will store renewable energy for us!
Reliable and effective energy storage systems eliminate one of the most significant limitations of renewables. A home battery storage system, in essence, allows us to “control” the energy the sun and wind produce. This stored energy can be used at any time.
Taking Pressure Off the Power Grid
Another argument for personal home energy storage systems is the strain that continues to be put on the grid. As we switch to renewables, we ask more of the grid. However, our positive steps in the right direction are outpacing our old, inept grid.
Extreme weather events continually take out parts of the grid, as happened in Texas during the winter of 2020, causing families to lose power and life-saving heat sources during a winter storm. Hurricane Ida took out the grid in New Orleans in 2021 as a heatwave settled over the area, causing many residents to lose vital access to their air conditioning. In 2021, temperatures in Portland, Oregon, soared to 116 degrees Fahrenheit for several days causing electrical parts to melt and asphalt roads to warp. This disruption in the grid left many of the city’s residents without necessary air conditioning or access to fans.
These extreme examples continue to happen all over the country every year and season. “Once-in-a-lifetime” weather events are no longer once-in-a-lifetime; they are now consistent occurrences that we’re seeing with climate change.
How Electric Vehicles Are Impacting the Grid
Along with unpredictable, extreme weather patterns, our sudden shift to renewables (solar and wind power, EV vehicles, and charging stations) will also cause a strain on the grid without the proper infrastructure to support it.
Electric and wind power are utilized more when you can store it. Unless EV charging stations across the US are hooked up to a renewable energy source, they will pull power directly from the grid. And the same issue stands with charging stations at personal residences. It’s easy to imagine rolling brownouts in the future as you think of these electrical systems relying on grid power instead of a battery system to store energy reliably.
Currently, the power grid in the United States only operates with about 40% efficiency. We must optimize how customers and technologies interact with the grid. Changing this dynamic will create fewer problems in the future.
My Power Bill is Small; Why Should I Care About Battery Storage?
Over the past several years, companies have invested nearly $85 billion in manufacturing electric vehicles in the United States. The pace of investments continues each year–in 2022, companies announced a $13 billion investment in EV manufacturing via Whitehouse.gov. That number is more than triple what investments were in 2020. Since then, electric vehicle purchases have more than tripled.
The Biden administration aims to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by 2035. In 2021, investors put $58.5 billion toward renewable energy projects, grid-enabling technologies, and integrating renewables. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $7.5 billion to build a network for 500,000 EV chargers.
It’s clear renewable energy investments are progressing. It’s often ignored that the energy sources for this switch will still come from the grid. Without proper storage solutions. What does this resolve?
A Real World Scenario – Charging Your EV From the Grid
Follow this example: You purchase a new EV for your family. You feel good about your future investment and your impact on climate change. However, you do not have solar at your home, let alone a standalone battery system to store energy. You charge up your vehicle at night, pulling energy from the grid–energy that comes from fossil fuels.
Say you choose to take your new EV on a road trip. You will need to charge your car at EV stations along the freeway or EV posts in different towns. If those stations aren’t connected to solar power or a battery, you again charge your electric vehicle with energy from fossil fuels. While some charging stations rely on solar energy, most pull energy from natural gasses.
When spelled out like this, it’s hard to see the difference between using electricity to charge your car and using fossil fuels to gas up. And the fact is that without battery storage, there is not a significant impact when you only switch to an electric vehicle.
Tax Benefits for Clean Energy & Renewable Energy Storage
As of 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act has made new tax credits available in many facets.
The Inflation Reduction Act is an aggressive action to combat the current and future climate crises by lowering energy costs. It also makes urgent investments to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and healthcare for taxpayers. The bolstered tax credits will incentivize consumers to buy electric cars, electric HVAC systems, and other clean energy investments. In turn, this will thrust us towards more renewable energy consumption.
As we relate it to the Inflation Reduction Act, let’s dive deeper into another example.
You install solar at your home with the new tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act. Congratulations! If you charge your car during the day, when the sun is hitting your panels perfectly, you will not pull ANY energy from the grid. However, if you go to work and plan on charging your car every evening, you will rely on the grid to charge your electric vehicle. And isn’t that counterintuitive?
Electric vehicles are zero emissions, but the energy it uses to charge, as our grid currently stands, is not. So, as more individuals and families switch to electric vehicles and consistently charge their cars using the grid, what does that do to energy prices? It raises them.
The Strain on the Grid
Every price is based on supply and demand, which is no different for energy. Power companies charge more when demand is highest. Fuel costs and distribution infrastructure dictate electric prices. These costs have increased because of how we use power and interact with the grid.
Electric vehicles and charging stations not connected to renewables have caused a significant increase in the use of grid electricity. A rise in heat waves or below-freezing temperatures across the country is causing more people and businesses to use either air conditioning or heat. Greater demand is placed on the grid, even if we have many renewable resources at hand – the sun stops shining each day, and the wind can stop blowing. This is why a standalone unit is so important.
In general, utility systems can account for this spike in power. They can purchase extra power from neighboring facilities or balance it out by burning more fuel (the opposite of what we want to do). However, when there is a spike in demand and a utility doesn’t have backup power, power is balanced by cutting need – with rolling blackouts.
Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are customer-assisted assets that are in place to help flatten the energy usage curb. One example of a DER asset is energy storage, a standalone, reliable, and safe energy storage system, such as The Dragonfly Wing™.
Having a standalone unit reduces reliance on the grid, allowing you to use energy at intermittent, as-needed intervals. Solar panels are also considered a DER asset. However, without battery storage, you can only utilize panels when the sun is shining.
Solutions to the Problem
Kelly Sanders, a University of Southern California environmental engineer, tells Wired, “You can get a lot of electricity customers to use electricity much more when the sun is out, and then decrease that used when the sun goes down, so better aligning our behavior with the availability of wind and solar.”
Right now, most homes are just consumers of electricity. Moving forward, to take pressure off the grid, we will need to be assets of the grid. This might mean you set your heat to come on at 4 am instead of 7 am. The idea is that homes adjust their energy use habits to take the strain off the grid. The same principle applies to cooling your home. However, many nuances shift how reliable this idea is, such as where you live or how well-insulated your home is.
The Inflation Reduction Act offers a tax credit of 30% for the installation of a home battery system. Renewable energy was required to be attached to the home in the past to qualify for the tax credit. The White House lifted that requirement in January 2023, and you can now apply it to a standalone battery. This is good news for our grid. Battery owners can draw energy from the grid during low-cost periods and store it. Using a standalone unit, they can access this stored energy during high-cost times or emergencies.
The Dragonfly Wing – A Standalone Energy Storage Solution
The Dragonfly Wing™ is a powerful, safe, and expandable storage solution for residential, industrial, and mobile applications. The groundbreaking technology inside enables easy installation and reliable performance. With the Wing, you’ll have more flexibility outside the grid, lasting 3000 – 5000 cycles.
- 5 kWh of LiFePO4 (Battle Born Batteries w/ Dragonfly IntelLigence™)
- Selectable Voltage
- Hybrid Balancing Technology
- Flexible Charging Compatibility (12v / 48v)
- Built-In Soft Start Technology
- Easy Installation & Setup
- Wireless and Physical Connections (CAN bus and more)
- The Dragonfly IntelLigence™ Flex for standalone functionality
It’s clear that the future of renewable energy storage means investing in energy storage systems. Without a storage system, we lose valuable energy and time from renewable investments. The Dragonfly Wing™ offers an incredibly safe alternative to energy storage. Using LiFePO4 chemistry and our intelligent battery management system (BMS), you establish a safeguard for yourself and your loved ones. This gives you access to backup power in times of crisis or when electricity costs are high.
Dragonfly IntelLigence™ delivers groundbreaking lithium battery communication technology designed to give users the utmost confidence in their power system by providing unparalleled access to monitoring, notification, performance, and safety tools. The system features reliable connectivity via a wireless mesh network that allows power systems to be monitored from anywhere in the world via the Dragonfly Energy Mobile App.
Lastly, the Dragonfly Wing is a straightforward storage solution to install. With such groundbreaking technology, most would assume it has a complicated installation. However, the Wing comes pre-assembled in one standalone unit. It is easily expandable for a variety of storage needs. Everything is accessible in one place and is easily managed via the Dragonfly Energy Mobile App.