Posts made in May 2016

Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries vs. The Tesla Power Wall

There are a few things to consider here with comparing the capabilities of stored energy. First, the best way to compare apples with apples is to compare the total kWh life vs cost. Total kWh life is the usable energy storage multiplied by the cycle life at that usable storage level. This even allows comparison of the same battery using different depths of discharge.

Storing Energy

This “cost” is the battery portion of electric cost in storing and then using the power, only. You still have production costs associated with your solar array! Here are the facts:

  • PW10 has a cycle life of 500 cycles, 10 kWh usable storage and costs $3500
  • 3500 / (10kwh * 500) = $0.70/kWh – This is why it never made it to production and was cancelled!
  • PW7 has a cycle life of 3000 cycles, 7 kWh usable storage and costs $3000
  • 3000 / (7kwh * 3000) = $0.143/kWh – Update, the PW7 actually is 6.4 kWh. So the real value is $0.156/kWh
  • High-quality AGM batteries at a 50% DOD have a life of 1800 cycles. A 2.4 kWh battery costs around $300.
  • 300 / (1.2 * 1800) = $0.139 / kWh – still less expensive than Power Wall
  • Nano Carbon AGM batteries at a 50% DOD have a life of 3000 cycles. A 2.4 kWh battery has a cost of $350.
  • 350 / (1.2 * 3000) = $0.097 / kWh

In conclusion, while the PW7 is has a similar total life cost compared to a standard AGM battery, it is 50% more expensive than a Nano Carbon AGM.

Mi-Grid vs. The Tesla Power Wall

Now let’s compare a PW7 system to a Mi-Grid 2000. The Mi-Grid 2000 is designed to connect to 8-10 kW of Solar, produce 8kW of inverter power, has 38.4 kWh of battery storage. It also includes a 12 kW Natural Gas Generator. The total cost to install a Mi-Grid 2000 with 8kW of solar panels is around $45K.

The Power Wall needs a Grid Tied inverter that is designed to work with it. Fronius makes one that is 8kW. It ties to the battery & solar panels to your utility power. It needs a separate automatic disconnect to separate it from the utility when the utility power fails.

The PW7 is limited to a maximum discharge of 2kW. To match the Fronius Inverter you will need to supply 4 PW7. The PW7 system is not integrated. It must be assembled on site, using an electrician. Total cost to install 8kW of solar panels, PW7, Fronius inverter, control system, safety equipment and a backup generator will add up to $60K.

Get Ready For Hurricane Season: Investing In A Good Generator

Hurricane season is upon us again. It runs from June 1st to November 30th of every year, and that means it may be time to invest in a good generator. Along with hurricanes are dangerous tropical storms, and simple summer storms that cause damage as they make their way through our cities. The number 1 cause of power outages is mother nature. Fortunately, there powerful generators available that can help get you through hurricane season.

Investing in Backup Power

A generator can be a good investment for backup power. They typically only need small capital investments, but operating a generator is not inexpensive. Generators use fuel, and they also require maintenance. Generators also have a finite life.

Different Types of Generators

Generators come in a few flavors. Small portable, permanent backup and prime power.
Prime power means the generator is rated to run all the time. They are the most expensive. If you need permanent off-grid power, these are the generators. They also last the longest. It is not unusual for these to run for 90 days between shutdowns.

Portable generators are the least expensive, but they require liquid fuel, typically gasoline. You will need to place these units well away from your house but still have long extension cords. And you will need these extension cords to run any electric devices in your house. Portable units are usually loud and not designed to be run for long periods. They need maintenance about every 50 hours.
Permanent automatic backup generators usually are connected to your natural gas supply or propane tank. An automatic transfer switch is connected to the electric supply. When it senses a loss of utility power, it will disconnect the utility power and start the generator. Power is usually back on in 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Small units provide power to essential parts of your house. Large units can run your entire house including air conditioning.

Installing Your Generator

Tetra West Power sells and installs automatic backup generators. We also build hybrid solar energy systems. Every backup generator we sell can be the base for a future hybrid energy system. Don’t lose power this hurricane season and install a backup generator today.