Category Archives: Energy Storage

virtual power plant

What is a virtual power plant?

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At its core, a solar panel installation at your home or business is basically a miniature power plant – even more so once you add a solar battery to be able to store the solar electricity you produce and use it even after the sun has gone down. As more and more homes and businesses install solar panels across the country (we’re at over 3 million solar installations nationwide!), these distributed, miniature power plants present an opportunity: if you aggregate enough of them together, you can turn all of those miniature solar power plants into one, larger “virtual” power plant. Here’s how virtual power plants work and how you can participate in one. 

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tesla powerwall review

The Tesla Powerwall home battery complete review

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Back in 2015, automaker Tesla Motors set its sights on the home energy storage market and announced the launch of its home battery product, the Tesla Powerwall.

In the past, Tesla Motors has been praised for making high-quality electric vehicles, as well as for their ability to reimagine and successfully rebrand existing technologies. In fact, while Tesla’s automobiles revitalized the 21st-century electric vehicle market, the first electric cars were invented more than a hundred years earlier. 

Tesla’s rebranding of residential-use batteries is in line with their legacy of reimagining existing products. Tesla’s battery may represent the first time in history that everyday homeowners are truly excited about the potential of storing energy at their home. The Powerwall, combined with the exciting Tesla Solar Roof, are both potential cornerstones of Elon Musk’s sustainable energy vision for the future.

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Recycling batteries

Recycling solar batteries and electric car batteries: what you need to know about lithium-ion battery recycling

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are all the rage – and might just be the centerpiece to the clean energy revolution. There’s a catch, however. Along with all of those electric cars comes an equal amount of lithium-ion batteries to power them, and recycling those batteries is a complicated, but necessary, problem to solve. What’s more, home batteries like the Tesla Powerwall are usually made of very similar materials to EV batteries, so there’s even more to recycle.

Similar to solar panel recycling, it’s expensive and difficult to separate out the components of a lithium-ion battery to the point where they can be recycled and reused. Nowadays, lithium-ion battery recycling exists, but not nearly on the scale and at the efficiency we need it to as batteries become more and more popular.

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Tesla's switch to LFP

Tesla’s shift to LFP batteries: why it matters

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In 2020, Tesla announced that they would be manufacturing their Model 3 cars in China using lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, moving away from their traditional nickel-based chemistries they use in US-based car manufacturing. Tesla doubled down on their bet on iron batteries in the spring of 2021, announcing intent to use LFP batteries in their grid-scale energy storage solution: the Megapack.

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long duration storage

Long duration storage: what you need to know 2021

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As states and cities throughout the country embrace the renewable energy transition, setting and committing to 100 percent clean energy targets, one crucial gap remains in ultimately meeting those targets: how do you stretch the production from renewable resources like wind and solar to keep powering the country even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing? Enter long duration storage, the promising broad category of technologies that can fill this gap.

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Sunpower SunVault Review

The SunPower SunVault storage system complete review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

SunPower has always been known for its top-tier solar panels – now, they’re expanding their influence in the energy storage space. In 2019, the company launched their first home solar battery: the Equinox Storage system. Now rebranded as the SunVault Storage system, this battery and software solution, when paired with a SunPower Equinox solar panel system, enables you to keep your lights on during power outages and manage your home’s electricity use.

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utility energy storage demand response program

Utility energy storage pilot programs: what you need to know

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As the costs of solar batteries continue to decline, more and more homeowners are adding energy storage to their solar installations: in California, for instance, one in every twenty solar installations now also includes a solar battery. As utilities become more familiar with the benefits of distributed solar + storage on the grid, from added operational flexibility to decreased electricity demand, several utilities in the Northeast are now offering large incentives for home energy storage pilot programs. 

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eguana storage system

The Eguana Evolve home battery complete review

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Eguana is a 20-year-old battery company based out of Alberta. Their battery systems use the same reliable cores as LG Chem’s RESU line, so you know you’re getting tested quality and performance reliability in a home battery. One of their more recent products, the Eguana Evolve, is becoming an increasingly popular addition to solar panel systems across the country.

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solar battery and inverter

Does your battery come with its own inverter?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

While shopping for storage solutions, it can be hard to break down which products come with an integrated inverter, which will need an additional inverter, and how many boxes will be installed on your wall. This is one of the key factors to pay attention to as you’re comparing storage solutions, as it will impact the overall efficiency and cost of your battery setup, as well as how you integrate it into a solar panel system.

Here’s a breakdown of this info for some of the biggest storage companies in the market today:

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