The science of solar power generation is always moving forward. Photovoltaic panels become more advanced, capable of collecting more raw energy from the sun and converting it into greater amounts of usable consumer energy, and solar racking units like those we engineer and offer at Solar FlexRack continue to make the installation process (and the PV units themselves) more efficient as well. But there’s another area integral to a solar energy system, and it’s one of the biggest problems in the industry: the short-term and long-term storage of the energy created.
Obviously, the sun can’t shine 24 hours a day. Night cuts half the sun’s possible energy production time, and clouds and inclement weather cut that even shorter. Unless you’re only interested in using energy when the sun is shining brightly, you’ll need some way to store that energy for further use—and even if you are relying on energy while the sun’s out, you likely won’t be able to use all of it efficiently in real time as it is produced.
A team of researchers from Griffith University are looking to solve this energy storage problem once and for all, with a new battery system that intelligently stores and dispenses energy. By using multiple Lithium Ion battery banks and a tech-based control center with data-based energy need forecasting, the battery system can store energy at a greater efficiency than previous models, and learn to dispense it when consumers need it most. While this particular battery system was designed and tested with residential energy consumers in mind, the battery system itself could be used in any number of applications.
Theoretically, if this solar battery system works as well on a larger scale as it has on a smaller scale, it could make solar energy cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable for energy consumers around the country. Still, more work is needed before a full rollout can occur.
In the meantime, the brilliant engineers at Solar FlexRack will continue improving efficiency at the other end of the process—supporting photovoltaic units with the best solar racking and mounting equipment in the industry.