New Way of Relating to the Grid
There have been innovations and cutting-edge technology that has seen Lithuim-ion batteries and Tessler Walls reduce in price dramatically and this could change the whole way that people relate to the power grid.
Solar-E founder, Garry Baverstock AM feels that current prices need to reduce at least 50% more before people would even consider disconnecting from the grid.
Having said that, Garry feels that disconnecting from the grid is probably not a good idea at all for a number of reasons; one being security. Also, he feels the economics would still need to be proved.
Peak Load Savings
In the future, a great way for the consumer and Western Power to save energy at peak loading such as happened in Perth’s recent heat wave, was to save some solar power stored for night-time use rather than tax the system during daylight hours.
Storing Solar Energy
Garry went on to say that the big breakthrough in the future for storage in solar energy would be high-tech controls to store the energy into the mass of the building. The bricks and the concrete will store the thermal energy rather than going through an intermediary like a battery, and dealing direct with DC power in heating and cooling buildings rather than a large slab of power required to be stored in batteries.
Thermal Energy Storage via Hot Water
In hot water systems, the water will store the energy for use the next morning. Thermal storage rather electrical storage is the way of the future and much cheaper, Garry remarked and we already have the storage there, we are just not using it.
Convert Australian’s Existing Brick Houses
Looking to the near future, we can convert brick houses around Australia to be thermal storage devices so suppliers like Western Power doesn’t need to deal with an increasing demand for power.
For information on saving energy with a climate sensible home design visit Ecotect-Architects
Interested in learning more about Garry’s joint Master of Building Services Engineering programme with Murdoch University?
Top photo: Garry is researching new ways to improve the delivery of solar energy at Wise Earth’s factory in Western Australia
Photo Credits; Nick Melidonis, www.nickmelidonis.com