Crowdfunded Energy Storage: Circuitree Cirrus with Saltwater Batteries

by Claire Juozitis on February 23, 2017 at 2:54 PM

Integrated energy storage systems are the popular new toys on the market. 

These plug-and-play, standalone systems combine the various components of an energy storage system (batteries, inverters, controllers, etc.), making it easier for small businesses and homeowners to hit the ground running with solar energy storage. Our partners Sentinel Solar in North America and Fusion Power Systems in Australia have developed these kinds of solutions using our saltwater batteries, and so far they’ve been a hit.

Now, another smart battery solution is being developed to power homes in the United Kingdom, but with an interesting angle: it’s crowdfunded!

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Aquion Energy Delivers Sustainable Battery System to Integrate with Off-Grid Solar Power at Kruger National Park in South Africa

by Paul Ruggiero on February 1, 2017 at 10:04 AM

- PRESS RELEASE -

55 kWh of Aquion saltwater batteries paired with solar will reduce diesel use and provide safe, long-duration storage for solar power self-consumption

Pittsburgh, Pa., Feb. 1, 2017 – Aquion Energy, Inc., manufacturer of Aspen saltwater batteries and energy storage systems, has announced a newly installed off-grid microgrid at a nature lodge resort in Kruger National Park in South Africa. The microgrid consists of a 55 kWh Aquion Aspen battery bank, paired with a 10 kW solar array.

The solar array and Aquion’s Aspen batteries provide full power for the camp, which consists of four luxury “tents,” a central lounge, swimming pool, and a water pressure pump for drinking water. The batteries have been sized to comfortably support the site’s loads during overcast conditions before getting assistance from a back-up diesel generator. The microgrid operates silently, enabling guests to peacefully enjoy the wildlife and beautiful landscape.

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Current and Future Trends of Microgrid Systems

by Claire Juozitis on December 9, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Microgrid systems are a frequent topic of conversation in the energy storage community.

This blog has discussed what exactly microgrids are, and more specifically about remote telecom microgrids going green and ditching diesel. Of course, we also like to talk about our favorite microgrid projects, like an organic winery in California, an ecotourism lodge in Kenya, and an installation at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

If you’re not in the solar or energy storage industry, this may sound a bit like shop talk. But with microgrid investments increasing faster than ever and stories like Tesla’s 100% solar island microgrid in American Samoa making international headlines, it’s clear that the microgrid conversation is bigger than us. Microgrids are becoming a widely used solution around the world, providing reliable electricity to remote and developing areas, and helping to combat climate change.

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Guest Feature: Off-Grid Residential System in Branson, Missouri

by David Ewing on November 23, 2016 at 2:44 PM

 Aquion Energy’s saltwater battery has gotten a lot of press in the last couple of years for its unique technology, but I think it deserves even more.

I'm just your average homeowner myself, but I've been following solar technology for years wondering when it would be viable for the general public to start generating and consuming our own power instead buying it all from the grid.

In the past, lack of energy storage was always the downfall for off-grid systems: from small residential to commercial microgrids and nanogrids. There were some options available for large-scale commercial projects like flow battery technology, but those were too expensive for normal homes. Available products for residential customers have still been fairly limited, despite the demand and market growth for energy storage. Compatibility with different inverters and charge controllers has also been an issue.

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When Batteries Go Bad: Lead Acid Battery Performance in Failure Scenarios

by Aquion Team Member on November 15, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are inherently unpredictable.

In use cases where the grid is not available to augment renewable generation, batteries and/or generators are frequently installed to ensure energy is available when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Lead acid batteries are most common energy storage solution for these applications, which means the systems are sized to ensure the batteries discharge roughly 50% of their capacity. This is done to increase the lifetime of the battery. However, in certain failure scenarios, the state of charge of an off grid battery pack can fall well below 50%. These scenarios include:

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