The solar industry has transformed Australian electricity and the way in which we get our power.
Due to its climate, levels of solar PV panels in residential and commercial properties in Australia are amongst the highest in the world. However there are new and dramatic changes afoot with the arrival of solar energy storage batteries, which will make going completely off grid a real possibility.
For example, Elon Musk has developed some amazing batter technology with his Telsa Motors company: http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall
What are solar batteries?
A solar battery is a rechargeable device that receives energy from the sun using Photovoltaics.
The solar battery will generally be implanted into the device it is set to power and can be fully charged after just 1-2 hours of sunlight exposure.
Solar batteries contain solar cells, which collect light and cause the movement of electrons in semiconductors.
When the electrons come into contact with metal, the energy created can either be used immediately or it can be stored in a solar cell. Having energy stored in a solar cell in the solar batteries enables these devices to discharge the energy when needed.
Do you still need solar panels?
Yes. Solar battery systems require solar PV panels to charge them. However solar battery systems will make consumers far less reliant on traditional energy companies and could offer a hugely positive effect for remote communities or those wanting to effectively become their own power stations.
What do solar battery systems mean for the solar industry?
Industry experts are predicting solar battery systems will have a huge effect on the solar industry – likening the phenomena to the effect of mobile phones on the world of communications.
There is likely to be a huge demand for these systems in both residential and commercial properties where people can benefit from a far cheaper and yet still effective source of power.
The solar battery system could also mean big changes for the way that consumers purchase energy.
Many predict that ‘packages’ similar to those offered in the mobile telephone industry could be seen – such as set plans and capped price options instead of simply buying kilowatt hours.
For additional learning resources on solar batteries, visit this Wikipedia page about solar batteries.