Electricity storage Batteries

Battery technology is still the most common method of storage, but the promised breakthrough in this technology has yet to materialise. Still in general use is the traditional lead acid battery which is heavy, expensive and of limited life. Even the ground-breaking Freiburg zero electric house relied on lead acid batteries for its fall-back position. The PV hydrogen fuel cell copes with most of the year (Figure 13.8).

Lighter but more expensive are nickel-cadmium batteries which have the advantage of rapid charging achieved by low internal resistence.

Figure 13.8

Banks of lead acid batteries in the Freiburg Solar House

Figure 13.8

Banks of lead acid batteries in the Freiburg Solar House

The car industry is particularly interested in this form of storage. There are, of course, serious environmental hazards associated with cadmium.

One of the most promising batteries is the Ovonic nickel-metal hydride battery. It can be discharged and recharged up to 10 000 times. As an indication of its efficiency, a lead acid battery could give a vehicle a range of 190 kilometres. The Ovonic battery would raise this to 480 kilometres. This order of improvement makes it an attractive storage proposition for buildings employing PV generation (Ball, P. (1997) Made to Measure, Princeton, p. 258).

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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