Traditionally, energy storage systems were intended to serve either rural regions that face recurring power outages, or the ones battling natural calamities. But, they are now an effective means to save money, especially for big city residents who are coping with escalating prices of grid electricity and “time of use rates” that fluctuate depending on the time of day, season, and day type—weekdays or weekends. Having a system that effectively enables customers to react to time-of-use rates is a big plus to utilities. It can help defer costly distribution, substation, and transmission upgrades.
In their pursuit of lessening the need for grid power, a number of residential owners have made sizeable investments in solar installations. However, they need a cutting-edge energy storage system to make the investment economical and maximize their savings.
Thanks to a company called Electriq Power and their PowerPod solution, such optimization can be achieved; the PowerPod is an energy storage system that can be used to retrofit to existing solar, work with new solar, or even work with on-site generators. With this DC-coupled or AC-coupled solution and its unique ability to stack nine batteries (up to 99
To paint a picture, during the daytime on a bright, sunny day, Customer A using the Electriq PowerPod, can simply harness solar energy for power, and then store that energy into the battery system for post-sunset electricity needs. If managed correctly, Customer A doesn’t require any grid power and can consequently optimize his or her savings. In addition to homeowners, Electriq’s hardware and software solutions also cater to utilities and fleets of customers. “We enter the market through solar financing companies, home builders, solar installers, and utilities that are promoting ‘time of use’ rates or demand response,” says CEO, Frank Magnotti. Additional installation and fleet management software is provided. The founder of Comverge, the first smart grid company to go public, Magnotti, narrates a story of a client in Northern California that availed the Electriq system. “The customer wanted to stop depending on the grid. While they succeeded with that, interactively engaging with the software analytics to make that happen was the real success of their project. They were also thrilled at how clean the setup in the garage was. You don’t see any wires hanging out or extra boxes on the wall. Our system has a very modern and clean look and feel,” explains Magnotti.
While citing the examples of the recent California wildfires and Puerto Rican flash floods, Magnotti stressed that Electriq’s focus on the residential market wouldn’t prevent them from coming to the assist of crisis-stricken regions. While wildfires force electric utilities to shut down the grid, emergency fires leave people locked in their garages, and heavy flash floods cause lengthy power outages that persist for weeks. Our system, a cleaner and greener alternative to diesel generators, can help manage such crises efficiently,” he adds.
During the unfortunate event of a flood, customers can also use their phones to monitor the usage and to turn on, or turn off their systems. Due to PowerPod’s ability to accommodate multiple batteries and inverters, interface with existing solar and generators, and ability to manage home loads through cell-phone apps, crisis-hit customers can enjoy sustainable power for an extended period of time. This level of sophistication, Magnotti believes, has helped Electriq distance itself from every other player in the maturing energy storage space.
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