A joint venture of solar panel manufacturer Suniva and storage developer GS Battery aims to bring battery back-up (but still grid-tied) solar into the limelight once again. Inefficient battery storage has encouraged small-scale solar generation to rely entirely on the grid for auxiliary power. Battery systems can cost nearly twice as much as straight grid-tied systems, depending on the needs of the system, and the batteries themselves are often not eligible for cost-reducing solar incentives. (Though beginning this year, battery systems are eligible for the 30 percent federal ITC.) They also take up a ton of space, which is something many homes and small commercial installation sites don't have on hand. The Suniva-GS system will use deep-cycle nanocarbon batteries to achieve high performance. The demo system will be 30 kw in capacity with a 3,000-amp hour battery component.
A few months after a solar panel installation was performed at one of Baghdad's medical centers, CNN got in there to talk with Dr. Thamer Al-Musawi, one of the doctors at the Al-Dakhil Medical Center. The 64-panel, battery-backed array is designed to support the refrigeration, fans, and lighting of the center, though does not extend to heating/cooling. The solar installation was one of two within Baghdad funded by the U.S. and supported by the Iraqi Health Ministry.
We can transform sunlight and wind into electricity. Why aren't we using these free, limitless natural resources to provide all our power? Of course the answer to that is manifold, involving a lot of words like "deployment" and "technology to scale" and "existing model" and "lobbyists". But all the little details aside, we actually couldn't use renewable resources to power ourselves fully, and the one major hurdle standing in our way is storage.