San Diego, CA, January 13, 2020 – NEOVOLTA INC. (OTCQB: NEOV) – More and more American homes are pairing rooftop solar with a solar battery system. With utility rates constantly on the rise, storing solar power for nighttime use has become a smart investment for many households. Homeowners are also looking for blackout protection in the face of extreme weather and wildfire-related power shutdowns, especially in California.
If you’re one of those homeowners looking to add a home battery system to your solar installation, here are five things you should know:
1. Not all battery chemistry is the same. Most home solar storage systems use a lithium ion battery, the kind used in smartphones and electric cars. The problem with lithium ion is that it’s prone to thermal runaway, in which the battery rapidly overheats and combusts, potentially releasing toxic cobalt. One manufacturer, San Diego–based NeoVolta, offers a safer solution. Its innovative NV14 system uses lithium iron phosphate chemistry, which is cobalt-free and does not have the same thermal runaway concerns. Tests have also shown that lithium iron phosphate batteries last longer than ordinary lithium ion batteries.
2. The importance of capacity and power. Solar batteries come with all kinds of specifications, but these are the two most important performance indicators. Capacity is the total amount of energy a battery can store, measured in kilowatt-hours (KWh). NeoVolta NV14’s high capacity of 14.4 kWh can power a home longer than most competitors due to higher capacity. In mid-January 2020, homeowners will be able to expand the NV14’s capacity to 24 kWh with the addition of a second battery (no extra inverter needed). Power indicates how much inverting power the energy storage system has. Think of this like speed. The NV14 is rated at 7.7 kilowatts, higher than most other mainstream systems. High capacity combined with high power means this system can power more appliances for a longer time than competitors in its class.
3. Whole-home backup protection is not possible for very long. No residential storage system on the market has enough power and storage capacity to run an entire home, regardless of their advertising. Think of it like this: A 5,000-watt inverter will afford the home 5,000 watts of energy use, or approximately 20.83 Amps of power. NeoVolta’s 7,680-watt inverter provides 32 Amps of power (54% more than a 5,000-watt inverter). So, a larger, more powerful inverter can power more of the home. Most homes use between 20 and 60 amps or more of power per hour. High-amperage appliances like air conditioning, electric ovens, and electric water heaters use massive amounts of power when running, so whole-home backup is not realistic with today’s battery and inverter technology. What the right system can do is keep your lights and your critical appliances on long enough to get you through a blackout and have your solar panels recharge your battery the next day. Again, look at the ratings for capacity and power when comparing systems.
4. The balance between Time of Use optimizing and resiliency. When choosing a home solar battery, you want a system that can reduce utility costs by powering the home after sunset, when utility rates are highest, and provide power when a grid outage occurs. Balancing both needs is not as easy as it sounds. If a battery is powering an appliance that uses a high amount of electricity such as an air conditioner, the battery can drain quickly, leaving nothing left for a grid outage. Look for a system that can balance the two benefits. The NeoVolta NV14 allows homeowners to save on their utility bill and still have battery power for a grid outage. It does this by powering only the home’s critical electrical loads. This strategy eliminates the risk of not having battery power available if a grid outage occurs and greatly reduces exposure to Time of Use utility pricing.
5. Compatibility is key. Make sure to choose a storage system that’s compatible with the rooftop solar installation. The NeoVolta NV14 can connect with any residential solar panel system, new or existing. It can take AC power from a solar inverter (string or micro inverter), directly from DC solar panels, or connect to both for a maximum 10,000 watts.
The NeoVolta NV14 was recently named one of Solar Power World’s “2019 Top Solar Storage Products.” The system was recognized for its safe, long-lasting battery, high capacity and compatibility. The NV14 is certified by the California Energy Commission and backed by a ten-year warranty. It has been approved by San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison and is being installed across Southern California. Installation will be available in Northern California in mid-2020.
“Homeowners have many solar storage systems to choose from,” said Brent Willson, CEO of NeoVolta. “What sets us apart? Our NV14 is built with an emphasis on safety—this product is part of your home, after all. And the NV14 delivers superior capacity and power when you need it most.”