The drawback of many renewable energy sources is that the power produced is intermittent (wind, solar) and peak energy generation rarely matches peak usage. The recent announcement by Tesla of the Li-ion based residential battery storage system the Powerwall has many people considering going off the grid and relying upon their solar panels to generate their electricity, storing it with their own battery and using it on demand.
It also has many people asking: “why hasn’t this been done before?” The answer lies in the technological advancement of the rechargeable battery, their energy to weight (or volume) ratio and their drawbacks. The development of batteries has progressed rapidly recently with a focus on lightweight batteries for portable electronic devices.
Flinders Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology Researcher Cameron Shearer has recently looked into the residential battery sold by Tesla and compared the battery charge capacity to that of other technologies currently on the market and predicted developments. Read the full article on TheConversation.