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Innovative energy storage solutions

September 3, 2021 1:40 pm

Innovative energy storage solutions

Replacing lead-acid batteries with a more efficient, portable, and technically superior alternative will result in an increased adoption of renewable energy in the country.

The current renewable energy market is driven by traditional solar players with focus on ground-mounted or roof-top solar plants with limited energy storage capabilities. New mandates in the utility scale renewable energy projects are requiring power producers to supplement a certain percentage (typically around 5 percent) of the total production capacity with battery storage. More and more developers have started considering lithium-ion battery solutions for these projects. 

In India, the existing storage options are limited and dominated by lead-acid battery-based solutions which are bulky, with short life span, and lower voltage discharge rate – making them too costly and inefficient for daily use. 

As a result, external diesel generators still play a major role for energy backup where grid infrastructure is weak and failing to support electricity demand, but they are expensive to operate, bulky to store, plagued with thefts, losses and are environmentally destructive due to the use of fossil fuels. 

A combination of these factors has given way to a growing demand from consumers for better storage alternatives than lead acid batteries as they look to gradually shift away from the use of diesel generators. 

Importance of energy storage 

Energy storage is the missing link in the faster and wider adoption of renewable energy in the country. Solar energy, for example, services the energy requirements during daylight hours. However, the main power consumption during peak hours (early mornings and evenings/ nights) cannot be serviced through solar energy unless you have adequate storage solutions to store energy and use it during peak consumption. 

We are slowly seeing that energy storage is becoming more mainstream, and there is a gradual shift in consumer demand away from diesel generators for power backup. Cost has always been an inhibitor for customers to embrace renewable energy. However, the unit cost of electricity produced by diesel generators is inching upwards of Rs 21 per unit whereas, the price of solar and storage per unit is significantly lower given the right size and scale of production. It is important to note that while solar and storage is a one-time cost that can service a customer for an average of 10 to 15 years with the right kind of care and maintenance, diesel is an ongoing expense and subjected to mass fluctuations and recorded year on year price hikes. 

Upcoming trends 

Customers today need more versatility and independence in their energy generation and usage. Traditional sources of energy have become archaic and detrimental economically and environmentally. Ultimately what a customer wants is affordable, efficient, green, self-sustaining and 24×7 on demand energy. 

We have observed a growing trend of customers wanting to generate their own energy, become energy independent and not rely on fossil fuel options for their energy needs without having to pay exorbitant costs.They are eager to step away from a centralised energy generation model where they are reliant on the grid infrastructure and are readily embracing a distributed energy generation model where they want to generate their own power using renewables for captive consumption.

With increasing demand for electricity, customers today want the assurance that they will not run out of electricity; and energy storage is a crucial enabler of this transition towards distributed energy generation.

New storage solutions


The two key deterrents for the growth of the solar industry have been, a) lack of solar power to cater to peak load during early mornings and evenings/nights and, b) the lack of portability to generate on demand 24×7 energy at the point of usage. We have addressed and solved these issues with our portable lithium solar generators.

Our portable renewable energy generation and storage devices allow the user to generate and store solar energy and then intelligently release it to appliances based on user-programmed preferences (e.g., in response to time-of-day pricing of electricity). We have designed a product, which is an all-in-one solution, fully integrating all the different components of the solar plant with additional features like an inbuilt inverter, MPPT charge controller, a pure sine wave UPS, a reversible net meter and inbuilt Li-Ion battery pack for energy storage. Integrating all the components of a solar plant into a single portable plug and play product, which offers energy storage has never been done before; this is a game changer for the renewable energy industry and is also our USP. Innovative energy storage solutions Replacing lead-acid batteries with a more efficient, portable, and technically superior alternative will result in an increased adoption of renewable energy in the country.

Helping future energy demand

A product that operates as an entire power generation and storage plant within itself with added benefits of smart era technology and portability pave the path for a serious changeover in energy generation and independence. Through our products, customers save on diesel and electricity bills; some recording over a 70 percent average saving from year two onwards.

India has set aggressive, but achievable, future energy demand and sustainability targets and there needs to be a systematic and sustained effort from the government to reduce fossil fuel consumption while adding renewable options with energy storage in all three segments – utility scale projects, industrial production and for captive consumer consumption.

With our innovative and ‘smart era’ solutions, we aim to contribute to this change in the Indian energy landscape by replacing diesel generators with a cleaner, greener, and cheaper alternative, and replacing lead-acid batteries with a more efficient, portable, and technically superior alternative that will result in an increased adoption of renewable energy in the country.

Power storage in future

The nature of power storage and distribution is evolving fast, and we are seeing quite a few new developments in this space.In the short to medium term, we see a growing demand for last mile energy storage solutions providing portable, on demand 24×7 power generation anywhere, anytime, akin to our solutions. This demand trend is being seen across all customer segments, especially the residential and commercial segments.

In the medium term, we expect Microgrids and Community power storage banks to play an increasing role in power storage and distribution. Already in California, USA and Adelaide, Australia, we have seen some large storage solutions set up to bank electricity for communities that allow sharing stored electricity amongst residents/users during peak demand.

In the medium to long-term, we see energy blockchain and IoT solutions playing a vital role in improving the power storage and distribution ecosystem. Tesla is working with the South Australian Government to test a virtual power plant connecting participants remotely to relieve the load on the grid by smartly distributing the power generated by the individual units during periods of peak load i.e., small businesses or customers can opt to jump off the traditional grid and start using Tesla’s smart grid. This concept is being experimented in other countries like the US, Germany, and South Korea to name a few. We see this reality playing out in India as well.

Expertise shared by:
Rahul Kale, Founder & CEO and
Nitasha Badhwar, Co-Founder & Head of Strategy,
Sunpower Renewables Pty. Ltd.

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