Solar + Storage
Since 1985, BPVS has fielded and serviced Solar PV systems with batteries sometimes called Solar + Storage or Hybrid PV systems. We have many sites with off grid PV systems and our founder has lived off grid since 1980. Many clients with PV systems installed by BPVS have the option to interact with the grid, a battery bank, a back-up generator, and their electric usage during a utility outage.
There is a great deal of hype in the marketplace now about Solar + Storage and there are incentive programs for adding batteries to utility interactive PV systems in Massachusetts. It is important for you to understand what you really want from battery back-up features of a solar electric system, what you really need, and what is affordable.
What does BPVS offer for Solar + Storage?
First, we carefully look at your situation and backup power needs. If you already own a PV system designed by BPVS, storage readiness is already built in so expanding with batteries does not mean a new solar array or re-wiring an existing array. Second, we feature Panasonic Solar modules, the highest quality, environmentally benign manufacturing techniques, and recyclable.
We supply back up expansions costing as little as $2,000.00 for a 1kW system to over $500,000 for a complex installation with hundreds of stored kWh that we monitor and maintain. Our average residential back up capacity or off grid Solar + Storage for a remote home ranges in price from $30,000.00 to $45,000.00. Cost is all about how much power you need and for how long. Equipment takes up space so issues of proximity to your electrical panel or the need to build special structures can come into play. Even with AGM batteries, adding storage is expensive so knowing your budget is important.
The KiloVault Res-Q system we offer uses the safest Lithium based battery. This is a portable battery unit designed to provide emergency battery backup for household appliances with small loads. Lights, charging cell phones and laptops, and a radio are the perfect uses for the KiloVault RES-Q. It will keep you connected to your friends and family and give you access to weather alerts and the news to provide comfort during an outage that last a few hours to a couple days. A percent of our profits from the sale of the KiloVault RES-Q goes to Amnesty International, the most active organization working to remedy the plight of indigenous people in the Lithium triangle of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.
The SW battery backup is a great option for those who have off-grid systems or are looking for backup power for most of their appliances at home. To expand the capacity of this product, it can be paired with a fuel-based generator. With the generator, it can power larger loads such as water pumps or refrigerators.
The advantage of Solar + Storage and a fossil fuel generator is that a battery bank can be recharged by automatically starting the generator and automatically shutting it off when completed. This saves on emissions and fuel of course but also on maintenance and noise. Often, this design can use a smaller generator than would be called for without a Solar + Storage component. Some customers eschew the fossil fuel generator and simply conserve when battery capacity is diminished. If you want to go weeks on end with a limited fuel supply and average amounts of sunshine this type of design is perfect and the most popular choice of our customers.
The XW Pro is the highest quality Solar + Storage option and can meet all your needs during a power outage. It takes what the SW option does and allows you to power even larger loads. This is another option that allows you to connect to a fuel-based generator to expand the capacity of the battery.
The marketplace hype and the incentive programs in Massachusetts are for a select group of Solar + Storage products approved by the utilities which provide limited back up capacity during an outage but can be controlled (charged or discharged) through the internet by the utility to help meet grid demand requirements in late afternoon and evening hours. It is a way to shift solar availability away from daylight hours. The initial incentives for this type of system through the SMART or the Connected Solutions programs have proven insufficient to justify the expense for consumers. A new Clean Peak incentive is being developed for possible roll out in Fall of 2021.