While it is not in the mainstream yet, the future of solar power will certainly revolve around batteries. One of the main ‘weaknesses’ of solar panels is that it relies on something that is out of our control. In other words, it relies on the sun shining.
Scientists in the energy industry have yet to discover how to control when and where the sun shines. If the sun has anything to say about it, it will stay that way for some time to come! However, one way, and indeed the main way, around this is batteries.
Tech giant Elon Musk, is one of the main pioneers in increasing solar power battery capacity. In revealing his technology he also believes Australian households may well be one of the first to take advantage of this exciting new technology.
In a trial in Townsville (not so far from Brisbane) a couple found that not only did they stop paying electricity bills, they actually had surplus to sell back. Elon Musk now believes it is possible for some people to live entirely off-grid.
It’s the perfect combination. Solar panels transform the sun’s energy which then have the capacity to power our lives, and the batteries store that energy so that when the sun doesn’t shine, the energy is still available.
As with all new technology, it’s hard to know how long it will take before it becomes the common method of power generation. However, with concerns about climate change and our increasing appetite for technology which uses a lot of power, renewable energy is not only a way of saving money, but is a critical technology for the future of our world.
Solar power batteries are a game-changer.
The battery storage technology relies on lithium-ion batteries – the same that you find in your phones or in electric vehicles. These are not quite up to scratch in terms of being a completely reliable, constant source of energy. They are still limited to how long they can hold on to energy. So places that have a lot of cloud cover or limited daylight will struggle.
In other places such as Southern California, which receives seemingly endless hours of sunlight, solar farms filled with solar panels are providing such an output of energy that some believe it is proof that fossil fuels will become a thing of the past. Battery storage is able to store the energy overnight until the sun comes back for the following day.
There is a similar climate to Southern California in Australia. Particularly in places such as Queensland with cities like Townsville and Brisbane. This is partly why Elon Musk believes Australia is ripe and ready for the future of energy.
How quickly technology improves…
While it’s hard to tell how quickly this technology will come to be the norm in Australia, and indeed the world, it’s pertinent to think about how quickly mobile phones became such a normal part of our lives.
The first iPhone was only revealed in 2007. That’s only 12 years ago! One of the main technologies that made these devices possible was battery capacity. As battery storage capacity increased it also increased the capacity of smartphones. Now where they are replacing our idea of what a computer is.
In a similar way, the future of energy could take a similar path. Battery storage technology gets better and better each year. Who would have thought that electric cars like Tesla could’ve been possible? Now they are becoming so normal to the point we barely even blink when we see one.
Though it might seem far away, with the increasing emergency of Climate change, the brilliant minds like those of Elon Musk and the ever increasing cost of living, Solar power batteries may well enter our lives sooner than we think.
There’s never been a better time to begin to invest in solar power and solar panels. Get in touch to find out more!