Tenants Given Free Solar Panels and Battery Storage To Cut Energy Bills

A scheme to help housing association tenants reduce their energy bills is being trialled in Brockworth, Glos.

Severn Vale Housing has teamed up with energy storage company Puredrive Energy Ltd and OPTIMeyes, part of the MAXIMeyes Group, to provide their tenants with a free solar panel system with battery storage.

The system is currently being piloted at homes in Brockworth and in the first week tenants have seen a marked difference.

Severn Vale Housing asset and commercial director Michael Craggs said:”Working with Puredrive Energy makes perfect sense for us.

The partnership has come at a time when Universal Credit is being introduced, and tenants, who are on benefits, are going to have to budget very carefully to make ends meet.

“This system allows customers to store power from the solar panels on the roof into a small lithium battery in the house. It will also help them monitor their electricity usage and budget accordingly.

“We are the first housing association in the South West to be working with an innovative energy company to save our tenants money.

The installations have gone very smoothly and our initial findings have been very encouraging. We hope to roll the energy storage system out to a large number of our properties in the future”.

Helen Godwin who has had a system fitted on her home in Avon Crescent, Brockworth said: “I’ve noticed a marked difference in the first week. I know I have saved £10 already, and have not had to top up my pre-pay meter.

Puredrive Energy managing director Mark Millar said: “We are delighted to be working with Severn Vale Housing. Working with leaders in Social Housing who share the same vision, and have the capability to implement positive change is key.

It’s one of our company goals to address and alleviate fuel poverty using our technology. Sustainable energy and cost savings are achieved through smart technology that maximises the use of green and renewable energy.

Puredrive Energy Ltd are partnered with the MAXIMeyes Group, leaders in Utilities Procurement, Energy Management and Fully Funded Energy Projects which has proved to be the perfect combination for this social housing and many other projects we are collaborating on.”

MAXIMeyes Group CEO Shamir Jiwa said “ We believe that businesses must have a social purpose, as such our ‘Fuel The Change’ initiative aims to help lift 1000 homes out of fuel poverty by 2020. Working with Puredrive Energy and Severn Vale Housing on this scheme is making this ambition a reality. By combining renewable energy and battery storage into community schemes, we are proud to be leading the way towards the next generation of energy services that will become a part of our future. ”

“More than 2.3 million families are living in fuel poverty in England – the equivalent of 10 per cent of households, according to government statistics.”

Pictured left to right: Mark Millar, Puredrive, Julie McMahon, Rory McAlary, Helen Godwin and Mike Craggs, Severn Vale Housing.

For more information on please contact.

Mike Craggs
Severn Vale Housing
Shannon Way,
GL20 8ND
+44 1684 272727

MAXIMeyes UK Ltd
56-58 High St
+44 208 652 7525

Puredrive Energy Ltd
Orchard Industrial Estate,
GL54 5EB
+44 1242 620011

Puredrive Energy Hits Front Cover Of Local Paper Tewkesbury Direct With Solar Storage Product

Solar Storage First For Local Company. A local company has become one of the first to develop and market solar electricity battery storage systems.
The move to solar generated electricity has been long awaited. Puredrive Energy (based in Gloucestershire) have just released there flagship product Pure Storage – a home battery storage system with a 4.8 Kilowatt hour capacity, specifically designed for the UK home market. This means that solar energy that is generated during the day on existing and new solar panel installations can be stored and used at night when it is usually required rather than in the day when generation takes place.

The battery solar storage system designed and built by Puredrive Energy, could reduce the electricity costs of a home with a typical 16 solar panel installation close to zero or even nothing.

Solar generation feed-in payments paid to owners of existing and new solar generation systems will be unaffected and will continue to be paid when the storage unit is installed.

This is a land mark in science technology, both freeing consumers from increasing energy costs and enabling more off grid developments.Mark Millar and Stuart Storrer of Puredrive Energy have also developed a range of commercial and agricultural battery storage systems which are currently in use in industrial units.

The Puredrive solar storage system uses the latest Lithium Ion LiFePo4 battery technology and it can be configured to power fridges, freezers, lighting and computers in the event of a power cut and can be accessed remotely through your phone or remote device. The Puredrive home battery storage system costs £3400 (Ex Vat) plus installations costs of approximately £150 and can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a property and at the same time enhance its value.

For more information

call 01242 620011
email sales@puredrive-energy.co.uk


A second life for used batteries

2,600 used battery modules from over 100 electric vehicles are being merged to form a large electricity storage facility in Hamburg.

Hamburg/Munich/Stuttgart – What should be done with still-usable batteries at the end of their life cycle in electric vehicles? The Battery 2nd Life project organized by Vattenfall, BMW and Bosch merges them into a large storage facility in Hamburg, Germany, to keep the electricity grid stable.

Storage stabilizes the electricity grid within seconds

Electromobility and electricity storage are two core elements of the new energy landscape. Used batteries from electric vehicles are being merged to form a large electricity storage facility in Hamburg. The stored energy is available within seconds and can help to keep the electricity grid stable. Electricity storage is essential to enable a stable electricity supply with alternative energy sources. Natural fluctuations in solar power plants and wind turbines must be compensated as much as possible using storage methods with the greatest possible efficiency.

After successful completion of the design phase, Frank Horch, Hamburg Senator for Trade, Transport and Innovation, today threw the switch for trial operation of an electricity storage facility in the Hamburg Harbour district. The storage facility developed by Vattenfall, BMW and Bosch is situated near the Steinwerder Cruise Centre and in future will supply electricity to ensure grid stability.

2 600 used battery modules from over 100 electric vehicles

The electricity storage facility consists of 2,600 battery modules from over 100 electric vehicles. It has a power rating of two megawatts (MW) and a storage capacity of 2,800 kilowatt-hours (kWh). This is enough to supply electricity to an average two-person household for seven months. However, the stored energy is not intended for general supply, but instead is sold on the primary control reserve market by Vattenfall, along with power from other flexibly controllable facilities. The storage facility delivers primary control reserve power necessary to keep the 50 Hz grid frequency stable. Primary control reserve power must be available within a few seconds.

The joint project provides a useful second life for batteries previously fitted in BMW electric vehicles which have reached the end of their life cycle in the vehicle. After the used batteries have been tested and wired up, they are merged into the electricity storage facility where they constitute an important resource of the new energy landscape in stationary deployment.

Quotes from the involved companies

“Bosch develops turnkey storage solutions for energy suppliers and industrial enterprises. Electricity storage systems are a key success factor for the new energy landscape. Thanks to smart electronic controllers, these storage systems can absorb excess electricity and release it again very quickly when needed. That way they help to stabilize the electricity grid. We expect to gain valuable knowledge from the Battery 2nd Life development project, and we regard it is as an important step on the way to a more efficient and more decentralized energy system,” says Cordelia Thielitz, General Manager of Bosch Energy Storage Solutions.

On the occasion of commissioning the facility with the project partners, Pieter Wasmuth, Vattenfall’s Executive Manager for Hamburg and Northern Germany, said: “Our stated goal is to integrate this battery storage facility into the energy system and to give a large number of similar small local facilities access to the market through electricity trading.” Catrin Jung-Draschil, Vice President of Portfolio & Business Development in the Wind Business Unit, added: “Storage of renewable energy is a key aspect of climate protection and the new energy landscape in Germany. Together with our partners, we are making an important contribution to sustainable energy supply by smart control of used vehicle batteries.”

Dr Bernhard Blättel, Vice President Mobility Services and Energy Services, BMW Group: “The BMW Group is fully committed to electromobility with our BMW i model. Initiator projects for the charging infrastructure and energy management play a key role in this. The battery storage facility officially opened today represents an important milestone in the further optimisation of battery management. In future, with BMW Storage we will be able to offer efficient battery storage solutions tailored to customer needs. In the context of the new energy landscape, the BMW Group regards energy storage as the core component of energy management. That applies to storage in vehicles as well as stationary storage systems. In future, battery storage systems will also make a significant contribution to increasing the sustainability of electromobility. We can look back on a successful collaboration, and we have gained valuable insights from this cooperative development project.”

About the Battery 2nd Life project

The Battery 2nd Life development project organized by Vattenfall, BMW and Bosch kicked off in 2013 for a planned term of five years. The project partners hope to learn more about the ageing characteristics and storage capacity of used lithium-ion battery modules. Along with the electricity storage facility near the Steinwerder Cruise Centre in Hamburg, the project encompasses two other measures: Used batteries have been providing interim storage and power buffering for fast-charge stations in Hamburg’s HafenCity district since September 2014. In another application, energy consumption from the photovoltaic facility of Vattenfall’s HafenCity district heating station is being maximized by interim storage of energy in batteries during sunny periods with low electricity demand.

Smart energy revolution ‘could help to avoid UK blackouts

A “smart energy” revolution could help ensure that the UK does not suffer blackouts, according to National Grid’s new UK chief.

Nicola Shaw, its executive director, said technological advances will reduce the need to build new conventional power stations in the UK.

An “internet of energy” will allow fridges, washers and dishwashers to help balance energy demand. Some commentators say the UK needs more gas-fired power to prevent blackouts.

Ms Shaw agreed that more investment in gas-fired power was needed, but argued that between 30% and 50% of fluctuations on the electricity grid could be smoothed by households and businesses adjusting their demand at peak times. “We are at a moment of real change in the energy industry. From an historic perspective we created energy in big generating organisations that sent power to houses and their businesses. Now we are producing energy in those places – mostly with solar power,” she told BBC News.

London-listed National Grid runs electricity and gas networks in the UK and the northeastern United States.

More and more people and companies were adjusting their energy consumption to use more when power was at its cheapest, Ms Shaw said.

“All of that is a real revolution … a smart energy revolution that’s changing the way we think about energy across the country,” she said.

This change was being driven by people and firms generating energy, storing it and using it flexibly through new controls and online software.

The move toward flexible energy use is supported by the National Infrastructure Commission. And the advances in energy software are described by the World Energy Council as the biggest change in 21st Century energy – along with solar power.

Price signals to consumers will be key to the change, as the UK relies on increasing amounts of intermittent renewable energy.

Already some firms benefit from using extra power when it is cheaper off-peak. That trend is spreading to households: a firm in Cornwall is offering a “sunshine tariff” that aims to persuade households to use cheap solar power when the sun is out, for example.

Energy experts say that in future consumers will be able to ask for their appliances to be connected online to the grid.

Peak hour
A signal could then turn on, say, a washing machine, when there was plentiful energy from wind power, or turn off a freezer for a few minutes to smooth out a spike in demand at teatime.

Prof Phil Taylor, professor of energy systems at Newcastle University, said: “People are used to the idea that they pay more for using the trains at peak time, or they queue more if they use the roads at rush hour.

“Technology has enabled us to bring this price flexibility to energy consumers. No-one will be forced to link their home to the energy internet, but if they do choose to use it, it will save them money, save pollution and save power stations needing to be built.”

The challenge for National Grid is to attract more companies to adopt what is known as “demand-side response”, or DSR. Some firms are nervous, others have not heard of it – and business models are changing at breakneck speed.

Turn me on (and off)

  • Marriott Hotels has a contract that temporarily turns off its water-chilled air conditioning system at times of peak demand. The water temperature drops so slightly that guests do not notice the difference.
  • Japanese electronics giant Sharp is devising controls and software to allow solar storage batteries in homes to sell energy back to the grid when the demand (and price) are high. The firm says it expects the system to pay its way without subsidy by 2018.
  • Aggregate Industries – which makes road materials – is helping to smooth spikes in the grid even though it generates no power at all. The bitumen in giant containers stored near Heathrow airport can be stored at temperatures of between 130 and 185C. If a rise in demand is predicted for later in the day, the company is advised by a computer to heat the bitumen to the maximum temperature, then turn off the power until the demand – and price – subsides. Aggregate is also rewarded for gobbling up extra energy when there is a glut of wind power on the grid. Head of sustainibility, Donna Hunt, said: “I think this is a no-brainer for us because we’re saving energy. We’re not generating carbon whilst the power is off, and we’re making an income for allowing our assets to be used flexibly.”

Ms Shaw acknowledged that some were anxious about the lights going out as the smart energy revolution progressed.

However, she said: “I don’t think people should fret. There’s an awareness of the issues. There’s lots of activity on the market that will solve this problem. Be enthusiastic – it’s a moment of change that should take us to a better place.”

In response, the GMB union called National Grid “naively complacent”. Justin Bowden, its national secretary, said: “Avoiding winter blackouts with a ‘smart energy’ revolution is fanciful nonsense. The smart grid is years away.

“What’s needed to guarantee the lights stay on over the coming winters are new power stations and the go-ahead for Hinkley Point C.”

But the CBI’s head of infrastructure, Michelle Hubert, said: “Over the next decade, the UK’s energy system will see a profound shift towards a more flexible and dynamic system. Consumers – both businesses and households – will become much more engaged in how they use, manage, and even produce energy.

“This will play an important role in supporting the UK’s transition to a diverse energy mix, helping to meet our goals of affordable, low-carbon and secure energy across the country.”

Wiring up

The big questions are how far smart technology can ease the burden on the grid and how quickly it can make its mark.

Deepa Venkateswaran, from Bernstein energy analysts, said: “The smart grid revolution is going to be exciting. However, there’s a time frame – we need some time to get wired up and respond dynamically, but in the short term we need new gas stations to replace some of our ageing coal stations which are going to close.”

Ms Shaw agrees with the need for new gas power, but is wary of committing to new power stations while technology is producing unexpected improvements at a sharp pace.

The issue is central to the UK’s laws on cutting greenhouse gases. Under Ms Venkateswaran’s scenario, the UK will be locked into generating gas-fired electricity until well into the 2030s. This would wreck the government’s target of ending gas-fired generation in the early years of that decade.

Ministers are working on a long-term climate strategy, which was promised for last November but is now not expected until sometime before the end of this year.

The pressure is on the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to devise policies that will both keep the lights on and bills affordable – as well as carbon emissions down.

UK-assembled PV-heat batteries set out to ‘prove real impact on fuel poverty’

sunampSunamp, a Scottish manufacturer of heat batteries for domestic energy storage, including models designed to link with PV systems, has started serial production of its units from a base in the UK.

Company boss Andrew Bissell and his team revealed at the Solar Energy UK show yesterday that Sunamp’s assembly partner, Bay Solutions, is putting together Sunamp products at a rate of 100 cells a week, equating to 50 units. Read more