Episode 157: Should I buy batteries for my home?

Venkat Viswanathan, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses powering homes with batteries, whether they will save consumers money, and where they can best be used.

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Residential Solar Energy Storage Analysis from New York State Energy Research and Development

Battery Power for Your Residential Solar Electric System from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Is LG Attempting to Steal the Thunder from Tesla’s Entry into Home Battery Storage? from the Lawrence Berkeley National Labaratory

Transcript

HOST:     Have you ever wondered if the home batteries in the news make sense for your home?  On this week’s Energy Bite, Venkat Viswanathan, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

VENKAT:  Home batteries are typically used to store energy from a renewable source, such as a solar panel on your roof.  When the sun is shining during the day, you can store the excess electricity generated for use later at night. You can also use home batteries to store electricity from the grid in case your power goes out.  Current home batteries store about 2.2 kWh.  Each battery provides enough power to run your television for about 5 hours. Multiple batteries could extend this time.

HOST:  Should I buy home batteries now?

VENKAT: The cost for home batteries are prohibitively high for the average consumer. Two situations where batteries might make sense are for homes with solar power, and states like California and Hawaii where electricity is priced daily. Battery costs are dropping dramatically year after year and very soon, it might reach the price point where this is competitive for all consumers.

HOST: Would you buy a battery for your home?  Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

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