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A super-computer that fits in your pocket.

For many years, energy storage has been seen possibly as a novelty or a preserve of people wanting to live off-grid. Now with technological developments and the growth of domestic renewable energy, such as Solar PV this has now made this type of equipment very popular and with big growth potential.

Energy storage also ties in well with the idea of a ‘smart home’. Many smart storage systems allow home or business owners to keep track of energy use online and charge the batteries with either Solar panels or low rate electricity from the grid by night or off peek by simply changing to a cheaper tariff, such as Economy 7.

Storage may also allow households to play in the role in smart energy management at grid level. This might mean allowing their energy storage equipment, including hot water cylinders, to be used to store excess electricity — in return for preferential rates.

All exciting stuff, but is now the time to invest in energy storage, and what needs to be taken into consideration?

To store or not to store?

If you have a solar PV system on your house, or business, then you will inevitably generate more electricity than you need at times of high supply and low demand, with any surplus being exported.

Most early adopters will be paid money for the export but newer sign ups (post 1st April 2019) will still be waiting for the export announcement.

But for most people a deemed rate is set at 50 per cent of total generation. So, if you can store that surplus electricity and use it by night you will still get paid the same for your export but will spend less on electricity when imported from the grid.

We tested one such battery, The Wonderlux home energy storage system, available wholesale from the Solar And Heat Store site or supplied and installed by SolarTherm UK, both based in Essex.

The Wonderlux is a clever bit of kit, with the BMU (battery management unit) built in. And with a hybrid or retro fit option. The batteries are standard cassette types, stackable in 2.4kW increments. With a total stackable system to 19.6kW. However what makes the Wonderlux so unique is that they can then be stackable in 19.6kW systems.

The other clever bit is at the time of writing it is one of the only home energy systems to have a fully functional, tried and tested power cut feature. Giving critical power or just power to the home or business as required. It’s neat looking, and unlike your Sonnen, LG or Tesla Powerwall 2, are not one large 100kg + unit that struggle to fit in a loft, be bolted to a stud work wall or have to go outside.

The Wonderlux is also our pick of home energy storage due to cost. A system fully set up, with all small parts will set you back around £600 per kW, as apposed to £730 per kW for a Tesla Powerwall 2, and £890 per kW for the Sonnen. The warranty is the same on all the systems, and the Wonderlux also has a remote monitoring feature for firmware upgrades and repair diagnostics.

Find out whether you could benefit

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