Frequently Asked Questions about Commercial Battery Storage Systems

At a Glance

Discover the integral role of commercial battery storage systems in the transition to sustainable energy. This blog provides essential answers to commonly asked questions, offering clarity on how these systems operate, their benefits, capacity, and longevity. Dive deeper into the distinctions between commercial, residential, and grid-scale energy storage solutions, and get an inside look at Exro Technologies' cutting-edge Cell Driver™ Technology. Perfect for business owners, industry professionals, or anyone interested in the future of energy, this blog promises to enlighten and inform on the critical aspects of today's energy storage solutions.

Today, as businesses and communities worldwide make strides toward sustainable energy practices, the importance of effective energy storage is becoming increasingly clear. Commercial energy storage systems play a pivotal role in this transformative journey, enabling us to utilize renewable energy more efficiently and reliably. In this article, we will not only answer some of the most common questions about commercial battery storage systems, but also briefly explore the differences between commercial, grid-scale, and residential storage solutions.  

We will also highlight the role of innovative technologies in advancing commercial battery storage, using Exro Technologies' Cell Driver™ Technology as an example. Our 90kW/192kWh Cell Driver™ is a commercial battery energy storage system that showcases the future of this crucial technology.

Whether you're a business owner seeking renewable energy solutions, an industry expert staying up-to-date with the latest advancements, or simply an enthusiast curious about the future of sustainable technology, this article aims to provide valuable insights. Let's start our exploration by diving right into these common questions.

1. What is a commercial battery storage system?

A commercial battery storage system is a clean technology designed to store electrical energy for use at a later time. These systems serve as the backbone of a business's energy infrastructure, providing the ability to store electricity when demand is low and dispatch it when demand is high. This ability to control when and how electricity is used provides a significant advantage, allowing businesses to operate more efficiently and sustainably.

Commercial battery storage systems utilize advanced battery technologies, which are installed on a business's premises. The stored energy can be derived from various sources, including the grid during off-peak times or from renewable energy installations such as solar panels or wind turbines. Once stored, this energy can be used in several ways: it can be dispatched during peak demand times to reduce energy costs, used as a backup power source during outages, or even fed back into the grid in certain scenarios.

Commercial battery storage systems are not just about energy independence—they are also about smart energy management. These systems can be programmed to optimize energy use based on various factors, such as energy prices, peak demand times, and the business's specific energy needs. In essence, a commercial battery storage system allows businesses to take control of their energy use, improving efficiency, reducing costs, and supporting sustainability efforts.

Exro Technologies' 90kW/192kWh Cell Driver™ is a prime example of this technology, offering businesses a reliable and efficient solution for managing their energy needs while supporting the transition to renewable energy sources.

2. How do commercial battery storage systems work?

Commercial battery storage systems work by capturing and storing electrical energy, and then providing that energy when it's needed. This process involves several stages:

Charging: The first step is charging the system. This involves taking electricity from a source—whether it's from the grid or from a renewable energy system like solar panels or wind turbines—and storing it in the system's batteries. The energy is often stored in the form of chemical energy within these batteries, ready to be converted back into electrical energy when needed.

Storing: Once charged, the energy is stored until it's needed. Advanced battery technologies used in these systems can hold a substantial amount of energy for extended periods. This stored energy can be used at any time, providing flexibility in managing energy demands.

Discharging: When energy is required—for instance, during peak demand times, during a power outage, or when renewable sources aren't producing energy—the system discharges, converting the stored chemical energy back into electrical energy and delivering it where it's needed.

Managing: Most commercial energy storage systems also have a management component. This is typically a computer system that manages the flow of energy, deciding when to charge and discharge based on various factors like energy prices, demand patterns, and the overall energy needs of the business.

Cell Driver™ Commercial Battery Storage System

Exro Technologies' Cell Driver™ is equipped with an advanced Energy Management System that dynamically and intelligently manages the system. It's designed to efficiently manage energy use, storing power when demand and prices are low and supplying it when demand is high or during power outages. The result is a more reliable, efficient, and cost-effective approach to managing a business's energy needs.

3. What are the benefits of using a commercial battery storage system?

Commercial battery storage systems offer numerous benefits to businesses, making them an increasingly popular choice in today's energy landscape. Here are some of the main advantages:

Energy Cost Savings: By charging during off-peak times when energy prices are lower and discharging during peak demand times when prices are higher, these systems can generate significant cost savings. This practice, known as load shifting or peak shaving, can dramatically reduce a business's energy bill.

Demand Charge Management: Businesses often face demand charges based on their highest peak energy usage. With battery storage systems, businesses can draw power from their storage system during periods of peak demand, effectively reducing peak grid energy usage and associated demand charges.

Resilience and Reliability: Commercial battery storage systems can provide backup power during grid outages, ensuring uninterrupted operations. This is crucial for businesses that rely on constant power supply, such as refrigerated facilities, hospitals, and manufacturing facilities.

Support for Renewable Energy: These systems are an ideal complement to renewable energy sources like solar and wind. They can store excess energy produced during peak production times for use when production is low or non-existent, such as at night for solar power.

EV Charging Buffer: As electric vehicle (EV) use increases, so does the demand for charging stations. Commercial battery storage can help manage the load of EV charging stations by storing power during low-demand periods and supplying it during times of high demand, preventing overloads and maintaining a stable power supply.

Reduced Carbon Footprint: By optimizing energy usage and enabling the effective use of renewables, commercial battery storage systems can help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to sustainability goals.

Grid Services: In some cases, businesses with commercial battery storage systems can participate in demand response programs or provide other grid services, which can generate additional revenue or savings.

Benefits of commercial battery energy storage systems

Exro Technologies' Cell Driver™ embodies these benefits, offering an efficient and reliable solution for commercial energy management. By using the Cell Driver™ system, businesses can optimize their energy usage, support their sustainability goals, and ensure they have reliable power when they need it most.

Control Your Battery Energy Storage System at the Cell Level.
Control Your Battery Energy Storage System at the Cell Level.

4. How much energy can a commercial battery storage system store?

The amount of energy a commercial energy storage system can store varies widely based on the specific system and its configuration. It's typically measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), a unit of energy that represents the amount of work that can be done by one kilowatt of power in one hour.

Smaller commercial battery storage systems might have a capacity of a few dozen kilowatt-hours, suitable for small businesses or facilities. Larger systems, designed for bigger operations or industrial use, can store hundreds or even thousands of kilowatt-hours. The capacity needed will depend on the energy needs of the business, the variability of their energy supply and demand, and their goals for using the system, such as backup power provision or cost savings.

Cell Driver™ commercial storage system

For instance, Exro Technologies' Cell Driver™ has a capacity of 192 kilowatt-hours. This substantial capacity makes it suitable for a wide range of commercial applications, providing ample energy storage for businesses to manage their energy use effectively, support renewable energy integration, and ensure reliability and resilience of their power supply.

5. How long can energy be stored in commercial battery storage systems?

The duration of energy storage in commercial systems largely depends on the technology and design of the system. While most modern battery storage systems are designed for daily energy cycling—charging during periods of low demand or high renewable energy production and discharging during high demand or low production periods—they can theoretically hold their charge for a longer duration if left unused.

For instance, lithium-ion battery packs, a common technology in commercial battery storage systems, can retain most of their charge for an extended period. In favourable conditions, they lose only around 2 to 3 percent of their charge per month when left unused.

However, it's important to note that the optimal use of these systems isn't to store energy indefinitely. They are designed to actively manage energy supply and demand, which involves regular charging and discharging.

The lifecycle of these systems, on the other hand, can vary based on numerous factors, including the quality of the components, the management of the charge and discharge cycles, environmental conditions, and the level of maintenance. Generally, a well-maintained commercial energy storage system can have a lifetime of 10 to 20 years.

 Lifespan of an energy storage system

Exro Technologies' Cell Driver™ provides a stellar example of this technology at work. Unlike other systems, the Cell Driver™ is equipped with a patented Battery Control System™ (BCS). This advanced technology actively manages each individual cell within the system, monitoring its state of charge and state of health. This means the system can intelligently decide which cells to use at any given moment, allowing certain cells to rest when they're not needed - enhancing the overall safety and performance of the system.

This active management approach not only improves the safety of the system but also significantly extends its lifecycle. By allowing the optimal utilization and rest of individual cells, the Battery Control System™ ensures that the Cell Driver™ can provide reliable and efficient energy management over an extended period, making it an ideal long-term solution for businesses while also enabling the use of second-life EV and telecommunication batteries.

Understanding the Differences: Commercial Battery Storage, Grid-Scale Storage, and Residential Storage

Battery storage plays a crucial role in our transition to a more sustainable energy landscape, but it's important to understand the distinctions between commercial battery storage, grid-scale storage, and residential storage. These systems differ not only in scale and capacity but also in the permits, certifications, and installation considerations they require.

Grid-Scale Battery Storage: Grid-scale storage, also known as utility-scale storage, refers to energy storage systems deployed on a larger scale to support the overall electrical grid. These systems are typically located at centralized facilities and provide significant energy storage capacity to stabilize the grid, manage peak demand, and facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources effectively. Grid-scale storage projects involve large battery arrays, pumped hydro storage, compressed air energy storage, or other technologies capable of storing and discharging large amounts of energy. Due to the magnitude of these installations and their impact on the grid, they require comprehensive permits, regulatory approvals, and grid interconnection agreements.

Commercial Energy Storage: Commercial energy storage systems are specifically designed for businesses, industries, and commercial facilities. These systems have lower capacity than grid-scale energy storage but higher capacity than residential systems. Commercial energy storage solutions offer tailored features, such as demand charge management, load shifting, and backup power capabilities, to optimize energy usage, reduce costs, and enhance energy reliability for commercial and industrial settings. They require specific permits and certifications for commercial installations and may not be suitable or approved for use in residential zones due to regulatory requirements.

Cell Driver™ Commercial Battery Energy Storage System

Residential Storage: Residential storage solutions are designed for individual homes and smaller-scale energy needs. These systems are typically installed within or near residential properties and enable homeowners to optimize their energy usage, increase self-consumption of renewable energy, and provide backup power during outages. Residential storage solutions, such as lithium-ion battery units, are smaller in scale and capacity compared to commercial or grid-scale systems. They require permits and certifications specific to residential installations, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and grid interconnection standards.

Furthermore, it's important to understand the concept of "behind the meter" and "in front of the meter" installations. Commercial and residential energy storage systems are often considered "behind the meter" installations, as they are located on the customer's side of the utility meter. These systems primarily serve the energy needs of the customer and can reduce reliance on the grid. In contrast, grid-scale storage installations are typically considered "in front of the meter" as they are connected directly to the grid and provide services to the larger electrical system.

Each type of energy storage system requires specific permits, certifications, and regulatory compliance to ensure safe and reliable operation. Understanding these differences and associated considerations helps businesses and homeowners select the appropriate system for their needs while adhering to local regulations and utility requirements.

Embracing the Power of Exro Technologies' Cell Driver™: A Superior Commercial Battery Storage Solution

The Cell Driver™ by Exro Technologies is a fully integrated battery energy storage system (BESS) that revolutionizes stationary commercial and industrial energy storage applications. With its cutting-edge features and advanced communication technology, the Cell Driver™ is designed to optimize performance, reduce costs, and deliver exceptional value.

Cell Driver™ Commercial Battery Storage

Equipped with Exro's patented Battery Control System™ (BCS), the Cell Driver™ sets a new standard in energy storage. The BCS ensures maximized cell safety, capacity, and lifetime, providing businesses with peace of mind and reliability.

By harnessing the power of the Cell Driver™, businesses gain precise control over their power usage, enabling them to efficiently manage their electricity consumption and lower energy expenses. This level of control empowers businesses to enhance energy reliability, reduce reliance on the grid, and embrace a more sustainable and independent energy future.

The Cell Driver™ represents a significant advancement in energy storage technology, offering businesses a fully integrated solution that combines performance optimization, cost reduction, and improved energy reliability. Experience the transformative potential of the Cell Driver™ by partnering with Exro Technologies and unlocking the power of efficient and cost-effective energy storage.

Discover the Exro Cell Driver™

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