How a Household Power System Can Save You Money
Electrical power is like the air we breathe—we take it for granted until it’s gone. This remarkable energy infrastructure provides us with power for lighting, heating, cooling, food cooking, and more.
Once the electricity reaches your neighborhood, it goes through power transformers that step down the voltage because it would be too high to go directly into homes. Then the wires connect to your electric meter, then to your service panel.
If your house is like many others, it draws its energy from the power grid. If this power fails for any reason, your appliances, lights and systems will stop working — frustrating at best, dangerous at worst.
The best solution for preventing power failures is backup power. A battery backup system uses high-quality batteries to power your house during a grid outage. During normal times, the batteries are charged with Eskom electricity and when the power goes out, the inverter automatically switches over from grid power to your battery power. Once the grid is restored, the inverter again returns to supplying your house with energy from the Eskom electricity network.
Lumin’s advanced whole home battery backup systems use smart technology to optimize energy performance. This means your system is constantly assessing and reconfiguring power backup plans based on complex factors, including the state of the grid, circuit schedules and demand limits, solar production, battery storage capacity and charge, as well as your input and preferences.
When choosing the size of a backup power system for your household, start by adding up the wattage of all the appliances you want to run or charge simultaneously (don’t forget surge and starting watts if needed). We recommend aiming to exceed this total wattage by 20% for safety and peace of mind. A basic system can be used by simply plugging it in to a multiplug or extension lead, but you can also have the backup power integrated into your distribution board.
Many power companies use peak pricing, a type of energy charge that adds on top of your electricity bill during specific intervals when demand is highest. The goal of peak shaving is to help reduce these charges by lowering your demand usage during those times, so you don’t get hit with a higher bill than usual.
Energy storage is a good choice for peak shaving because it allows you to store cheap (non-peak) electricity and then Household Power System use it when the price of kWh electricity is high. Battery systems can also intelligently regulate charging and discharging without requiring your manual intervention.
During peak demand hours, electrical power consumption peaks and the resulting spikes in electricity supply often exceed the capacity of local generation plants. This is why utilities pay large industrial and commercial consumers a premium for their energy consumption during peak demand hours (sometimes called “demand charges”).
A battery system equipped for peak shaving can monitor your power usage patterns and automatically lower your energy demands during peak demand hours. This can be as simple as activating your EV charger during non-peak hours or reducing the operation of appliances during those hours. These are simple changes that can make a big difference in your energy costs and utility bills. Peak shaving also helps you avoid costly power surges that can damage equipment and disrupt operations.
As you use energy, computerized controls in your appliances can send signals to respond to your power supplier and/or grid operator to reduce electricity consumption during periods of high demand. This is known as an Electric Management System (EMS). With this capability, you can receive financial incentives from your energy supplier for using less energy during peak times, helping to balance the power supply, and avoiding blackouts.
The huge transmission lines that snake across the country are part of a power system that is as interconnected as a network of rivers and streams. If an isolated event caused a single line or generator to fail, the System’s voltage and frequency would quickly drop to unsafe levels and cause the loss of all power. Grid operators must constantly monitor and manage the System’s resources to ensure reliable operation.
Each day, the ISO’s certified system operators at the state-of-the-art master control center in Holyoke oversee the flow of power across 26,000 circuit miles. From there, they operate a competitive wholesale power market that promotes a wide variety of resource types and prices. They also coordinate the schedule for thousands of transmission-line and power-plant outages to prevent them from causing System disruptions.
If the System isn’t operating smoothly, grid operators have to make instant adjustments based on a series of complex calculations and real-time data. Every five minutes, they forecast electrical demand, compare it to available supply, and dispatch the lowest-cost resource to meet it. They also set reserves to ensure the System has sufficient capacity to recover from events like an outage at one power plant or a thunderstorm that causes widespread outages.
Partial-Load Battery Storage
A home battery storage Household Power System system can power appliances during a grid outage. It can also help reduce electricity costs by shifting energy use to off-peak times.
The size of a battery storage system determines how many appliances it can power at once, and its usable capacity decides how long they can run. A battery storage consultant will ask you about your priorities, and recommend a size of system that can meet them without overpowering the household.
Unlike fuel-powered generators, battery systems can be affordable for most households. But there are still fundamental engineering limits to running a full house on battery backup alone. First, the energy capacity of lithium ion batteries is too limited to support the most robust appliances like air conditioning and 240-volt EV chargers. And second, battery backup inverters are not powerful enough to power all appliances during a blackout.
In order to avoid the inconvenience of a blackout, a battery storage system can be configured to back up essential appliances such as refrigerators and lights in critical rooms. This strategy will still allow homeowners to save money on time of use rates during peak demand periods, while also reducing their carbon footprint.