Battery Powered Homes

Battery Powered Homes

2016, Technology  -   18 Comments
Ratings: 8.19/10 from 147 users.

An Australian-produced documentary for ABC television, Battery Powered Homes takes a peek into a not-so-distant future where clean and renewable energy can alter the way of life for countless millions.

Not too long ago, the notion of a battery-powered home seemed a distant hope. But in the past few years, advanced technology has made this dream a reality for over one million residents in Australia; a number that's expected to grow exponentially over the next five years. The film introduces us to several of these homeowners who have embraced the energy revolution from its earliest incarnations.

There's Josh Byrne, the congenial host of the popular television program Gardening Australia, the battery he's using to power his home is complimented by an energy management system. Josh and his family, like most users of these technologies, expend most of their power needs at night. The management system regulates itself to recharge during the day as his solar panels take over to fulfill his power needs. The system then distributes the majority of its stored power during the evening. Any excess power is then fed back into the grid for modest compensation. Utilizing this method, Josh pulls only 3% of his total power from the grid.

The obstacles to full implementation of these energy sources are quickly vanishing. For example, the price of these systems will continue to drop as they become more widely used. In the last year alone, costs have plummeted by as much as a third. The traditional power companies, which have long relied on the use of fossil fuels, are now faced with a challenge. They must find ways to implement clean renewable energies into their business model, or their services will become obsolete. Meanwhile, the South Australian government has offered $5,000 rebates to any resident who invests in battery power for their home.

The film also introduces us to the scientists and researchers who stand on the front line of these emerging technologies. They're working to create more efficient and durable batteries that can run longer and create a full charge in a matter of minutes.

Battery Powered Homes is an eye-opening and inspiring look into a future that can have a positive impact upon all of us.

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18 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Babu Rao

    Every innovation looks expensive as they are introduced. From Automobiles to Mobiles initially they were status symbols not meant for everyone. Then came Ford T. so is the case with alternative energey. It is need of the world. At least in places where sun shines all months like in INDIA and other countries , they can jump and go for gridless or managed gated community and we should look at rebuilding our cities .

    There is a new capital planned around Andhra in INDIA , May be it is a good idea to look at showcasing this . I hope people who take decision on alternate energy and policy makers go for collaborative working and go beyond boundaries.

    Also this documentaries kindles interest and shows some visionaries are doing and not a place to have business presentation of P & L, operational cost, replacement cost etc.,

    I hope this documentary is shown more often on all channes and particularly in schools and colleges to kindle interest for more start ups that are needed to change the way we use technology and not necessaarily limited to mobile application development

  2. Linda

    Although I am intrigued ... I am also leery of how things are on this video.
    It all sounds fantastic but there are a lot of fabulous questions here and we need more in-depth answers.

    I would like to sum up and add my opinion.

    The extra large lithium batteries sound like a great idea but some have mentioned about how long do they live and how do we recycle them.
    Awesome question I would like to see the answer to.
    As well as : They cost 15,000 + ... to replace them is it cheaper or the same cost. Still seems high.

    The cost of hydro in one Country does not reflect all Countries. I saw a comment that it is cheaper than $650E a year.
    I live in Ontario Canada and we spend on average $150 dollars a month on hydro. That is not going overboard. That's an average of $1800 dollars a year.

    The oil wells ... they will never be capped and unused.
    It's not only heating our homes that uses the fossil fuels ... think vehicles, boats, etc.
    As for Companies walking away with spills etc. ... they do now.

    There are no controls in place, otherwise they would have told us who.
    That kinda scares me as a consumer.
    Controls should be laid out as they are already building suburbs and apartment buildings etc.
    The apartment owner stated that the Tenants pay the company for their power and not to him.
    I thought this was so that it did not cost the consumer money for hydro .... hmmmm

    I agree with Mark : they have not actually told us everything and estimates ... not sure if it is because 3 different companies are competing at the moment and the numbers are not settled or if there is an underlying reason for only part of the information.

    My Opinion :
    I do know people up north in Canada that are off grid and solely on their own power grid.
    They have Solar Panels, Wind Mill (not a huge one you would imagine, just a 20 footer), they have streams that they have made water wheels that bring up the water to the home, hunt, garden etc.
    Completely off grid and do not have to pay anyone.
    As for storage of electricity for the eve etc. that's the wind mill.
    With the windmill and solar panels in unison they are never without.
    So my question is .... would we have to be on the grid with the mass or could we have the option of having out own.

  3. daniel

    don´t they have a (lithium bat.) 10 years life expectancy ?

  4. Lenart

    Electricity as it is today is not expensive, contrary you get a lot of "bang" for not a big sum of money. In Europe, where I am from, I pay more for the cable+internet than for the electricity bill. There are other things where can a household save more money with less effort. Photovoltaic is not so cheap and affordable. It is the same with the batteries. For 10k I can buy electricity for my household more than 10 years in advance (average household electricity bill (consumption+tax+grid connection) is ~650€ per year). So, it is worth to think about it. It is a solution if you live off the grid, if not, you must still pay for the grid connection and grid maintenance every month and there are also a cost of amortization of PV and batteries. But there is one thing you can do with the power of the sun very efficient, prepare hot water. Electric boilers are the biggest consumers of electricity in almost every household. It is very efficient to "boil" the water using solar heating elements and store it for later use. On the contrary producing electricity with photovoltaic and using it for heating cold water is not economic :) Good luck to the pioneers of the new technologies.

  5. Eric Allan

    Does anyone know what company does the controls?

  6. John

    The battery looks large. I like the look of the Tesla powerwall.

  7. Francis

    All seems like a dream coming through but don't underestimate the power of oil companies and their delay forces.

  8. Wayne

    It doesn't matter how wonderful the technology is, if the price can't compete with existing products, the consumer will not buy.
    But if they can make a 12 volt battery, the same size as a group 27 or group 31 that has twice the amp hour capacity for no more than 10% over the cost of a standard deep cycle battery, then I know the solar supporting RV community would buy them up in a flash.

  9. Ray

    Lithium batteries would serve the purpose here par explained.

  10. mark

    completely glosses over the underlying economics of the systems as others here have mentioned.

    too much "feel good"and no critical examinations,

  11. mikael

    Pumped-storage hydroelectricity is the answer, not batteries. That is neither environmentally friendly nor cheap,

  12. Steve

    Just a thought. When oil wells aren't needed anymore,who will ensure they are sealed,and is that even possible. Are we faced with a massive problem in the future of oil spills and leaks. Companies will not be liable,they will walk away.

  13. And yet...

    3:20 Good Lord. Look at the size of that battery.

  14. Mark

    Aren't batteries like, really bad for the environment? How long does the battery last? And what happens when it's finished?

  15. Sunlover

    This is very exciting information. The final piece to make solar a major part of our energy future.

  16. Fede

    Very good here for batteries to the rescue.

  17. Nicolas

    This is a very good documentary. Very informative and inspirational. I hope these batteries takes off and we can stop burning fossil fuels.

  18. User1

    Good presentation, but I didn't see what the return looks like in the investment. Could be that everything is still pretty new and there isn't solid numbers, but it would seem that there some kind of estimates. I would have liked to have known what is the expected life of the batteries and what recycling looks like. Not a bad beginners video though.

    Thank you for posting.