Our Expertly answered FAQs

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Below is list of questions we get asked most often

What are the benefits of energy storage?

Home energy storage systems make the most of electricity by storing it so you can use the energy when you need it. Energy is typically stored from excess solar energy or the national grid. They are particularly useful for people with home renewable energy systems who can use more of the clean energy they generate at home, by accessing renewable energy during periods of high grid demand. 

If you already have home renewable energy, an energy storage system can reduce your fuel bills and carbon emissions. The fuel bill savings are dependent on the system installed and how it is used. powerQuad automates much of this for you using its smart systems. 

This smart system allows you to keep track of your energy use via the app and to decide when to charge your storage unit and when to draw power from it. 

What is energy storage?

Energy storage is the process of storing energy in a different form in preparation for the required form. 

The UK has a proud history of energy storage, with the oldest being pumped storage. This requires two reservoirs at different altitudes. Water is pumped to the upper reservoir using excess energy and then released to the lower reservoir through power turbines. 

powerQuad uses batteries. Batteries store energy using chemicals in preparation for future use as electrical energy. 

Batteries come in various types, with new technology and research batteries are developing at a faster pace due to increasing demand. Think about AA batteries; Alkaline batteries are single use, and lithium batteries are rechargeable. There are other chemical forms of batteries available. 

Your internal combustion engine car battery is lead acid and your mobile phone is lithium ion. Battery types vary depending upon their application, rate of use, and power requirements. The rate that energy is stored (charging) can vary, it can be rapid or a trickle. Rapid energy charging means that the batteries are fed energy at the fastest rate possible. Trickle charge is a term typically used to keep a battery ‘topped up’. 

powerQuad uses batteries that enable a deep cycle charge and discharge. They provide power immediately and can also be charged quickly and slowly. This makes them ideal for both excess grid energy and solar generation. 

What is energy demand?

The demand for electrical energy varies during the day, week, month and year. For a typical day, household demand is high first thing in the morning, and in the early evening. It is at its lowest during the night and weekly working hours. Industrial demand is highest during the working day, and lowest at the weekend. 

Energy demand is higher during the winter period, due to lower temperatures and shorter days of light. 

During the low demand periods there is often ‘excess’ energy being generated, and so the cost per kWh is lower. It is this excess energy that is most suitable for energy storage in a powerQuad to provide power during high demand and higher energy prices. 

Is renewable energy reliable?

In the UK the top three methods of renewable energy generation are wind, solar, and hydro. 

Renewables produce more than 20% of the UK’s electricity. 

UK offshore wind is a world leader and can generate 20 Giga Watts of energy. One difficulty is the energy may be generated at times of low demand, such as at night. Likewise, with solar electricity generation, this is both cyclically by day and by season. 

Storing this energy spreads the access of renewable energy throughout the day or to weekly periods of higher demand. 

What is my carbon footprint?

Everyone has a different carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the collection of all carbon emissions created throughout your day. No carbon footprint is precise as it is an estimation. You can calculate yours from the WWF calculator here: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk/ 

There are many things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Here at powerQuad we aim to reduce yours by powering your home using renewable sources. 

By understanding kWh and your carbon footprint you can begin to reduce it and not only save you money but also improve the environment. 

Why is electricity expensive?

Both gas and electricity energy prices are increasing. 

All national electricity grids get their power from numerous sources, typically gas and coal or nuclear power stations. More recently in the last decade wind and solar farms have begun to play a major role. All these forms have different base costs for generating energy, so as the consumer you can access any number of these. 

Most energy is generated using high cost ‘fuels’ such as coal or gas. Disrupted supply chains cause fluctuations in price, as does period of high demand such as cold winter spells. Wholesale energy prices are set by the traded market. The daily (sometimes hourly) wholesale price of energy fluctuates with changes of 60% being typical in line with demand. Energy providers determine a price for the year, and although the cost to them may go up, more often it is less. 

Renewable energy generation, from offshore windfarms off the coast of the UK are becoming one of the cheapest forms of energy generation. Harnessing this will reduce carbon high energy generation increasing our reliance on renewables. 

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy generated from sources that are naturally, and continually replenished, such as sunlight, wind, wave and geothermal heat. 

At the point of energy generation, the carbon footprint from renewable energy is zero. 

What is a kW and a kWh?

First, let us understand what is a Watt (W). A Watt is a measurement of power. In electricity this is 1 Amp through 1 Ohm of resistance where there is a 1 Volt drop across this resistance. Think about an electrical kettle which has a power rating of about 3000 watts. For the UK grid electrical mains of 230V this kettle will require about 13 Amps. 

1000 Watts is 1kW (kilo Watt), so roughly 1/3 kettle. 1MW (Mega Watt) is 1000kW, so roughly 334 kettles, and 1GW (Giga Watt) is 1000MW. 

A kilowatt hour (kWh) is a measure of how much energy you’re using. A kWh is a measure of power with respect to time. So, if that single 3000W kettle is on for 1 hour that would consume 3kWh of energy. The average UK home uses around 3,638kWh of electricity a year. 

As a collective the UK requires about 30GW of power, with average highs of 37GW and lows of 25GW, at any given time.

What are volts, amps and ohms?

There are three basic units to electricity, these are, voltage (V), current (I) and resistance (R). Voltage is measure in volts, current is measured in amps and resistance is measured in ohms (Ω). 

To understand how all three units interact, a common analogy is water running through pipes. 

Voltage is equivalent to pressure, and this is where you may have heard of ‘pressure testers’. Pressure testers provide high levels of voltage for testing manufactured electronic goods. 

Current is equivalent to the flow rate and resistance the pipe size. 

The mathematical equation that links all three is Electrical power is measured in watts (w) and this is the multiplication of voltage and current. 

What is a ‘time of use tariff’?

Tariffs are the price you pay for your energy, this is the unit rate in kWh and the standing charge.  The unit rate will rise and fall with wholesale energy prices. 

Wholesale prices fluctuate continuously, and a time of use tariff is a tariff that reflects this.  Typically a price per hour, to a price per half hour.

What are DUoS and TNUoS charges?

Distribution Use of System (DUoS) charges are charges for used of the electrical system imposed by the District Network Operator. 

Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges are charges imposed by the Transmission operator (National Grid) for the use of their system.

For most of us our electricity supplier passes these charges on as ‘standing charges’.  For large organisations who consumes extremely large amounts of energy will have these charges itemised. 

During peak energy periods these charges can be extremely high.

What are IR panels?

Infrared (IR) heating is a highly efficient method of heating.  

The radiated heat direct from an electricity supply gives greater control of your heating.  

In combination with powerQuad systems you can replace your night storage heaters and make huge savings.

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