Energy Storage Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I consider energy storage with a solar system for my business?

  • An Energy Storage System that you own is your answer to greater grid independence, reduced electrical costs and grid casualty preparedness. It will complement your renewable energy system by storing the energy you generate during the day for use in the evening or whenever your peak demand period occurs.

What is the difference between residential and commercial energy storage?

  • Each have their own energy storage requirements but the commercial customer is often subject to additional demand charges based on their peak energy usage. Adara Energy Storage Systems are programmed to reduce these charges providing significant monthly rate savings.

What is the interconnect process?

  • Electrical systems that are connected to the grid need to go through an “Interconnect Process” with the local utility to notify the utility of any significant power draws on the grid, especially during peak energy periods. Your utility will want to know when you install a renewable energy generation and storage system, but since the Adara Energy Storage System reduces peak energy we have found that utilities stand to benefit as much as the homeowner. In general, we encourage Interconnection that allows export of solar plus stored energy from batteries but we can document for the utility that the time of discharge is designed to reduce peak demand and has redundant mechanisms to prevent export during peak periods.  Please contact us if your installer has any issues with your utility’s interconnection process.

What is peak power?

  • Electrical loads vary during the year, day and hour. The higher the energy demand from the grid, the higher the peak power requirements that the utility must maintain primary and spinning reserve generation facilities to support. As you might guess, this gets expensive, so generally speaking a homeowner will pay more for power used during peak periods than off-peak periods.  Most commercial buildings have a 24 hour or non-coincident demand charge and also an On-Peak demand charge which is generally higher.  On-peak periods in California are shifting from 12pm to 6pm to the new later periods of 3-8 or 4-9pm, so solar alone does not support On-peak demand reduction.

What is a peaker plant?

  • Utilities size their generation to meet the average demand. A peaker plant is an excess capacity power generation plant that can be started and stopped to respond to peak power requirements from the grid. As you might guess (again), this gets expensive. Reducing peaker plant requirements is a big first step towards reducing our collective carbon footprint.

What incentives are there for ESS?

  • Energy storage systems that charge off of solar qualify for the 30% Investment Tax Credit at the Federal Level for the entire installed cost of the project.  In California, a state-level program called the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) pays approximately another 40%.  New York recently ruled to start a massive deployment of energy storage with details on incentives to follow.  Other states and local districts may have additional programs.

Why should I chose Lithium NMC over other battery chemistries

  • Our years of electric vehicle automotive engineering expertise provided us with the opportunities to review multiple lithium and nickel-based chemistries, and their associated performance, reliability and safety parameters. We selected a very high quality Lithium NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) chemistry which is the predominant chemistry used on EVs. We are also a fan of lithium iron phosphate but 50% less energy density adds to the installation cost and space required.  Both types of lithium batteries have a flammable electrolyte and require a sophisticated Battery Management System with built-in redundancy to ensure that you have a safe system with long lasting performance.   Adara engineers are pioneers in lithium-ion battery management semiconductors and automotive safety-critical control systems.

Why should I choose Adara Energy Storage System over other energy storage solutions?

  • When you work with Adara you are choosing a technology but more importantly a company to support you every step of the way with local expertise.  Adara Energy Storage Systems are well suited for present and future energy needs, providing energy peak shifting, load shaving, back-up and islanding capability with the capability to be networked together both in energy and power. Adara Power clients own their system, keep all of the rebates, incentives and lifetime savings while still being part of a nationwide network. We support licensed contractors and solar installers with reference installation diagrams and all the material needed for incentive programs, permitting and interconnection.  This ensures rapid installation and commissioning of our systems so customers enjoy the benefits of lower electricity bills immediately.

Can I install a Adara Energy Storage System on an existing solar system?

  • The commercial scale systems utilize an AC-coupling approach where the battery is independently connected to the main service entrance.  We install current transformers to measure the solar production but we do not alter the existing setup so there is no impact to your existing PV.

Can I use a Adara Energy Storage System without a renewable energy system?

  • Yes.  The energy storage system can be charged at the time of lowest electricity rates and fed back into the building’s main service panel during peak periods.  In this scenario, the customer cannot take advantage of the 30% federal ITC but it still has a big impact on the electricity bill and does qualify for the CA SGIP.

How and where is a Adara Energy Storage System installed?

  • Adara Energy Storage Systems are now installed in 13 states.  A licensed electrician is required to connect your Adara Energy Storage System. Systems can be installed indoors or outdoors. Our Adara Energy Storage System Certified Installers are trained to provide you the right recommendation and site design for your energy storage needs.

Can I finance an Adara Energy Storage System?

  • There are multiple options to finance your Adara Energy Storage System. Check out some of the financing programs approved for Adara Energy Storage Systems and ask your installer for any local options that they may provide.

Will a Adara Energy Storage System reduce my carbon footprint?

How long will the Adara Energy Storage System last?

  • The system is designed for a 15-year life and a 10-year warranty is available. At the end of life of the battery cells, we can replace the battery modules at a fraction of today’s lithium ion costs without ripping out the enclosure, inverter and conduit.  The system is deigned for easy service or upgrade using a rack mounted enclosure. The customer must maintain monitoring for the guaranteed performance.

What do I do with the Adara Energy Storage System at end of life?

  • Your modules are recyclable similar to the lithium modules in an electric vehicle. The standard rack mounted enclosure and ease of installation will allow you to replace the modules.  Adara has several electronic recyclers setup to take the battery modules back.  They are disassembled and the battery cells are melted down to recover the metals.

Is the Adara Energy Storage System available outside the USA?

  • We are actively looking for large general contractor or solar companies that are leaders in their local markets.  We will work with these potential partners to determine investment, support and go to market strategies.  When we enter a market it will be with full support not sending a couple systems overseas with no ability to support.  Contact us if you have big plans for your market and need a Silicon Valley technology partner.