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Simpliphi Lithium Batteries: Storing Solar Power in Our Neck of the Woods

Fabrizio’s home at Windy Ridge Orchards near
North Haverhill, New Hampshire.

New system at Fabrizio’s home.

By John Hassell

Simpliphi lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) batteries are making their way into residential and small business renewable energy applications in the North Country. Let’s take a look at a few residential systems in our area.

Many people are familiar with the Windy Ridge Orchard outside North Haverhill, NH. Great café, pick-your-own everything, craft store and lots of apples. The owner of the café, Sheila Fabrizio, has her home on the grounds of the orchard and uses solar power, with Simpliphi batteries for energy storage.

The entire house is supported by a six-panel solar array and one Simpliphi 24V lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) battery.

The system has been in operation for about two years and fulfills all of the power needs for the house. A small 6kW Generac generator is also in the system, should it be needed due to long periods of inclement weather.

Susie Batchelder’s home near Groveton, New Hampshire.

The old battery system.

On the road between Lancaster and Groveton, NH, you’ll see Perras Ace Hardware. The owner, Susie Batchelder, lives north of Groveton and uses solar power for her house, supported by ten, Simpliphi 48V batteries. The original lead-acid battery bank consisted of twelve four-volt batteries connected in series to achieve 48V. The new battery array supplies the same usable capacity but in a much smaller and cleaner package.

The original flooded lead-acid batteries consumed considerable floor space and required an exhaust fan for odors and hydrogen gas. The new Simpliphi battery array is much smaller, lighter and odorless. No ventilation is needed. The system has been working for about ten years, but only the last year with the Simpliphi batteries.

And the new.

Dartmouth College has a large tract of land near the town of Errol, NH, referred to as Wentworth Location. A new facility was constructed to allow students and faculty to conduct instruction and research. It consists of a large town hall building and a smaller building that provides storage and houses the power room and the incinerating toilet, called the Destroylet, by the students.

The power system uses a six-panel solar array, an inverter and two Simpliphi 24V batteries. The system is designed to use DC lighting, ceiling fans and refrigerator; the inverter is used only when AC power is needed.

The site has an Internet connection. The power system is set up for on-line access for evaluation of battery and system performance. The batteries are housed in an insulated box, which uses a small heater, in the winter. The system has been in operation for about three years. A 6kW Generac generator is also part of the system, should it be needed.

Another solar powered system was converted from flooded lead-acid batteries to Simpliphi. The original battery bank consisted of 16, Trojan T105 batteries, which have a rated capacity of 900 ampere-hours (450 usable Ampere-hours, at 50% discharge). The battery bank was replaced by three Simpliphi 24V batteries. The usable capacity of the Simpliphi battery is about 400 ampere-hours (at 90% discharge). The system has been in operation for about two years.

Dartmouth College Wentworth, NH location.

New batteries.

Simpliphi batteries were chosen for all of these applications due to their superior performance, when evaluated against other technologies. Looking at the comparison chart, the lithium advantage is apparent.

The Simpliphi lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) battery gives the user and installer advantages over some battery chemistries. The name “Simpliphi” is not just a brand name, it represents a philosophy: Using the Simpliphi battery makes the system simpler to install and maintain.

Residential renewable energy systems are usually based on 12-volt, 24-volt or 48-volt battery assemblies. Simpliphi batteries are supplied in a 12, 24 or 48-volt package. One Simpliphi battery supplies the full system voltage. There is no need to buy 2, 4, 6 or 12-volt batteries and connect them in series to get the required system voltage.

With Simpliphi, if you need to add capacity to your battery system, you simply add another battery (or batteries). Each battery provides the full system voltage. All batteries are connected in parallel.

Each battery has its own, internal battery management system (BMS), which manages charge and discharge. Each battery has its own 80-amp circuit breaker; yes, you can actually turn each battery on and off. The batteries do not need ventilation, produce no odors or gases and can be installed in any position. For more information go to: www.simpliphipower.com

The old battery system

This solar-powered system for another home in Massachussett was converted from the Trojan T-105 flooded lead-acid batteries to Simpliphi Lithium batteries. Note the smaller area needed to house them.

John Hassell is the owner and president of Be Green Solar, LLC in Benton, NH. He is a retired engineer who became a bit bored in retirement and started Be Green Solar. In addition to providing renewable energy systems to users in NH, MA, VT, NY, ME and PQ, he works with NGOs, principally in Haiti, to provide electrical power to remote villages and medical clinics. He can be reached at john.solarguy@gmail.com or by phone at 603.787.2317.

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