Battery Backups For Solar Cells Topic Of Environmental Commission Talk

10-19-15 2

Adje Mensah, of AF Mensah, explains solar cell battery backup systems at the Oct. 19 Environmental Commission meeting.

Homeowners who have solar cells installed have a cost-free option to power their homes in the event of a power outage.

The option – a battery the size of a small refrigerator – is necessary because solar panels require some power source to operate.

A handful of township residents dropped in on the Oct. 19 meeting of the township Environmental Commission to hear a short presentation on the batteries by Adje Mensah, CEO of Princeton-based A.F. Mensah. Mensah’s company designs and installs the batteries for home and industrial use.

The batteries are not cheap; Mensah said they cost about $10,000 installed. But he said, his company offers a financing arrangement through which there would be no out-of-pocket expenses for the homeowner.

Regional power transmission organizations such as PJM Interconnection – of which PSE&G is a member – contract to draw a small percentage of power from the batteries to help stabilize the power grid, for which they pay the homeowner about $2,000 a year, Mensah said. Through his financing plan, Mensah said, his company would collect the payment until their costs are covered, after which time the homeowner would collect the fees.

Mensah said the process would take three to four years.

Mensah said the batteries last “at least 10 years.” He said replacement batteries would probably cost less than they do now.

Mensah said that while current batteries can only be installed indoors, in a basement or garage, next year his company hopes to market models that can be installed outdoors.


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