What are demand charges?
Demand charges are adders that utility companies charge commercial customers to ensure that they can deliver the maximum power ever needed by the client.
Demand charges are based on the highest 15-minute average usage recorded within a given month. If the facility tends to use a lot of power over short periods, the demand charges will comprise a larger part of the bill. If the facility uses power at a more consistent rate throughout the month, the demand charges will generally be a smaller part of the bill.
The good news is that Mountain View Solar can help you slash demand charges in three ways:
- Install a solar PV array which will lower overall power usage, including demand charge during the day.
- Install battery storage to store power and release it as needed during periods of peak load, therefore reducing demand charges from the utility. This implementation is called “peak load shaving”.
- Analyze power usage to help further reduce demand charges by changing how equipment is turned on, or adding controls to reduce surge loads.
For demand charge mitigation, we implement Tesla’s lithium solutions.
Unlike a generator, which requires time to come online and power loads, mtvSolar’s battery systems supply power immediately and silently, eliminating possible interruptions in critical infrastructure operation. They are also maintenance free.
We believe the best way to charge a battery is with solar. mtvSolar can integrate a solar PV array with the battery storage. Even a small array can extend the battery autonomy by many days.
The standard battery for backup applications is lead-acid, however, with the advent of low cost wall mounted lithium packs, we’re seeing more of a mix of both chemistries.
Lead acid has a lower cost per kWh, excellent surge capability, can withstand cold temperatures, and are readily available. However they are very heavy, somewhat large and have a lower cycle life compared to lithium.
Lithium has a very high energy density and extremely long cycle life, however they have a higher cost per kWh, often lower surge capability and suffer substantial capacity loss in below freezing temperatures, therefore we want to install them in conditioned space.
At Mountain View Solar, we will choose the battery type that makes the most sense from a technical standpoint for a given application. We consider space, power requirements, operating temperature, cost and equipment availability among a few important design considerations.