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The Story - VARTA Storage Creates Battery Backup After Superstorm Sandy Blackouts

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 17, 2015 12:30:00 PM / by Robert Magyar

VARTA Storage GmbH develops the backup battery system in direct response to Superstorm Sandy. VARTA Storage like many other companies, saw the lasting and damaging effects of power outages from Sandy and invested in finding a battery storage solution that directly addresses several of the vulnerabilities raised by this devastating storm. We did not sit back doing business-as-usual but rather we responded with a highly innovative power outage solution.

Power Failure - Generator Failure

Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive storm in 2012 - the second costliest in U.S. history - with over $75 billion in damages. On October 29th, 2012, Sandy struck the northeast and along it's path - caused damage to 24 states. Over 6 million people were still without power 3 days after the storm had passed. 

s_s21_RTR39U5R_Gas_linesThe northeast was crippled with power outages for weeks and in some places - months. During this storm and for weeks after, many people had increasing difficulty finding and buying gasoline and propane to run their generators.  For those who did have generators - they were useless. Many generators left running outside people's property were stolen. And even if you had one, you could not find fuel to run it. Cold weather was setting in- it was now November. The fuel situation was so dire in the northeast the fuel was rationed and long lines formed. See documentary photos of power outages and long gas lines. 

In addition many solar system owners suddenly discovered while they had a working solar system on their homes, they could not get electricity from their systems due to well established electric utility safety regulations put in place to protect their lineman from stray voltages going back on line from area solar systems. 

The Challenge - The Solution

Bill Flanagan, President and CEO of VARTA Microbattery, Inc. in Rye, NY, a resident of the area experiencing this disaster, assisted the company in finding a battery based solution which made sense for homeowners and businesses during extreme weather power outage events - that would be reliable, adaptable and safe. 

It is in the news every week - November 17th just a few weeks ago - in Spokane, Washington, over 1 million customers lost power from the worst windstorm in that region's history. The storm ripped apart power lines, trees and the electrical grid. One week later 20,000 customers were still without power and facing freezing forecasts for Thanksgiving.

A few days ago just outside of New York City in Orange and Sullivan County 52,000 customers were plunged into darkness after an equipment malfunction occurred at a substation. Battery storage solutions provide renewable energy for backup power for homes and offices - the microgrid you can control.

Inspired three years ago by a great storm, VARTA Storage is the safer alternative to conventional fossil fuel powered generators. It is installed inside your home or office and not left running outside your property - preventing theft of your backup power equipment.

Backup Solar & Grid

The system can be connected to a solar system array whereby the solar system charges the batteries during the day allowing the user to safely use the power in their batteries during the night. Now their solar systems can be fully used in what is called an AC Coupled configuration.

The batteries in the system can be recharged by the electric grid, a solar system array or even a small gasoline powered generator which means instead of having to solely depend on a generator for hours on end for backup power, you can simply plug a small generator into the system, run it for short while, and charge your batteries backup. This means you have two additional power sources to use in addition to when the power comes back on and the grid is now charging the batteries.

Automatic, Safe, Reliable

VARTA Storage GmbH is fully automatic, quiet and produces no carbon monoxide poisoning as in generators. It does not need to be wheeled around like a generator; it has no complicated moving parts like engine based generators which need constant maintenance and it does not need to be manually turned on or off - it is automatic.  Also, as an IoT device, they are WiFi connected so you can monitor them with your cell phone wherever you are.

In the United States, severe weather is the primary cause of power outages. At VARTA Storage we hope you never experience power outages again - we solved that problem. VARTA Storage is the perfect solution for property owners who cannot or will not use generators when grids are down. To learn more about our many products visit the VARTA Microbattery website.


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Topics: Storage Systems

Robert Magyar

Written by Robert Magyar

Program Manager VARTA Storage US

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