orison batteries

Everything You Want to Know About Orison Batteries

Jane Marsh - June 22, 2023

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Orison, an energy storage startup, designs self-installable batteries you can simply plug into your wall. In the event of a grid failure, Orison batteries will keep your home powered. They’re also a great choice for anyone with solar panels since they store energy and release it as needed.

What Makes Orison Batteries Unique?

For starters, they’re lightweight. At 85 pounds — with individual components weighing no more than 28 pounds apiece — you can have them shipped directly to your door. 

They’re also the world’s first self-installable battery. In fact, “install” isn’t quite the right word, since they plug directly into a 100 to 240V at 50 to 60Hz wall outlet. You don’t have to worry about hiring an electrician or messing with wiring. 

What Are the Advantages of Orison Batteries?

First, if you’re connected to the main grid, the batteries charge when utility rates are low and discharge when rates are high. As a result, you’ll lower your energy bills. 

You can also scale your storage to ensure your storage capacity matches your actual energy consumption, energy pricing schemes and local generation capacity if you generate your own electricity.

Orison batteries are an alternative to buying a diesel-powered backup generator. Why not store power throughout the day and use it in the event of a blackout? 

Additionally, the Orison Cloud network — which you access via a smartphone app — is constantly looking for early signs of grid failure and will notify you of blackouts. If the grid is about to go down, the batteries take over to maintain power to your home. 

How Do the Batteries Help if You Have Solar Panels?

Rooftop solar panels usually produce more energy during the day than you consume. You end up selling this excess energy to the grid. 

Additionally, solar panels don’t produce enough electricity at night and early morning during peak energy consumption hours. As a result, you have to buy that much-needed energy from the grid. Orison batteries let you store your own solar power so you can go off the grid if you choose. 

Having your own battery storage makes the energy grid more efficient, allowing it to handle the growing influx of renewable energy without installing additional infrastructure. Home battery storage alleviates strain on the energy grid and makes solar and wind energy more feasible for homeowners. 

Do You Need to Have Solar Panels?

Orison batteries can operate with or without solar panels. That means you can use them with any conventional grid or grid-compatible source, including renewable energy sources or generators. 

What About Wi-Fi?

Orison batteries work with or without an internet connection because of their local mesh network and mobile app. The app communicates with the storage units via the Cloud by default. When a connection to the Orison Cloud is unavailable, the app will communicate directly with the batteries. The app can use Wi-Fi, but there are other networking options available, like Bluetooth Low Energy. 

When Do the Batteries Charge?

Because Orison batteries automatically charge when it’s most economical, they usually charge at night during off-peak, low-cost hours. However, if you have solar panels, you can program the batteries to charge during periods of excess power generation. You can then schedule them to discharge at night or whenever the solar panels are underperforming. 

Which Products Can You Choose From?

Orison is developing two batteries — the Tower and the Panel. The Panel is a rectangular panel you can mount onto a wall. Because of its modular design, you can combine it with other Panels for a total capacity of 13.2 kWh. The Tower resembles an air purifier and also comes with a Bluetooth speaker. It has the same power and capacity ratings as the Panel, and also features a modular design.  

How Do You Install an Orison Panel?

First, download the Orison app. Following the instructions on the tutorial, start installing the Orison energy monitor. Then, mount the Panel on a wall or set it on the ground with the included stand. Plug in the battery into any standard wall outlet and insert the two batteries. The Orison app connects to the Orison Cloud network so you can monitor and control your energy storage. 

What Hardware Do You Need? 

An Orison Panel and its accessories — the Orison Panel+ storage units — require the use of one Orison Energy Monitor per household. 

The monitor is a self-installable sensor strip mounted next to the breaker row on the switchboard or circuit breaker panel using self-adhesive strips. It also includes a communications head unit to attach next to the switchboard using self-adhesive strips. The strips and head unit are connected with the supplied cables. The Panel also comes with a micro USB plug. 

A battery part and a processing part comprise the energy monitor’s head unit. If you have an outlet by your switchboard or circuit breaker panel, you can plug the charger directly into the head unit to consistently power it. 

If you don’t plug it in, you’ll need to remove the battery part and plug it into its charger — or any micro USB charger — for around 12 hours every 45 to 90 days. The app will let you know when to do this. 

What Type of Batteries Do the Storage Systems Contain?

The battery storage system uses cylindrical lithium-ion batteries. The company is also looking into the use of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries and prismatic cells for its next-generation products. LFP batteries are less expensive than other lithium-ion batteries because they contain no nickel or cobalt. 

Where Can You Buy Orison Batteries?

As of 2023, the batteries are still in development and are not yet available to the public. However, you can donate to Orison’s Kickstarter campaign to receive updates about when the product will be ready. 

Powering the Future

Home energy storage has numerous benefits to homeowners, renters and business owners alike. It allows you to disconnect from the main grid if you so choose, enabling you to store your own solar energy for future use. And, if you are connected to the grid, plug-in storage batteries will keep your lights and appliances on in the event of a power outage. 

Orison batteries may be the world’s first self-installing plug-in batteries, but they almost certainly won’t be the last. 

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About the author

Jane Marsh

Starting from an early age, Jane Marsh loved all animals and became a budding environmentalist. Now, Jane works as the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co where she covers topics related to climate policy, renewable energy, the food industry, and more.