Start-up claims first true integrated home storage

Powerstation 247 from Concept by Us, heralded as the first true plug-and-play residential solar energy storage system, includes integrated inverters and CALB USA lithium iron phosphate batteries.

Powerstation 247 from Concept by Us, heralded as the first true plug-and-play residential solar energy storage system, includes integrated inverter and CALB USA lithium iron phosphate batteries. Photo credit: Concept by Us

By Jason Deign

Concept by US, a Florida, USA-based start-up, claims to have launched the world’s first truly plug-and-play system for residential solar energy storage.

Two weeks ago the four-year-old firm unveiled an integrated storage unit called the Powerstation 247, which comes with up to three hybrid inverters, solar maximum power point trackers, a charge controller and lithium-ion batteries.

All the equipment is made by Concept by US except for the batteries, which are lithium iron phosphate products supplied by CALB USA and chosen for their safety properties.

To install the Powerstation, an installer just needs to plug the leads from a customer’s solar panels in one end and attach it to the household distribution board at the other, said Sara Kissing, vice president and chief operating officer.

Most of the two to three-hour installation time is taken up by the battery management system software’s automated setup process, she said.
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Dynapower set for 90% growth in 2016

By Jason Deign

Inverter maker Dynapower is expecting between 90% and 100% growth in its energy storage business after racking up a 75MW order backlog.

Chip Palombini, leader of Dynapower’s energy storage group, told Energy Storage Report: “I think we’ll see significant growth in North America and some international markets are coming up to speed.”

He said the bi-directional inverter maker was expecting to see between 30MW and 35MW of non-US installations next year and “US deployments in 2016 will at least double or triple that.”

That would bring this year’s growth to a similar level to 2015. Dynapower’s energy storage business has grown at close to 100% for three years in a row, Palombini said.

“Storage inverters are the most rapidly growing portion of our business,” he commented.
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Is battery storage a new growth area for inverters?

We look at developments in the inverters for battery storage market from companies such as Eguana Technologies, ABB, Outback Power and SMA, who have a whole battery inverter family for integration with solar energy.

We look at developments in the inverters for battery storage market from companies such as Eguana Technologies, ABB, Outback Power and SMA, who have a whole battery inverter range for integration with solar energy. Photo credit: SMA

Inverter makers are increasingly catering for battery storage even though the scale of the opportunity is still dwarfed by solar. Last week, for example, Eguana Technologies trumpeted Chinese patents for its Bi-Direx line of inverter platforms.

Eguana Technologies chief executive Michael Carten said in a press release that the move was in response to growing demand for energy storage systems in China.

“In less than a year, Eguana has emerged as the technology leader in storage electronics, and we have had multiple enquiries in the past few months from Chinese firms about gaining access to the Bi-Direx technology,” he said.

“These new patents will allow us to engage with these companies with greater confidence.”

In February, meanwhile, OutBack Power added advanced battery charge profiles to its Radian inverter family, which features an energy balancing system called GridZero.
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Power-One shows off REACT in UK

REACT energy storage system, with Aurora inverter. Photo credit: Power-One

REACT energy storage system, with Aurora inverter. Photo credit: Power-One

Power-One, of the ABB Group, will showcase its residential REACT Renewable Energy Accumulator and Conversion Technology at this year’s Solar Energy UK, from October 8 to 10 in Birmingham. REACT will be available in 2014 and consists of a 4.6kW single-phase grid connected Aurora Power-One inverter and a lithium-ion battery, providing 2kWh of usable capacity.
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New inverter, storage and PV report

A fully integrated solar container, which includes central inverters and monitoring capabilities from AEG Power Systems – one of the companies discussed in the new report.

A fully integrated solar container with central inverters and monitoring capabilities from AEG Power Systems – one of the companies discussed in the new report. Photo credit: AEG

Inverter, Storage and PV System Technology 2013, published by Solarpraxis and Sunbeam Communications, takes a look at the important players in the photovoltaic solar market and also the opportunities for monitoring, inverters and energy storage.
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Prosol picks SET for battery inverters

German lithium battery maker Prosol Invest is to package its Sonnenbatterie line with inverters developed by Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET) of Calgary, Canada. The Sonnenbatterie line of solar based residential and commercial management systems will be introduced to the North American market at the Inter-solar North America Exhibition, Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, from July 9.

SMA plans new South Africa factory

SMA Solar Technology is expanding its presence in South Africa with the creation of an inverter factory. “Here photovoltaics is already a financially attractive alternative to other forms of power generation,” said SMA chief executive Pierre-Pascal Urbon.

“The planned production for central inverters enables us to meet the local content requirements and thus to profit from the expected future growth of the South African market.”

Sustainable Energy breaks into Germany

We’ve heard a lot about German renewables and energy storage recently, and it appears that all this feverish activity is generating (sorry!) some international orders. One of these is the shipment of energy storage inverters to channel partners, both in Germany and the US, from Canadian operation Sustainable Energy Technologies, Inc.