Battery big guns eyeing 2015 launch for UK PV storage systems

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Sharp and ABB are among the international players in solar preparing to launch energy storage products in the UK in Q1 2015, with an apparent emphasis on the residential market.

The pair were among a number of big names exhibiting battery-based storage for use in combination with PV systems, integrated into a central inverter during the Solar Energy UK show last week in Birmingham, England. SMA already launched its offering, Sunny Boy Smart Energy, in September, while Bosch expects its inverter-plus-storage product to be ready by summer of next year.

According to Bosch representatives, the company is expecting to have its latest inverters, which include various new features for interactivity and communication for ease of use from both the installer and customer perspective, certified under G83 and G59 standards by February. In common with several other new inverters at the show and elsewhere on the market for residential and small commercial users, they can interface with a home computer, tablet or mobile device for data readings. The storage version is expected to follow a few months later, in summer.

Bosch’s product will be a modular system that can house between two and six batteries. According to the company it can allow a PV system owner to use around 80% of the generated electricity, increasing independence from grid supply.

Meanwhile smaller companies including Germany’s Solutronic are also preparing to hit the UK market. The company’s managing director Reinhard Lenz told PV Tech at the show that it is targeting a Q1 2015 launch for its range. Solutronic’s products provide modular systems from 3.1kWh of storage up to 12.4kWh, providing lithium iron phosphate battery-based storage.

Sharp technical officer Jens Mayer told PV Tech his company’s storage product uses lithium manganese spinel batteries provided by Samsung. The company was showing a range of products aimed at the residential solar market in the UK, including a ‘no money down’ finance option scheme for installers and related technologies such as LED lighting. However, the storage unit took pride of place and according to Mayer and Sharp’s general manager for solar Andrew Lee, was the main focus of the company’s offerings at the show this year.

A full version of this blog can be found on PV Tech's sister site, PV Tech Storage.

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