Module manufacturer Q CELLS has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with electronics giant Samsung to develop a ‘zero energy homes’ strategy for global markets.
The agreement will see the companies collaborate on developing systems which can connect smart home devices with the software platforms of both companies, incorporating services such as on-site energy generation, storage, consumption and energy management.
Q CELLS and Samsung said the plan is to target joint sales in the US and Europe firstly, where residential power management markets are more mature, while also collaborating on domestic and overseas demonstration projects.
Q CELLS described the ‘zero energy home’ concept as one that makes residential energy generation and consumption more efficient, improving energy independence and helping to reduce domestic carbon emissions. It combines ‘active technology’ which can generate power, such as solar PV, and ‘passive technology’, which includes devices that can help minimise energy losses.
Q CELLS will provide solar and energy storage systems alongside its Q.ONNECT energy management system. While helping consumers collect and manage data on their power generation and storage, the software solution will also help optimise the power system’s operation based on local weather data.
This data will then communicate with Samsung Electronics’ SmartThings platform which provides consumers with control over energy use within the home, linking to domestic devices. The intent is to provide homeowners with a more complete, clearer view of how power they generate and store is consumed while also facilitating the creation of more sustainable power management plans.
Hee Cheul (Charles) Kim, CEO at Q CELLS, said the companies expect to provide customers around the globe with competitive energy solutions as a result of the agreement, while also aiming to use the deal to strengthen Q CELLS’ own position in residential solar.
Last summer Q CELLS sought to bolster both its energy storage platforms knowhow and its position in the US market through the acquisition of Growing Energy Labs Inc., or Geli, which provides an end-to-end software platform which streamlines the process of designing, selling and managing energy storage assets.
That, in turn, built on the launch of its Q.HOME Cloud solution, which combines solar and energy storage products with a cloud-based operational component to provide homes with a “100% sustainable power supply”, allowing homes to source renewable power from local grids whenever on-site generation is insufficient.