Panasonic Corporation has announced it will commence mass-producing a compact long-life lithium-ion battery system for home solar power applications this month.
The Panasonic battery system includes a management unit designed to control charge and discharge of the battery. The system can store surplus electricity generated by rooftop solar panels for use when needed, further reducing the dependence on grid supplied power.
The lithium-ion battery has a design life time of 5000 cycles, based on an 80% depth of discharge per cycle. This compares very favourably to traditional deep cycle battery technologies such as AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) and gel; which may only have a serviceable life of 1,500 cycles when discharged to 80%.
There have been concerns raised from some quarters that the rapid uptake of home solar power may cause instability in some local grids – a potential problem Panasonic says their system can help avoid.
“With our state-of-art lithium-ion battery technology and high-quality battery management systems, we will promote self-consumption of solar power generated by households as well as reduction of load during peak hours. In so doing, Panasonic aims for a leading position in providing a solution to protect the power grid system.”
With solar feed in tariffs being slashed in some places, the option of storing electricity generated by a grid-connected solar panel array for use at a later time is also becoming more attractive.
The 5.5kW Power Station/4.65kWh Lithium-ion Storage Battery Unit is scalable up to approximately 10.15kWh.
Panasonic ECO Solutions Asia Pacific informs us the system won’t be available in Australia until October 2013. The ball park price provided was around AU$14,000.00 by the time it hits our shores.
The system will initially be made available to European households via Panasonic’s Smart Energy Systems Department; part of the Mobile Energy Business Division of SANYO Component Europe GmbH.
Panasonic acquired a majority stake in Sanyo in 2009 and snapped up all remaining shares of common stock in 2010. In terms of renewable energy, Sanyo’s flagship product is the Sanyo HIT solar panel.
Panasonic also manufactures lithium-ion battery cells and systems for electric vehicles.