Enphase have released details of their plug-and-play AC battery storage units, designed as part the Enphase ‘Energy Management System’ (EMS).
They are designed to be easily installed and modular, such that the total battery storage capacity for the site can be increased incrementally after the initial installation.
To operate within the Enphase EMS, each unit requires connection to only one Enphase ‘Engage’ cable and mounting to a single-panel wall bracket.
Each individual lithium iron phosphate unit stores 1.2 kilowatt‑hours of electricity and provides an output power of either 275W or 550W at 240V. They have a projected lifetime of 10 years.
The modularity of the system affords consumers the flexibility to increase (or even decrease) the storage capacity of the system easily as needed and/or when they feel more comfortable with the technology. It appears to be a great way for consumers to ‘dip their feet in the water’ before investing more money into a sizeable battery bank.
The integrated design simplifies the installation of a grid-connected solar PV system with battery storage and echoes a similar approach by Sunpower and KB Homes in offering integrated emergency battery storage. However, in the case of the Enphase AC battery, there is the clear intent of providing battery storage for load management and everyday use.
Enphase are leading providers of microinverters and were the first to commercially manufacture the technology. The development of their EMS signals an expansion to the areas of electricity storage and load management for PV systems. The battery units, along with the EMS, are scheduled for release in late 2015.
The cost points for the units and overall system are yet to be determined, however pro-solar consumers can find solace in the fact that there is continual development in the area of electricity storage. And with leading electric vehicle manufacturer and key SolarCity partner, Tesla, investing heavily in lithium battery development, battery storage for PV systems should soon be a no brainer.
Top Image Credit: Enphase
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