Background on PowerPlus Energy – Company History
PowerPlus Energy was founded by Bradley Paton in August 2017 in Melbourne, Australia with a focus on developing long lasting and reliable battery storage solutions.
Initially started in a storage shed 4 years ago, they’ve grown to a team of 50 local workers in a 3000 square meter factory with an annual capacity of 210MWh. The founder has made a deliberate effort to hire local workers in manufacturing their batteries, most of them being unskilled workers who are trained on the job.
They specialise in lithium-ion batteries and pride themselves on making batteries that are constructed using cylindrical cells and Lithium Ferro-phosphate (LiFEPO4) which are known for their safety. The LiFE Premium series is their flagship product which merits itself on ease of installation and being infinitely scalable.
Based on their profile on Dun & Bradstreets website, their latest estimated sales figure is 1.87 million USD.
The deliberate move to exclusively manufacture locally is something that the company has considered due to the higher wages and lower economies of scale that Australia has to offer compared with other countries. It is yet to be seen how PowerPlus Energy can compete with lower cost countries as they scale production to overseas markets.
Basics of PowerPlus Energy Batteries
LiFE Premium Series:Life2433P, LiFe4833P & LiFe12033P
The Life Premium series of batteries is their flagship range of lithium-ion battery products. It consists of the following models: Life2433P at 24VDC, LiFe4833P at 48VDC and LiFe12033P at 120VDC.
They claim on their datasheet that this battery can be connected in parallel in an infinitely scalable way, however what size system you would use in practise is yet to be determined. The ability to scale to a high degree means that in theory this battery could be suitable within the range required for commercial solar projects. These batteries are designed to be “racked and stacked” in temperature controlled cabinets which can also be connected in parallel.
The LiFE Premium series of batteries are rated IP40 which means that they’re only designed to be installed indoors.
They have an operating temperature range of -20 to 60 degrees Celsius which makes them suitable for the extreme temperatures of the Australian environment. They’re made from lithium Ferro Phosphate (LiFEPO4) which is known for its safety and long cycle life.
It states in their documentation that the LiFE series is compatible with most inverter brands. However, there aren’t any specific brands mentioned.
There are a number of features of the PowerPlus Energy battery worth mentioning:
Battery Management System
The in-built battery management system (BMS) will monitor the internal current, voltage, temperature and cell characteristics. This helps protect the battery by turning it off if it gets too hot, the current goes too high, or if the voltage fluctuates too much. Once the battery’s temperature, current or voltage normalises, then the BMS will turn it back on. The BMS also enables systems to be upgraded at any stage through the warranty period without the new batteries being impacted by the older more degraded batteries already in the system.
You can scale the nominal capacity of your battery system due to the modular design of the battery and the fact that it’s designed to be infinitely scalable. Therefore you have more flexibility with regards to your energy storage capacity for the future. This will be useful for those homeowners who later on find their night time use of appliances is put under pressure in the future.
A unique feature of the Powerplus Energy battery is that the individual battery modules can be removed and replaced from a system without needing to turn the power off. This is ideal for off-grid solutions where continuous power supply is critical.
How Much do PowerPlus Energy Batteries Cost?
We have received the below information from the manufacturer regarding the prices of their products.
|Description||Product Number||Recommended Retail Price|
|PowerPlus Energy LiFe Battery 3.3kWh 48V||LiFe2433P / LiFe4833P||$3,550 – $3,600|
|PowerPlus Energy ECO 4.0kWh 48V||ECO4840P||$3,300|
|Pre-wired Battery Cabinet (up to 8 batteries)||PIR8C||$2,695|
|Pre-wired Battery Cabinet (up to 20 batteries)||PIR20C||$5,699|
*Prices are for individual products only and excludes other required components and the labour cost to install
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Australian Warranty Terms for PowerPlus Energy Batteries
The warranty terms for the LiFe2433P LiFe4833P LiFe12033P modules are for a period of 10 years from the original purchase date. It’s important to note that the warranty is activated by the return of the Warranty Registration Card or client’s proof of purchase.
There’s a few specifics with regards to this warranty worth mentioning:
- PowerPlus Energy will repair of replace the faulty battery at their discretion with new or refurbished parts
- The warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage, normal wear and tear or misuse
- The warranty doesn’t cover installation of battery, workmanship by others or suitability of the product for an application.
- PowerPlus Energy has the right to request photos of installation, history of maintenance schedule, battery charging settings and historic performance data that may be available.
To make a claim on your warranty, contact PowerPlus Energy directly on 03 8797 5557 or email email@example.com
LiFe2433P, LiFe4833P & LiFe12033P Specifications
|Nominal Capacity||3.3kWh / 128Ah||3.3kWh / 64Ah||3.3kWh / 25.6Ah|
|Continuous Discharge Current||63A||25A|
|Charge/Discharge Cycles (Approx.)||2700@100% DoD / 5000@75% DoD / 10,000@50% DoD @25°C op. temp.|
|System Connection||Infinite modules in parallel|
|Battery Cell Connection||Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||434 x 88 x 635|
|Operating Temperature Range||-20 to 60 degrees Celsius|
|Outdoor/Indoor||Indoor only (IP40)|
Independent Battery Testing
ITP Renewables have established an independent battery testing centre at the Canberra Institute of Technology and perform accelerated life cycle testing on batteries in 3 year phases. The centre is supported by a $1.29m grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) under its Advancing Renewables Program, and testing is conducted scientifically without interference from any manufacturers. ITP is currently testing 15 residential scale batteries available on the Australian market, and has had a total of 26 batteries installed at the centre.
The PowerPlus Energy Energy 2RU19 LiFe4833P commenced testing in 2020 as part of phase 3 of the program and the results are publicly available on the battery testing centre’s website. The Powerplus battery was connected to a SMA Sunny Island inverter for the testing.
ITP found that Powerplus Energy’s battery management system is designed to communicate with the inverter, so the inverter is responsible for determining the state of charge of the battery. When cycling at C3 rates, the energy discharged during each cycle was not close to the maximum apparently available, due to the inverter state of charge limits being reached first. The battery is now cycling at closer to a C4 rate and the battery discharges more energy at this rate before reaching minimum state of charge.
Read About Home Battery Government Schemes Across Australia
South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Australian Capital Territory all currently have a home battery scheme in place.
The South Australian Home Battery Scheme enables eligible South Australian residents to receive up to $4,000 per installed battery.
The New South Wales Home Battery Scheme offers an interest-free loan up to $9000 for eligible households looking to install a solar battery.
The Victorian Government under the Solar Homes Program provides to those eligible, a maximum discount of $4,174 off the battery sale price. The next release of battery rebates is on the 2nd of September 2020.
The Australian Capital Territory Government under the Next Generation Energy Storage program provides a rebate of $825 per kilowatt (kW). An average household with a 5kW system would be eligible for approximately $4,000.
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