Sonnen Readies Commercial 30kWh Storage Solution

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InterSolar San Francisco: Sonnen is showing off its new 30kWh storage solution here, the sonnenBatterie pro, for the commercial market segment in preparation for shipping the first units by fourth quarter of this year, says Greg Smith, a senior technical trainer for the Los Angeles-based U.S. subsidiary of the German company. “We have seen some customers with $4,000 to $5,000 monthly energy bills, and this new technology can amortize the investment pretty quickly,” he notes.

The company is offering a broad size range of the modular sonnenBatterie pro, from 18kW/ 24kWh up to 90kW 240 kWh, with a general price range between $35,000 and $125,000, Smith suggests. The product line includes power conversion technology from Ideal Power. The also series features Sony batteries with 10 year/10,000 cycle warranties, expected to operate at 70 percent efficiency after 20 years, he says. The inverter carries a five-year warranty, while the rest of the equipment in the cabinet is covered for two years. Design lifetime expectancy is over 20 years, however, he notes.

“We have shown this to wineries, lumber mills and a variety of other businesses where it makes tremendous sense,” Smith says. The pro series is anticipated to “reduce electricity costs by shaving peak demand, utilize time-of-use electricity rates, help solar-powered businesses use more of their self-generated solar and enable participation in utility demand response programs,” the company reckons.

Ideal Power, meanwhile, is showing its commercial-scaled bi-directional SunDial PV string inverter, which is available in single, dual and three-port battery storage configurations, notes John Merritt, the director or applications engineering for the Austin-based company. The unit enables 1000V maximum PV DC input and 480V three-phase output.

“This is our first prototype, which should complete development for full release at SPI in September,” he says. “We are securing UL-1741 approval of both the versions without storage and those with, so a customer can add the certified storage component at a later date,” he explains. The storage-capable version of the inverter is the SunDial Plus.

Ideal’s technology is based on software that modulates current, reducing cost, size and weight in comparison with metal wire inverter technology. Their inverters include a PV combiner, disconnects, and a Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT). The cabinet includes a transformer that provides galvanized grounding, meeting UL grounding requirements.