SMA prepping for ‘exponential growth’, shipping solar inverters ready for AC-coupled energy storage

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Energy storage is experiencing mad growth. Residential energy storage has grown 9X in Q1 and 10X in Q2, and 74% of customers say they’re  interested in energy storage along with their solar power system. Now that we know the demand is clear, let’s talk about the products.

Sometime last year, SMA suggested exponential growth was coming in the storage application segment. Earlier in 2018, they announced their new SMA Sunny Boy Storage (still listed as coming soon on the website) – and now it is shipping.

The units are sized at 3.8, 5.0 and 6.0 kW sizes (SMA PDF specification page). The hardware is noted as accepting Li-ion batteries that are AC coupled with the unit. The spec pages suggest LG and BYD batteries, plus to check out SMA-Americas.com for additional units approved.

The inverter does not require that batteries are connected at the time of installation, and until the energy storage solution is integrated owners can still make use of instantaneous solar power availability via the 2,000W Secure Power System (SPS) feature long offered in SMA products.

And while the unit does note that it has “intelligent energy management solutions”, the marketing material notes that full backup functionality will be available with a backup unit from 3rd-party vendors.