Residential flow batteries and inverter updates from the floor at RE+

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On day 2 of the RE+ trade show, we made an attempt to visit many of the lesser-known manufacturers, rather than visiting only the big names. Of course, when the big names brought new technology, it was time to say hello to them, too!

See our RE+ Day 1 solar panel update

RedFlow’s residential flow battery is available in the United States on a ‘developing regional basis’. What this means is that while the company is officially selling in the U.S., they are restricting their residential sales to regions that are expected to produce higher sales volume, so that operations and maintenance costs will become financially viable.

This might be the first residential flow battery that is available for sale in the USA.

Currently, the company is deploying a 2 MWh facility in California made from 192 of its 10 kWh 48 V ZBM3 building blocks (each similar to the residential unit above).

The company representative suggested that selling ten or more units in a tight geographic area would make sense as the company scales into the US marketplace.  This looks like an opportunity for a hard working residential solar sales person to get into a new market.

SolarArk is a Texas solar inverter manufacturer that I think everyone (including myself) needs to learn more about. The feature rich on/off grid hardware looks to be built like a tank – the company describes their units as being ‘Electromagnetic Pulse Hardened’.

 

SolarArk and RedFlow announced that their hardware is certified to work together in commercial setups. This aligns with SolarArk’s announcement that they now have larger 30 and 60 kW commercial units available for sales.

BYD displayed a mock up of their ‘blade’ battery cells. This hardware is a third generation battery technology that increases product density. Originally designed to be deployed in cars, these cells have moved into the stationary market as higher energy density has been demanded.

The lithium phosphate battery can be assembled in a new BYD commercial cabinet – below – which is inverter agnostic. The cabinets accept up to twelve 7.5 kWh battery racks allowing up to 90 kWh total per unit.

BYD also released a new slim residential battery that can be stacked vertically in 5 kWh increments, or mounted on a wall

Kehua Tech has been making UPS systems since 1988 – that’s thirty-four years. In that time they’ve learned to design systems that, when the electricity goes out, have a transfer time from grid electricity to battery of just 20 milliseconds.

That experience is carried over to their hybrid inverters and storage solutions.

The company is launching this new hybrid inverter line that varies from 7.6 to 12 kW, and can be stacked – up to four units. These LFP batteries are 5 kWh each and can themselves be stacked in three to eight unit combinations.

The company is seeking US distribution channel partnerships.

EPC Power was recently purchased by Goldman Sachs. Based in the US, EPC Power is one of the manufacturers of utility scale inverters that qualify for the domestic content requirements found in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act.

Data from individual solar panels passes through the microinverters to its individual wifi connection, and is relayed through a mesh network to other microinverters and to an Energy Communication Unit (ECU-R, ECU-C, or ECU-B). The ECU models are gateway units that connect to the internet and AP Systems data dashboards three times faster than power line communications (PLC).

Fox ESS is another company that is expanding into the United States. Fox is currently deploying a portfolio of 50 projects into the country, and they are seeking new partners. The company is partially or completely owned by Tsingshan Group, a mining company (batteries above). The representative touted Tsingshan ownership as one of the company’s strengths, ensuring pricing and supply chain stability.

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