Clean Power

Published on February 2nd, 2012 | by Andrew


Japanese Cleantech Partners to Launch Integrated Home Solar PV-Energy Storage & Management System

February 2nd, 2012 by  

Graphic courtesy Kyocera, Nichicon

Kyocera and Nichicon are readying the launch of a cleantech residential energy management system that brings together renewable energy electricity production, energy storage and management. The new clean energy management system (EMS) consists of Kyocera solar photovoltaic (PV) panels; Nichicon’s long-life, high-capacity lithium ion battery storage/electric vehicle (EV) charging units; a DC-AC power inverter; and a sophisticated energy efficiency management software system that integrates it all.

With Japanese demand for independent, grid-tied, and off-grid power systems growing, the partners are readying for a summer launch. The integrated residential solar EMS makes use of Samsung SDI lithium ion batteries.

“This new system combines the two vital themes of power generation and power storage using Kyocera’s solar power generating system and Nichicon’s energy storage unit,” explained Kyocera President Tetsuo Kuba at a joint press conference with Nichicon held in Kyoto, January 16. “Kyocera will use its energy-management technology to launch this new comprehensive system for optimizing residential energy use, and thus make a real contribution to preventing climate change.”

According to a joint press release, features of the solar PV EMS include:

  • Long-lasting, high-volume lithium-ion battery
    The system uses a lithium-ion battery, which can last roughly 5 times longer than conventional lead-acid batteries. The battery has a high capacity of 7.1kWh, weighs roughly 200kg and has a size of 120H x 90W x 35D (centimeters).
  • Various EMS modes to fit energy use patterns and needs
    The new system offers various operating modes to meet the energy use patterns and needs of various customers — whether their peak energy consumption occurs in the daytime or at night; and for families who want to prioritize reducing their energy bill or those who place a premium on guaranteed electricity supply.
  • System automatically switches to independent operation in the event of a natural disaster or electricity black-out
    In the event of a prolonged black-out, the battery can be charged directly by the solar modules during the day, allowing users to draw from the battery at night or during inclement weather.

Costs weren’t disclosed, but the partners have high hopes for the system. “We’d like to see use of this system — that combines Kyocera’s top-class solar power generating systems, Nichicon’s energy storage units which hold top domestic share for EV charging systems, and Samsung SDI’s lithium-ion batteries which hold the largest global share — sweep the Japanese market,” Nichicon Chairman & CEO Ippei Takeda stated.

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

  • Tonyglassemail

    Hi and thanks
    Do you have contact numbers for the parties mentioned in this article.
    We are keen to set up this type of system

  • Anonymous

    Well, it is a cute system. But here is the problem. A resident in Japan can usually sell electric power for 48 yen, buy it on peak daytime hours for 28 yen, and buy it late at night for about 9 yen. You would only really want to charge the battery during the daytime, right? But to do that, you are giving up sales of 48 yen per kWh. And you don’t want to run appliances from the battery at night, because electricity is only 8 yen per kWh. What is comes down to is that if you want to use it efficiently, you charge it from sun up to 8 am. Then sell as much power as you can during the day. Then use the battery from sundown to 10 pm. Then use off peak power.

    I am betting that is one expensive battery considering that it will store only about 2 kWh per day. It might save a homeowner about 60–100 yen on a perfect day. Call it 10000 yen per year?

    Of course the value is off grid use, but barring catastrophes, that is not a huge market.

  • Anonymous

    Just wondering if they are using concrete “tilt up” technology for high speed, low cost mass produced homes? It would seem to drop the overall cost (even with the solar) by tens of thousands of dollars.

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