Published on June 26th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


German Solar Battery System Available Fourth Quarter

June 26th, 2013 by  

This article first appeared on RenewEconomy

The world’s biggest supplier of solar inverters, SMA Solar Technology, has announced that it will be mass marketing its award-winning household solar battery system in the fourth quarter of 2013.

German-based SMA’s Sunny Boy Smart Energy technology – which won best product in the “Photovoltaics” category of the Intersolar AWARD in Munich this year – is the first wall-mounted, mass-produced PV inverter with an integrated battery that can increase the self-consumption of solar power in households by up to 50 per cent.

The energy stored in the Sunny Boy’s integrated lithium-ion battery of about 2kWh is sufficient to supply a four-person household with about three hours of electric current in the evening, says SMA. The battery is also easy to install, and designed with a service life of 10 years and a depth of discharge of 90 per cent – thus cutting both upfront and overall costs.

SMA says the storage system also has advantages for the electricity grid, reducing the amount of electricity it must export, and evening out the fluctuations of solar PV power generation. “This not only makes the use of batteries even more efficient and gives the system operator more independence from rising electricity prices but also enables integration into future Smart Grid business models,” the company says.

The news of the solar storage breakthrough has been welcomed in Australia, where the number of households with rooftop solar installed recently passed the one-million mark, and is predicted to continue its steep climb.

“Prior to SMA’s announcement, households have been restricted to smaller solar systems as presently there is only an incentive to produce power at exactly the same time that it is being used,” said Matthew Wright, executive director of Climate Solution think-tank Zero Emissions.

“This means families who are away during the day can only economically install a smaller 1.5-3kW solar system. …With a 1.5-3kW solar system Australian families can eliminate about 30 percent of their power consumption using a standard north facing installation,” Wright said.

“If we add batteries, households could reduce their annual electricity purchasing by 75-100 per cent, depending on their available roof space and whether they are in a south location like Melbourne or a more sunny northern location like Brisbane.”

Wright says the storage systems could also save on costly grid upgrades, which are subsidised by ordinary householders through ever-rising power bills.

“We’ve been investing way too much in the grid when evening peaks can be met more cheaply with solar and batteries,” said Wright. “These grid upgrades are costly and are hidden away in our electricity bills and an average consumer would be paying more than $1000 a year for a grid that is unnecessarily oversized and costly.”

“There is an opportunity now for the government to offer an incentive program for solar grid battery systems,” he said.

“To make this happen, we need to kickstart the industry and with Germany’s SMA, one of the major suppliers now gearing up to offer a solution, now is the time for the Australian Labor government to make an announcement and follow through immediately with action on the ground.”

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  • Are these going to be sold in the USA? Any idea of the price?

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s an information lite article.

      Price, depth of discharge limit, number of cycles – all missing.

  • Robin Pomfret

    I can not see it happening in Australia especially with a Non Climate Change party in charge.

    • Ronald Brakels

      It will be difficult to stop. It’s not as if they have good grounds to ban home energy storage. And if they start making too much trouble for people with solar power people will start buying 5+ kilowatt hours of storage and a small generator and start dropping off the grid. The Coalition can do a lot of damage if they get in, but they can’t actually stop home solar and energy storage.

  • Matt

    This is the what the Germany storage FIT was hoping to make happen. Way to go, Germany leading the way again!

  • Bob_Wallace


  • Marcel Den Ouden

    Nice development! In Holland we can still deliver to the grid at the same rate as we buy as long as you’re nog a net producer. But that will probably change once penetration becomes higher. I see rooftop solar popping up everywhere, I’ve got a 2.4KWp system myself which should pay for itself in approx 5 yrs.

    • You’re seeing a lot of rooftop solar popping up in NL? Good to hear. Look fwd to seeing 2013 installation numbers. Have a good source for that?

      • Marcel Den Ouden

        I’ve got no hard numbers but just driving/biking the usual way to work/family/shop I see a new installations which weren’t there before. Preliminary numbers from the CBS show that it tripled comparing 2012 to 2011. The panels have become so cheap that some people with flat roofs are even placing them east-west instead of south so they can double the amount on their roof. It is also a nice investment if you have a few thousand euro’s to spare and don’t plan to move soon. The inflation is higher than the interesst you get on a savings account… We still enjoy a 15% return from the government but once the jar is empty there will not be a new subsidy because it is already profitable without. Hopefully the import taxes on Chinese panels will not slow the process down too much.

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