Published on August 14th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha


Sharp Launches Smart Energy Storage For Buildings

August 14th, 2014 by  


Solar Love.

Energy storage systems are a boon for generators, especially renewable energy generators, as they can regulate their energy supply while maintaining grid discipline. But energy storage systems can be of great advantage to large consumers such as industrial units and commercial buildings to keep their power bills in control.

Sharp has launched an energy storage system aimed at large individual consumers that could “dramatically cut utility demand charges.” The SmartStorage energy solution stores a large amount of electricity stored in reserve (lithium ion batteries) and releases it selectively according to the changing demand supply of a building.

The system reviews the historical demand profile of the building and uses sophisticated predictive tools to estimate the demand for electricity throughout the day. The system then releases the stored electricity during high-demand periods, thus reducing electricity costs for the building significantly.

Such a system can be very effective for commercial institutions and buildings where activity peaks during the middle of day.

The system is currently available in California but is expected to be launched across the US later this year. The system can also work seamlessly with a solar power system or as a standalone solution. Each case can result in lower demand charges for building owners, which is especially important with rising energy rates, the company feels.

Smart energy storage solutions like the one launched by Sharp Electronics Corp can revolutionise demand-side energy management. Such systems can help businesses better plan their operations while keeping the energy costs low. The system can also find great application in markets with significant demand-supply gaps. Markets where demand exceeds supply see businesses forced to pay high tariffs during peak demand periods of a day.

Originally published on Solar Love. Reproduced with permission.

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

  • Ronald Brakels

    I’ve just found out that businesses in the Australian state of Queensland will be charged over $500 a day to “read the meter”. The daily service charge has been increased more than 11 times in a transparent attempt to stop businesses installing rooftop solar. So there’s going to be a lot of businesses interested in energy storage systems to take them off grid. This system by Sharp may not be there yet on a cost per kilowatt-hour basis, but it would also function as an uninterruptable power supply and fill the role of an emergency generator, which are vital to many businesses but very expensive. So as battery storage costs come down and dinosaurs engage in more dirty tricks to stop people investing in solar it all comes down to a matter of who blinks first. Will the utilities cut supply charges to keep their customers on the grid, or will they cut their own throats by driving them off the grid? I’m sure it will be the former, but as conditions are not uniform across the country there may be throat cutting in various places that will serve as an example of what not to do.

    • vensonata

      It is an interesting situation, especially for me as a detached bystander. But, if I had shares in a utility I might be thinking of moving to higher ground. The river is rising alarmingly with multiple technologies, politics, attitudes etc. In fact it is approaching “chaos” i.e. “infinite complexity”. One flap of a butterfly’s wing in Queensland could bring down the grid in Ohio.

      • Bryan McAvoy

        I plan to sell my utility stocks asap next year (the final step of my personal fossil fuel divestiture). For tax purposes I’d rather avoid doing so this year. While I’m finding some good renewable stocks to invest in (HASI, BEP, TAN (ETF), for example), a profitable renewable energy sector is so new it feels sometimes like a leap of faith. 🙂

        Still, it sure appears that the utilities will become electricity “pipeline” operators in the not too distant future, making money mainly off of maintaining transmission lines and even power line easements. Of course, I live in the US of A, so who knows how we will manage to cut off our noses to spite our face when it comes to supporting the expansion of renewables. It’s almost exciting in a B-grade horror movie sort of way.

        • vensonata

          Good man, you are the future!

  • Matt

    Yes no price data even if you follow the links. Note marketed to large users to avoid peak charges. That is a bigger saving than a home user would see. They do claim “15%+ first year yield and IRR’s exceeding 20% possible” on their how it work page on the third chart with solar, someone forgot to peak shave the 8am hump and 6pm hump and used it all at noon instead. So a little more code would have lower the peak cost even more. 😉

  • vensonata

    Tremendous. Battery storage is popping up everywhere. We need a competitive market, since this will be a feature of residential living soon. What we are missing here is price. There are two systems 40 and 80 kwh. These are marketed for industry but really those are just the right size for off grid storage or grid connected residential with storage. Sharp will have to compete with Balqon, a California company which makes lithium battery banks with all management systems installed for solar and large vehicles. Balqon’s price is $300/kwh which is extraordinarily good compared to anything else I have seen. If Sharp is behind the pace and they are asking $700-$1000 just forget it…back to the drawing board.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Check my math for me please…

      Current batteries – recently purchased

      Trojan T105 RE
      24 v pack
      16.2 kWh
      4,000 cycles at 20% DoD
      3.24 usable kWh
      $2000 for pack
      $617 per usable kWh
      $0.21 kWh based on 4,000 cycles.

      Two Balqon 12 volt 2.76 kWh batteries
      24 v pack
      5.52 kWh
      3,000 cycles at 70% DoD
      3.86 usable kWh
      $2860 for pack
      $740 per usable kWh
      $0.25 kWh based on 3,000 cycles

      • Vensonata

        Yes. With a few considerations. 3000 cycles full capacity…perhaps another 3-4000 at slowly declining capacity. Remember this is for solar house use not for ev. Ev need to maintain range so they usually think about swapping them out when there is plenty left for stationary use. So “usable kilowatt” needs recalculation. Secondly, accurate price for 5.52 kwh pack is $2860. That is over $500 kwh. However, the 36 kwh solar pack with bells and whistle is $12,500…= $367/kwh! (Unbeatable price). So …any math whizzes out there? Here is a stab. 5000cycles at $367 kwhr….drum roll…7.3cents kw!
        Now please don’t spare my feelings everyone have a go at this…but worst case scenario maybe10c kwh lifetime

        • vensonata

          correction… my mistake. $367 buys .7 kwh (because discharge is only to 70%. So revised calculation. $524 kwh 5000 cycles gives 10 cents kwh. So, despite my initial mistake my corrected price was approximately correct. 10c kwh.

        • Bob_Wallace

          The usable kilowatt threshold is where you change the cycle number. The T105 REs, for example, are 4,000 cycles at 20% DoD. At 60% DoD they drop to about 1,500 cycles.

          Here’s the cycles/DoD charts for the T105 REs and Balqon 2.6 kWh pack.

      • Vensonata

        Oops. I think you made (a nice) mistake on the lead acid. 4000cycles at 3.24 kw per cycle gives you a lifetime production of 12,960kwh. You paid $2000 for 12,960 kwh. So 2000 divided by 12960= 15.4cents per kwhr! Congratulations.

        • Bob_Wallace


          I was hoping that the Balqon batteries would pencil out better than lead acids. Guess not yet.

          T 105 REs are available on the web for what I paid. I paid a few dollars over the lowest web price in order to do business locally.

    • Calamity_Jean

      Then there’s this company, which claims to be economical but doesn’t give prices:

      Incidentally, this is the third reference to Balqon that I’ve seen on this site in the last week.

      • Vensonata

        Yes, at least two of those references are by me. The reason is my 75 kwh agm battery bank is declining in health and so I keep a hopeful eye on the lithium options as I have for ten (disappointing) years now. Balqon is the first glimmer of hope I have spotted (begins to sound like I’m looking for life on other worlds doesn’t it?) like a thirsty man in a desert, I spy lithium at reasonable cost…tell me it is not a mirage!

        • Calamity_Jean

          The third reference I saw was definitely not by you, so I suspect you and I aren’t the only ones hoping for better batteries. I don’t own any now but am moving soon to a house that I plan to be all renewables and am looking forward to needing them then. I’d prefer to get something better than lead-acid.

          Since my earlier comment, I ran across a reference to this company: On their website after much searching, I found a projected cost of $250 per kWh.

          The three companies have three different battery chemistries, none are lead-acid. And, of course, there’s good old nickle-iron: . I’ve seen others in the past, but they appear to be vaporware.

          • Vensonata

            Here’s a new one: hybridautocenter. These are brand new Nissan leaf batteries up to 11 kwh for $250/kwh. Japanese company. Will ship. However I don’t have enough technical savvy to know whether they have built in battery management. That BMS(battery management system) is worth a lot to the amateur. By the way, a very, very, very important feature of lithium ferrous, especially for solar pv, is the instant unlimited charging acceptance right up to 98% full. That means you are not wastefully trickling in your precious solar electricity during the best sun hours. The lithium battery accepts everything instantly. Lead acid is dreadful in its last 15% it just nibbles wastefully. Here’s another important aspect: even during bulk charging wet lead has limited acceptance. If you have a large array you need a big bank, with lithium it doesn’t matter, it will eat any amount you give it…and the reverse, a high draw is fun for lithium, scary for wet lead.

          • Calamity_Jean

            Yeah, there’s better stuff coming down the pike. I hope it arrives before your current batteries give up the ghost.

          • Yeah, we’ve been covering Eos for years. It’s moving along commercially. Almost wrote an update this month, but waiting on a more substantial one. Pricing and much more discussed here:

          • Calamity_Jean

            Thanks for the link to your prior Eos coverage. I don’t suppose you know anything about Balqon or Aquion?

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