Electrical energy storage tops the wish list for a growing number of photovoltaic panel owners who sadly witness the death of photons each time the sun sets. Photons, the items that generate electricity and make the world of rooftop solar energy possible at all, cease to exist in darkness.
“Basically, photons are the fuel for PV. They are also what we call light from the sun,” says physicist John Perlin, author of “Let It Shine, The 6000-Year History of Solar Energy.”
As such, night-time — including heavily clouded days — has long spurred the quest for affordable batteries or alternative energy storage devices that might make renewable solar electricity available when it is needed.
Now, JuiceBox Energy has developed its new 8.6-kWh lithium-ion energy storage system that can be used for both solar energy storage and smart home connectivity, and bringing the company into the growing energy storage market.
According to the JuiceBox announcement, distributed energy generation is at a crossroad in many locations as renewable energy net metering policies evolve, requiring customers to sell their excess solar energy to the grid at wholesale rates during the day and buy back energy in the evening at peak retail rates. It provides value to both the customer and the utility by reducing peak power consumption and fluctuations on the grid. And when the grid goes down, the JuiceBox customer can operate indefinitely in an off-grid mode with the solar and battery system providing power to the home’s critical loads.
“The JuiceBox system is an innovative new home energy storage and energy management system,” said Mark Byington, President, Cobalt Power Systems in Mountain View, CA. “Cobalt Power has multiple JuiceBox installations in progress, and we are excited to be at the forefront of delivering intelligent grid-tied energy storage to our solar customers.”
The JuiceBox Energy system is maintenance-free with a minimum 10-year life. The battery, system controller and web-interface are housed in a custom designed indoor/outdoor NEMA 3R enclosure. The system is highly integrated with a bi-directional inverter/charger to enable quick and simple installation while ensuring redundant safety controls and an extended operating life.
The product is designed for rapid wall-mounted installation and communicates to web-based applications via a robust cellular connection for cloud-based monitor, control and remote firmware update. The high-reliability connection enables JuiceBox to help customers keep up with evolving smart grid standards as well as tariff rate structures managed by utilities. And as an increasing number of JuiceBox systems come on line, customers can visually see their system connected within the JuiceBox Energy Network, and also elect to participate in future aggregated demand response markets.
JuiceBox reports it is providing regular sales and installation training, and systems are available for order to certified installers upon completion of the training. “Our Silicon Valley engineering team comprised of automotive electric vehicle and power semiconductor industry veterans is on a mission to deliver the highest quality, long lasting energy storage systems available,” said Neil Maguire, CEO at JuiceBox Energy. “The JuiceBox 8.6 kWh system is a safe, reliable clean technology that puts the customer in charge of their renewable energy. We look forward to supporting solar installers and their customers nationwide with our new residential energy storage system.”
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