We have covered the impressive products of SimpliPhi Power a few times in the past, including some of the unique applications of the high-performance battery packs the company has developed for the movie industry and the military. Putting a spotlight on some of the non-traditional products on the menu may lead some to believe that SimpliPhi only produces products for niche markets, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We wouldn’t want to deceive you, so are back with an update from a more down-to-earth application of the high-performance battery packs where the company worked with integrator Lotus Energy to design a custom net-zero home in New York.
Cracking open the hood on what must be a James Bond villainesque estate reveals massive cleantech infrastructure, starting with a 72-kW (!!) dual-axis-tracking solar PV system backed by a 163-kWh installation of SimpliPhi’s trademark lithium-ferrous phosphate (LFP) batteries. For reference, my current home PV system is a 4.3-kW system and is sufficient to power my home and one of our EVs (driving 12,000 miles per year)… so, yeah, this system is huge! Granted, I’m in Southern California and this home is in not-so-sunny New York, but still…
The energy-dense battery storage system can quickly charge and discharge with SimpliPhi’s impressive 98% efficiency. The owner of the home initially had wanted to go with Tesla Powerwalls for storage but found SimpliPhi Power’s storage density to be much greater, eliminating the need to build a separate structure just for the Powerwalls. Instead, the owner installed the SimpliPhi system in the home’s existing electrical room. As we have covered before, SimpliPhi battery units do not generate noticeable heat, so do not require the expensive ventilation and other heat mitigation equipment that conventional lithium-ion packs (like the Tesla Powerwall) at this scale would require.
SimpliPhi installed 48 of the flagship OES 3.4-kW LFP battery packs, which are arranged in 6 banks of 8 batteries each. They are cabled in parallel to ensure equal flow of current to all the batteries. Parallel wiring the packs also makes them easily scalable as the home’s energy needs evolve.
Bob Schluter, owner of the upscale, upstate New York smarthome, shares:
“I wanted an energy storage solution in a compact location. That’s why I went with SimpliPhi’s lithium-ion technology. Flooded cell batteries or other lithium-ion batteries would have required significantly more space and new construction to attain the same energy output.”
Time was also of the essence, and with the Tesla Powerwall not yet on the market and an eager owner looking to get off the grid, the SimpliPhi-backed solar+storage system is working for the homeowner today. Notably, the system is also performing better than expected. After 3 months in full operation, the system’s energy generation and storage is exceeding production estimates — at times by more than 20%!
Being in upstate New York is a key variable, as the area is better known for season-long snow more than it is known for sunshine, which results in regular winter power outages that can last days or even weeks. To ensure the electrons would keep flowing, system designer Lotus Energy developed a smart system that operates primarily off solar and storage. The system intelligently switches between solar, the batteries, the grid, and the backup generator (as needed) to ensure zero interruption of power to the home.
For more information and additional photos of the home, visit this Lotus Energy page.
All images by Electronic House Magazine, via SimpliPhi Power.
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