Batteries SolaX Power_ hybrid inverter

Published on January 16th, 2016 | by Jake Richardson


LG Chem & Solax Power Partner For Battery Storage System

January 16th, 2016 by  

If you are interested in energy storage, this announcement about LG Chem and SolaX Power collaborating seems potentially like a big one. LG Chem’s RESU6.4EX battery storage technology is being combined with a new hybrid inverter from SolaX Power and the system will be available worldwide in a few weeks. The SolaX inverter has been designed to work both on and off the grid. It also has an all-in-one charger in addition to the DC-to-AC inverter, and an energy management system. An animated illustration shows how the inverter works.

battery storage lg chemThe LG Chem Li-ion RESU6.4EX battery has a storage capacity of 6.4 kWh, which can be expanded to 9.6 kWh or 12.8 kWh. It also has its own battery management system, and a free app which can be used to monitor its performance. There is a 10-year warranty and more spec information is herePrice information seems scant, but a UK website says it is £3,475, which is about $5,000. The LG Chem system has been designed to work well with solar power, as has the SolaX hybrid inverter. There are more details here.

“The partnership between SolaX Power and LG Chem highlights the significance of topics like renewable energies and their efficient use. It is also an indication of our market strength, and our high-performance product portfolio. We would like to take advantage of the opportunity with LG Chem, to further expand our business relationships with wholesalers and installers, especially within the European and Australian market,” said Michael Zhu, Global Sales Director at SolaX Power.

The LG Chem/SolaX Power energy storage system has been created to provide dependable grid protection, including during a power outage. So, what about the price? It wasn’t in the joint press release, so it isn’t clear, but one site lists some of the SolaX hybrid inverters between $1,300 and $2,100.
SolaX Power_ hybrid inverter

Based on these sources — which don’t appear to be perfect — one could guess the whole system’s price might be between $6,300 and $7,200.

It is fascinating to see these energy storage developments — especially following the announcement of the Tesla Powerwall — which seemed to anticipate, if not precipitate, some of them. Battery storage appears to be poised to be entering a new phase of greater visibility and usage.

Image Credits: LG Chem and SolaX Power

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Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.

  • OneHundredbyFifty

    It is a mistake to think of this product or the Powerwall as proxy’s for the price of energy storage. Both demonstrate market readiness from a technical and producibility standpoint. Not from a price standpoint. These are early adopter products that demonstrate the capability. Prices will drop as battery prices drop (which is happening rapidly)

    The right questions to be asking now are: Do these work reliably and safely? Do they bring the advertised capabilities to the customer? In the foreseeable future, based upon cost reduction trends that are establishing themselves, will the value they bring exceed the cost to the end user.

    Consider, a UPS is not economical based upon the electricity it delivers yet many purchase them. What value streams do these battery backups bring to the customer and what is the size of the addressable market at various price points? To me those really are the important near term questions that make sense to focus on.

  • Jim Smith

    I need around 80kwh and be able to draw 200 amps. Oh, and i need it to cost no more than $5000 USD. Make it happen please.

    • vensonata

      Easy. Use hot water thermal storage instead of chemical battery. 328 gallons at 100 degrees delta T will give you 80 kwh of energy storage. The tank and insulation etc should come in at less than $5000.

      • Jim Smith

        no room for that

        • vensonata

          41 cubic feet! a nice little cube about 4 feet square and 3 feet high, come on, you can do it.

          • Jim Smith

            like i said. no room for that. Besides, that does not provide power.

      • Wayne Williamson

        any thoughts on what equipment would be required to turn that back into electricity…

        • vensonata

          Can’t do it. Although actually you could get back about 5% of it through thermal electric generator. They cost a lot and are extremely inefficient at the low temperature differential you would have with hot water. You would need ice on one side and 180 degree water on the other and still only get about 5% efficiency.
          Most of our energy in the Northern latitudes is thermal. Hot water domestic and space heat. The only sensible way to store it is as hot water. Batteries are 10-20 times as expensive.

          Batteries are for “high class” energy requirements.

  • Karl the brewer

    In a pretty cool coincidence i live 8 miles from their European headquarters 🙂 I’m happy to pop and see them and maybe do a little article for CT if people here would like. Pop down any questions you want asking here, no matter how simple(coz im pretty green at this) and I’ll get in touch with them and see if they are up for it.

    • Keith

      Not sure if this is a silly question to ask them but
      – Is the planning / Rules / Regs for this easy for companies to do or is it a case of jumping through hoops, lots of added expense to the project.

      Just trying to get a sense that if this works well can it be easily done in other locations around the UK.

    • Philip W

      Cool, I’d like that!

  • EvilCuLT25

    The LG batteries are much more efficient and long lasting than the ones specified in Tesla.

    • Ronald Brakels

      The warranty is the same, 10 years, so they don’t appear to be longer lasting. And they have both lithium based chemistry and so should have around the same efficiency.

      • JeffJL

        Please don’t bring facts to the discussion Ronald. 🙂

        • Ronald Brakels

          Sorry! I’ll make for it by coming up with some nonsense about animals I used to own: I used to have two legged horse that I was always trying to fatten up because he was a little lean. I called him motorbike. I also used to have a dog with no legs that I called Cigarette because everyday I’d take him out for a drag.

          • Riely Rumfort

            Did you have a pig with one ear?

    • vensonata

      No, no. Why say things like that? There are two different Tesla powerwalls, the 7 kwh and the 10 kwh. They are entirely different. The 7 kwh powerwall has virtually identical specs to this LG Solax battery. Both have 5000 plus cycles and Tesla lists 7 kwh while LG is 6.4. Basically they are competing projects but the LG, at this point is 40% pricier. That could and should change.

  • Freddy D

    Does anyone know how much power these can supply or draw? One very common use-case will be the US deep south (and now Nevada) where there are: 1) restrictive net-metering laws or anti-competitive solar laws, 2) lots of sunshine and 3) huge AC bills. If one of these can pull and supply 5kw, that pretty well matches a standard sized residential solar system and a decent AC unit. In other words, it brings things back to net metering for the summer days with the AC cycling on and off and the solar shining steadily.

  • MarTams

    Of course, the first round of prices is to fleece out as much while justifying the economics of purchase. Maximizing profits the name of corporate America. The environment never comes to mind. If they really care, they would have simply priced it based on cost of production plus a small profit margin. Bur the sad reslit, businesses don’t operate that way even for Tesla no matter how well meaning Rlon Mysk wants it be.

    • newnodm

      Neither company is american.

    • Zorba

      One thing I’ve noticed with these sorts of comments is that people have very different ideas of what “cost of production” means. Some think that it represents raw materials, salaries and taxes and then a “small profit margin” should be added to this.

      Of course, this leaves out aspects like interest/repayments/returns on loans and financing needed to build the company to this point, paying off billions for new facilities like the Gigafactory and the supercharger network and the vast amounts of capital required to expand production. These companies, whether Tesla or smaller battery startups, are in an early growth phase. No owners/shareholders are taking money out of these businesses. Instead, they have to keep pouring funding in to build the business, aiming to reach suitable scale and hopefully be one of the survivors as the industry matures. Of course, we all want the price of EVs and batteries to decrease. But someone has to fund the progress to that point and selling more expensive models to early adopters contributes to that funding. Investors are contributing a lot of capital on top of that.

      Once the industry matures and many of the capital investments have been made then competition ensures prices trend down towards raw materials, salaries and depreciation plus a “small profit margin”. Technologies like mobile phones also started as expensive status symbols sold to wealthy early adopters, now they’ve become part of life for almost everyone.

  • vensonata

    Not price competitive with Tesla 7 kwh Powerwall. $5000 vs $3000. Neither includes inverter.

    By the way in 2015 Germany EV sales 12,363. Home storage battery systems 20,000. Stationary batteries are outselling cars.

    • Coley

      I think it’s about time we had a comparison thread on here, there are just so many storage systems suddenly appearing! I haven’t got this devotion to Musk that some on here seem to have, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the “powerwall announcement” was designed to precipitate this seeming avalanche of storage opportunities.
      The problem for most of us is,separating the wheat from the chaff.

      • vensonata

        PV magazine had a pretty comprehensive comparison of almost all the battery systems about 4 or 5 months ago. Perhaps Cleantechnica should just reprint it.

      • Riely Rumfort

        I agree, we need a frequently updated table of Energy over life cycle/cost, kWh/kilogram, Charge Discharge rate/cycle life, Shielding required ranked very bad to very good(6 ranks), Voltage/kilogram.
        Stats Stats Stats.

      • evfan

        “designed to precipitate this seeming avalanche of storage opportunities.”

        If you have a GigaFactory coming online soon, you would have done the same.

    • eveee

      I concur. Strange, since LG Chem is competing in the EV area with the Chevy Bolt. It looks as if Tesla still has the lead.

      3475 pound sterling is $4954.13, close enough to 5k. The comparison seems adequate, since they offer battery, BMS, etc – just the storage. There are also differences. Their system is 48V. That requires a different inverter than Tesla, whose system is 400V. We need more information about any electronics used to interface to solar panels. The reference claims their life is 6000 cycles, roughly comparable to PowerWall, but their power is less. The LG Chem unit is 5kw peak, but PowerWall is 5kw steady and 7kw peak.

      Then there is the issue of MPPT.

    • Frank

      The car packs are much bigger, no?

      • vensonata

        Yes, the car packs are bigger, usually. What we need to look at is the phenomenon of both electric cars and stationary residential batteries, I mean as dispassionate observers to see what humans actually do, rather than project our views and opinions. Many people can not imagine that electric cars will catch on, even fewer think that stationary batteries will. Let’s just see.

        • Riely Rumfort

          They surely will, Late 2018 should be a tipping point in my opinion for storage.

      • eveee

        You mean energy capacity in kwhrs? Yes. Size wise larger, too.
        Car packs are 24 to 90kwhr. PowerWall is only 10kwhr.

    • JeffJL

      We also need to know if the $5k was for customers or wholesalers. I believe that Teslas product was $3k for wholesalers.

      As mentioned by others a price comparison article/site is needed.

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