BYD brought its two new energy storage offerings to Intersolar Europe in Munich this week as falling battery prices continue to make stationary energy storage a lucrative solution for businesses and homeowners around the world.
BYD makes the news regularly for its electric buses, SkyRail, and occasionally, its solar projects, but it has slowly been developing its stationary energy storage solutions. The new energy company brought its residential and commercial energy storage products to Intersolar Europe in Munich where the BYD Modular Outdoor Energy Storage System was nominated for the 2018 Electrical Energy Storage Award.
Commercial Energy Storage – the Modular Outdoor ESS
BYD’s commercial offering, the Modular Outdoor Energy Storage System (ESS) is, as the name implies, an energy storage system designed to be installed outdoors, where the IP55 certified Power Control System cabinet that it lives in can withstand the elements. BYD is putting the finishing touches on this new system which will be available for purchase in Q4 of 2018 and Q1 of 2019 around the world.
What makes the ESS unique is its module design that allows for additional storage capacity to be added or removed to fine tune the system to meet the storage demands of many more consumers than would be allowed with a fixed capacity battery system. This is something that is customized once with the purchase of the system but could also be upgraded over time as needs change.
The new ESS that is on display in Munich comes with twice the energy density than the last generation, and has an impressive 25-year service life for most of the components, with the exception of the battery. Energy density is the amount of power stored in a given volume, meaning that the new ESS can store twice the amount of energy in the same physical footprint than the last generation. The focus on delivering a robust product designed for a set-it-and-forget-it installation resulted in a mean time between failure (MTBF) of over 100,000 hours for the ESS.
Getting down to business, the Modular Outdoor ESS is the most impressive to real customers because the cost per unit has been dropped by 20% while also being more efficient to install. Both of these make the new system cheaper to install, with lower returns on investment. The new unit also comes with an integrated active cooling system that cools the batteries while using 20-30% less power.
Residential Energy Storage – The Mini ES
On the residential front, BYD’s Mini ES series of products now have single-phase and three-phase products, giving installers and customers more options to solve for their specific use case. BYD designed the 3kWh single-phase product to be used in conjunction with a PV solar system while the three-phase system adds the ability to help balance the grid with frequency modulation capability. Details about how it accomplishes this or what type of communication it uses are scarce at the time of this writing.
BYD’s core competency is energy storage, having cut its teeth in its early years building batteries for all types of mobile devices for more than 20 years. It continues to play in the consumer electronic battery space but is clearly pivoting into new energy markets with its demonstrate capability in grid scale batteries.
Its containerized grid scale battery solutions naturally gave way to these smaller commercial and residential energy storage solutions which BYD continues to improve. We reached out to BYD about regional availability and pricing for the newly unveiled residential and commercial units and will update this article when we hear back.
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