- Enphase Energy Inc. says it plans to introduce a novel residential solar storage battery system in Australia and New Zealand this December that would be one of the first capable of storing, monitoring and controlling power use.
- The storage system includes integrated software that gives homeowners flexibility in their energy usage and storage.
- The system weighs about 55 pounds, and the lithium-iron-phosphate battery stores 1.2 kWh and has 275,550 watts of power output.
The latest entry in the market for home solar-plus-storage devices comes from Enphase Energy Inc. of Petaluma, California, which plans to roll out its Home Energy Solution in Australia and New Zealand this December. The company says its plug-and-play system combines power storage, automated electricity usage control and cloud-based network monitoring.
The lithium-iron-phosphate battery incorporates a bidirectional microinverter and provides 1.2 kWh of energy and 275W/500W power output in an ambient temperature range of -4° to 113°F and an expected life span of 10 years or 7300 cycles, according to the company.
The system’s networking hub can provide homeowners data on solar energy production and on grid usage that can provide the information needed to size battery needs. Enphase says the system is scalable, and that new batteries can be to a home or commercial system to increase its capabilities.
No word yet on when Enphase plans to roll out the system in the U.S., but its functionality places it in competition with a growing number of entrants into the home storage market. After Tesla brought home storage into the mainstream with the announcement of its powerwall system in May, new entrants like Orison and SimpliPhi have unveiled products of their own, hoping to cut into the nascent market.
While the market for such devices is still largely limited to reliability services for homeowners, storage systems such as Enphase’s could prove to be a useful innovation if utility pushback to net metering, which allows residential customers to sell excess solar power back to the grid at retail rates, continues to grow.
If utilities reduce or eliminate net metering incentives, solar storage and control systems could make rooftop solar power attractive to homeowners because they would be able to store solar generated power for later use, thereby offsetting the purchase of higher priced utility power.
Utilities are also beginning to aggregate home storage systems into products that can bid into state or regional power markets. In September, Stem successfully bid aggregated customer storage systems into the CAISO market for the first time, and the state's new Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM) aims to allow any aggregation of customer resources above 100 kW access to electricity markets.