Impressions from Intersolar 2017
I would relate some impressions from the Intersolar show I attended yesterday
General impressions - storage is exploding. There were at least a dozen battery/inverter combos there intended for use with solar, and almost all inverter companies now have battery-backed options. It’s too bad that we stopped the Ezero program – there’s a big need out there for systems that coordinate battery based systems to manage peak shaving/load shifting.
has a combination EV charger and grid tie inverter. Nothing too special
about that. But one cool thing is that when it is installed on a 40A
breaker (which is limited to 32A during normal operation) the EV charger will
actually go to 40A when the solar system is running, since it can still draw 32
amps or less through the breaker.
Solaredge also has a 400V storage system that they pair with an LG battery. They have sold a few of these so far.
Pika had a very interesting islanding inverter in 7600w and 11400w flavors. They use a 380V DC bus system (called the REbus) - the inverter is intended to be the central device in such a system. They DC bus is intended to run to solar and battery locations. So far they only have inverter plus storage plus solar but other companies (like that chiller company) are using the DC directly. This is something that is long overdue IMO - it's silly to convert the 300-500 volt solar input down to 48 volts for batteries, then back up to 240VAC. By keeping most of the system at the higher voltage, wiring cost is reduced, breaker size (and cost) is reduced and the power is more usable overall. Most large motor drives prefer DC, and EV's definitely prefer DC.
Pika's battery solution uses 48V Panasonic lithium ion modules and comes in 10kWhr or 15kWhr flavors.
Pika's solar interface is a peak power tracker that takes in solar power up to 420V/2500W and then outputs it to the REbus (380V). MPPT range is 60-360V; full power range is 200-360V.
Saw two panel cleaning robots and one cleaning thing that looks like a backhoe with a big car-wash brush on the front.
Interphase has a "storage chiller" that connects to the REbus (380VDC) and use the ~10 ton chiller to make ice. Then they run air conditioning off the ice. It's intended for peak shaving/load shifting - make ice at night when it's cool and power is cheap, then use it when it's hot out. EER is 26.5.
Ensync matrix energy management also uses a 400VDC system to connect batteries, solar, inverters, motor drives - but does not expose the voltage outside their box. They said they were thinking about making it available outside. They also have a 600V in/400V out charge controller.
Midnite Solar has their new modular inverter. Each rack has five bays - two for charge controllers and three for inverters. It looks like the charge controllers can go to 100A out / 600 volts in which is very nice. You can expand it up to 4 racks. Uses a 48 volt battery system.
Midnite also is announcing a 4000 watt 12/24/28 volt inverter that is rated to UL1741 - which should mean it can feed back to the grid. This would be the first 12V inverter capable of doing that that I have seen.
Aurora PV system planning SW - this is a nice solar planning package that lets you take a Google Maps picture of your home, place panels and see how much power you will get. aurorasolar.com
Darfon makes a hybrid inverter (H5000) which will do self-consumption, peak shifting, peak shaving etc. www.darfonsolar.com It has a MPPT charge controller that works to 500V. They also have the H300 5kwhr lipo battery.
Eterbright makes CIGS panels (thin film) that are above 15% efficiency now. Their 3600A1 is a 360W 15.4% efficiency panel. (But will it last?)
- JPS-300M-60 Japan Solar 18.35%
- Talesun Hipro M350+ panels - 72c 18%
72C 360W panel - SRP-6MA - 18.6% eff - 1966x992mm
- BolySolar makes a non-tracking concentrator. Panel efficiencies of 20%+. www.bolymedia.com
- Sunspark panels 300W sunsparkusa.com 18.2%eff SST-300W - made in USA!
- LG Neon panels now come with integrated microinverters
HarvestHP combines solar-PV and solar thermal. I think it will only work for low temp (pool) applications tho.
A company called BizLink does fused MC4 Y cables. Less need for junction boxes on the roof!
- At least three companies (BYD, AES and a third one) were offering these massive cargo container batteries - 2MWhr, 4MW max power.
- Siemens and AES just teamed up to do more grid scale battery power.
- SimpliPhi has a 3.4kWhr 48V battery for sale now. Light enough to lift yourself. Also a Conext XW+ based storage system.
- Trojan is now making AGM batteries just for solar - SAGM-06 220/315/375 ah
- Mercedes Benz has 2.5 to 20kw storage systems. They also have larger systems that are made of old car batteries (from their EV's.) Interesting.
- Elite power solutions (elitepowersolutions.com) does 48 volt battery systems with BMSes built in.
- Reli3on has a 48V 300AH li-ion battery. (15KW)
Del Sol has plastic shingles with embedded crystalline PV for about $2.80 a watt. Specs are 17W, 3.10V/5.5A peak power. It's intended for string inverters so you have to series about 100 of these to get a string.
Aenergy / Aplus has standing-seam solar roof panels (i.e. they replace ordinary standing-seam roof panels.) About $1.50 a watt. Each panel is 75W (18.7V 8A pk) so you'd have to series 4 to get an "ordinary" 72 cell panel, or 20 or so to get a string for an inverter.
Nuvation has a simple/small low voltage BMS for 16S batteries, up to 60V.
bayo0s.com makes massive eight foot long ground screws, which are pretty cool. They take a golf cart sized power driver to get them into the dirt, but once they are in you can build things (like groundmount solar systems) right on top of the screws. They probably wouldn't work in the "dirt" here though; I usually need a prybar to get through at all.
Cy solar has a cool mounting system for spanish tile. You remove one tile, put one of these "fake" tiles back in (aluminim) and it has a mount on it.
YM tech makes HVDC relays for EV's - www.goodymt.com - 15 to 600a - to 95V. Good for battery disconnects for residential systems.