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Panasonic to begin mass-production of long-life Li-ion battery system for solar-powered homes in Europe

4 June 2012

Panasonic Corporation will begin mass-production this month of a compact, secure and long-life lithium-ion battery system the company has developed for European homes. This marks the first time for the company to produce in volume such a system designed for Europe.

The lithium-ion battery system consists of the Panasonic battery module with nominal capacity of 1.35 kWh and a battery management system designed to control charge and discharge of the battery in accordance with customer needs. The battery system stores excess energy generated from the photovoltaic (PV) power system during peak hours of PV generation and discharges the energy as needed, providing a solution as a household battery storage system that helps self-consumption of solar-generated power. It will also enable households to reduce the dependence on grid power and facilitate the further spread of green energy. Features of the residential energy storage system include:

  • Life time of 5,000 cycles, based on 80% DOD and non-extreme temperatures.
  • Battery management provides battery status information to the controller of home energy storage system, which allows users to remotely monitor the status of the system and battery.

In Germany and other European countries, governments are cutting purchase prices for solar power in order to rein in the expansion of solar power generation, which led to increases in energy prices, Panasonic noted. The move is expected to create a growing need for a solution that allows consumers to optimize the consumption of solar energy generated on their rooftops. With an eye to a coming era where people generate energy for their own use, Panasonic said it is strengthening its storage battery business and the development of large-scale storage battery systems for which demand is expected to expand rapidly.

Last year, Panasonic supplied its lithium-ion battery storage system for the S10 household energy storage system developed by E3/DC, an engineering firm in Germany. Through field tests in Germany, Panasonic is ready to mass-produce the lithium-ion battery system.

In Germany, there is a concern that the integration of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, into the power grid could cause instability in power distribution because of their unpredictable nature. With our state-of-art lithium-ion battery technology and high-quality battery management systems, we will promote self-consumption of solar power generated by households as well as reduction of load during peak hours. In so doing, Panasonic aims for a leading position in providing a solution to protect the power grid system.

—Fumitoshi Terashima, Director, Smart Energy Systems Business Unit, Energy Company of Panasonic

In Europe, the lithium-ion battery system is distributed by Smart Energy Systems Department, Mobile Energy Business Division of SANYO Component Europe GmbH.

June 4, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

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"..will begin mass-production.."

This is the KEY. I wanted a flat screen TV years ago, but I couldn't afford $1000's of dollars for one TV.

Suppose the Japanese had gone Republican about it, "higher cost - no flat screen TV mass production".

TV's >26" would still be $1000s and for the one(1%) percent.

Mass production will yield similar price reductions in: alternative fuels, EVs, pollution controls(remember "impossible" catalytic converter costs?), etc.

Now I enjoy several flat screen TVs($100s each) - with high definition.

Too bad, in the short term, it's cheaper business to buy some US politicians than improve consumer products.


It seems to be this battery:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/panasonic-20091225.html

Panasonic recently started the manufacture high quality lower cost batteries in China and will be very competitive worldwide.

Storage units (batteries) cost for home systems will come down quickly with mass production and future more efficient technologies.

Electrified vehicles will benefit from lower battery cost.

This could really be a game changer.

End users could generally 'make their own' with solar and buy their backup cheaper from nighttime wind.

Fourteen years with daily cycling. 80% DoD cycling which means buying 1/4th storage as much as one would need with lead acid.

If they can get the price down it's going to really hurt the coal and nuclear industry.

Does anyone remember how many billions in support the japanese government gave to their battery industry back when Lithium ion was being developed for consumer products? Somehow, they are able to do this and not have the political self-destruction that the US seems incapable of avoiding. What is it about the US citizen that makes them want to destroy those things that might actually help them. It has to be a masochism of some type. Perhaps we should just supply the occasional whipping to those that enjoy that type of thing. Then the rest of us who don't, wouldn't have to share in the pain they seem to need and demand through making the our society one of pain infliction.

Bob, unfortunately this is simply not true:

'End users could generally 'make their own' with solar and buy their backup cheaper from nighttime wind.'

Here is the annual solar insolation by month for Phoenix, Arizona:
http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/phoenix-arizona.html

Note that in even that very favourable location, in the least favourable month insolatiion is only round 36% of that in the highest.
Even in places like Phoenix, where the main problem is too much heat, and there is no heavy winter peak, that means that poses considerable difficulties, as that difference is way too big to be overcome jsut using solar.

However, here are the figures for New York:
http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/new-york-ny.html

There the darkest month has only 27.5% as much sunshine as the sunniest, but that is not all, as there is a very large winter peak on load in the winter, which means that solar can never come anywhere near meeting winter load, and cost reasons mean that you end up largely using fossil fuel.

1.35kwh batteries can't do anything about the fundamentals of solar at any distance away from the equator, although they can help a lot in areas they are a good idea for anyway, as they can cover overnight load.

Effectively if you are not going outside of the 80% DOD Panasonic recommend, youa re talking about a 1kwh battery.

Load is lower overnight, but the load steps up dramatically at shower/breakfst time, before the sun gets any real power, even in desert areas like Arizona.

You'd pprobably need a few of them even there, and they won't do anything about winter load in colder, northerly areas so long as tthe earth is round.


"In Germany and other European countries, governments are cutting purchase prices for solar power in order to rein in the expansion of solar power generation, which led to increases in energy prices, Panasonic noted."

It is absolutely stupid to repeatedly note false reasoning for the climbing prices of electric power in Germany. It is NOT solar power that is responsible for these price increases. On the contrary, solar power has contributed to lower prices. The crux is, that the price advantages are withheld from the general public through price fixing at the "Leipziger Strombörse". The utility companies are forced by German law to prioritize solar power. With tremendous portions of solar power displacing more and more of the utilities conventionally produced power, the utilities are slowly but surely sliding into a pinch. Their own creation of value is receding and forcing them to lobbying ever more vehemently at governments doorsteps. Big businesses profit from the lower prices and from the exemption of grid fares which places a double burden on the general public. The greedy are paying next to nothing for electric power in Germany and the broad public is paying through the nose.
THESE ARE THE ONLY AND TRUE REASONS FOR HIGH PRICES FOR ELECTRIC POWER IN GERMANY AND NOT SOALR POWER.

@yoatman:
And what the hell is putting up the price of conventional generation in Germany but the mandates to take solar and wind?
This is the economics of the madhouse.

If the people who were grabbing the solar subsidies had to pay the true marginal price to the utility of buying power from the grid in December etc whilst the grid has to take power from them in the summer when they don't need it they would soon see reason.

As it is the better off are simply able to put the cost of their folly onto poorer people who can't afford the lunacy of solar, and so spnge off the poor.


Since you resort to capitalisation to make your nonsensical point, I reply:

FINE.GET OFF THE GRID, PAY FOR YOUR OWN SOLAR ARRAY AND GO WITHOUT POWER IN THE WINTER.

The earth is round, which seems to have escaped your attention.
A power source which produces almost nothing when it is most needed is not only worthless, it has a negative net worth to the grid.

Bums who have installed solar arrays in northern latitudes are doing so at the expense of the poor.

@Davemart - Solar (and most renewables) isn't about going 100% with that single tech.

All that said - your 30% estimate of the worst month compared to the best month is a bit off. Head over to PVwatts and plug-in New York and you find that 1 kW of PV generates 110-120 kWh / month from Mar-Sept and 65-70 kWh / month in Nov-Dec with the other months in between. Total production is around 1200 kWh / year.

That's a factor of 2 difference, not 3.

Let's say you have the goal of maximizing output you can tilt the panels up a bit more than the default of 40* to 55* and squeeze out a couple more kWh in Nov-Jan, but that comes at the expense of summer output and overall production drops to around 1150 kWh / year.

In Phoenix 1 kW of PV facing south at 45* will keep you at a minimum of around 120 kWh / month and a total of 1600 kWh / year which comes close to your goal of "flat" production with only a very small effect on annual production. Of course in Phoenix they want the bump in summer production to deal with the heat.

Anyway - home storage systems could be great for reducing one's load on the grid. With a PV system, one could easily get 2 cycles out of the system - charge at super-off peak time (midnight-5am) discharge in the morning at 7-8am as coffee and breakfast cooks but before the sun comes up fully, charge again after PV starts kicking in, then discharge as the sun goes down.

Most domestic e-energy consumption can me reduced by 66% and more by using ultra high efficiency (27+ SEER) Air-Air Heat pumps instead of existing 10 SEER A/C units, replacing all old lights with CFL/LED units, replacing old appliances with improved Korean low power consumption units, replacing old PCs, TVs, Monitors with up to date low power consumption LED type and/or tablets, replacing old doors and windows with state of the art units, installing programmable thermostat for heating and air conditioning etc etc. We reduced our e-energy consumption from 65+ Kwh/day to an average of 22 Kwh/day and more could be done. The savings are enough to operate 3 to 4 average size electrified vehicles free of charge.

Hi Dave R:
I doubt the figures I used were out - trhey are NASA sourced.
I actually gave the figure for New York as 27.5% in December as opposed to June.
You do not source your figures, but apparently are looking at 3 month periods instead of highest to lowest months.

The point is that the reason solar is so daft at high laitude where the winters are cold is that you have to meet massive peaks in the winter with very expensive peaking power, that's how yoatman for instance manages to come up with the strange notion that it is all the fault of expensive coal and gas, when in fact the true costs have been shoved on them by mandates for solar and wind uptake.


Your suggestion that using one source which yuou can't control, solar, by substituting another you also can't control, for instance wind, also does not nold any water.

That is not just theory.
We have had week or more cold, still periods in the last couple of winters near the solstice when both wind and solar would have been near zero.

That means lots of backup,which is not amortised efficiently.
And that is a good recipe for high energy bills, and for making the poor seriously cold, and in fact killing substantial numbers of them.

In fact at 50,000 'excess winter deaths' in the UK alone in a year, and that correlating with energy prices, it's a good way of killing vastly more people than even Greenpeace's fantasies about the dangers of nuclear.

Since running an advanced society including light transport can be done on about 1.5kw per capita with pretty minimal additional fossil fuel import, and based on the Finnish reactor costs that means about $7,500 per person spread over 20-30 years, the whole idea of throwing money away on renewables which cannot possibly replace fossil fuels seems mad.

Here is the substantiation for my figure of 1.5kw per capita, and it's moderate cost using nuclear:
http://2050-calculator-tool.decc.gov.uk/pathways/D0141111111111110114111003424340114304202304430420111/costs_in_context

Solar is fine off-grid in the tropics, but has limmited real use elsewhere.

What no one mentions is that we have to get completely off of fossil fuels, no matter what the cost, so energy storage of some sort is going to be necessary

@ facebook user: Yes, but less than you may think according to NASA. Since NASA LaRC is developing a theory to describe the F&P effect and a dozen companies are building residential CHP products - we may need less storage to level intermittent PV and wind.

Interesting to note German sources claim 50% midday grid energy (22gW) is coming from solar. That is likely a peak, peak number and not continuous. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/28/solar-power-world-record-germany

But we do have new alternatives coming on line that will help by providing abundant clean/green energy as described by NASA:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42hrCRx1JJY

@Davemart,
You have completely forgotten about Hydrogen! Make hydrogen and store it in the pipeline system and underground caverns for use in the winter. Remember the CHP fuel cells with combine efficiency of >90% when both electricity and heat can be delivered? In this regard, H2's efficiency is quite comparable with battery electricity as means of energy storage.

In this way, we surely can get off fossil fuel at affordable cost AND providing much needed job relief for all those unemployed people.

By "make hydrogen" above, I must emphasize that H2 must be made from excess renewable energy via electrolysis, and NOT from NG steam reformation! NG should really be saved for desperate situations when the stored H2 is depleted.

Sign me up, I want one!

If I can buy cheap night-time electricity at 6 p / kWh to offset my own use the next day at a daytime rate of 30 p / kWh, that suits me fine and helps stabilise the grid too.

What you all are forgetting is Potatoes! Yes, potatoes! They have electricity built right in them. All you need to do is wire together about, oh, 500 of them and you can power your house all night long! Completely off the grid and without relying on a home battery management system.

Mind you, this is all in theory but with substantial backing I believe I can make my dreams come true of a potato-filled world in between my retreats to a nudist resort in the Bahamas.

Any interested and deep-pocketed parties can contact me by email along with their bank account transfer data. Thank you.

SV: wouldn't be better to make $2.5/gal potato vodka and use it as fuel, anti-freeze, wind shield washer and diluted for your guests?

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