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Smart buildings 10/11/2020

Bringing It All Back Home: Innovations In Residential Battery Storage

Battery storage systems have emerged as a key solution to integrate renewables in utility-scale power systems across the world. 

But the last few years have also seen a surge in the market for so-called “home batteries,” which allow households to efficiently reduce electricity costs by leveraging off-peak power and storing excess solar power during daytime hours.

Driven by decreasing technology costs, increasing electricity rates and enhanced government incentives, Europe's residential storage capacity is forecasted by Wood Mackenzie to grow fivefold by 2024. Despite the booming sector, there is still a massive untapped market share for investors, with only 7% of European residential PV being coupled with battery storage. So it should come as no surprise that battery producers like Tesla, traditional energy companies like Shell, as well as suppliers of conventional generators such as Generac are all jumping into this lucrative market.

Today, the ramped up investments are also pushing the boundaries for innovation in residential battery storage. Here are some other innovations in the residential battery space:

Smart Heater by Lancey

The first smart electric heater with an integrated battery that helps monitor energy consumption is gaining traction. The product is a brainchild of the French energy storage company Lancey, and is designed to reduce energy consumption and connect to solar panels.

  • The device, which uses natural stone and infrared panels to diffuse heat, has a battery that stores electricity during off-peak hours for future use, significantly reducing rates of consumption.
  • Its built-in intelligent system connects to wifi and includes sensors that can detect factors such as human presence or an open window, and automatically adapts to the consumer’s habits and energy bill, as well as local weather.
  • With its original design developed and industrialized in less than a year, the company is now allocating €8 million raised from investors to scale up manufacturing and bolster business development.

Hydrogen Storage with LAVO

The Australian-based university spin-off LAVO recently announced that its hydrogen-based residential energy storage system is now ‘commercially-ready’ and will soon start taking its first orders. Developed by researchers at the University of New South Wales, the device uses compressed hydrogen as the main medium for energy storage — offering three times the amount of energy storage compared to others of similar size, as well as double the operational life.

  • Named after the father of modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, The LAVO system uses a metal hydride material, which absorbs hydrogen that provides a safe and stable medium for long-term storage.
  • The system can store the hydrogen equivalent of 60kwh of electricity, which is sufficient for powering an average-sized household for up to three days. 
  • Designed to be portable, LAVO’s technology can be used for a diverse range of everyday applications. Beyond its pioneering product, LAVO is also developing a range of lifestyle technology products including a hydrogen-powered barbecue and bicycle.

(credit: LAVO)

ENGIE EYE The Tiko Platform

Beyond the development of new battery technologies, there are also new innovations emerging that optimize energy use, including battery storage solutions.  ENGIE’s Tiko platformoptimizes control of domestic energy consumption by connecting residentialelectrical equipment such as water-heaters, heat pumps, solar panels and battery storage. 

  • The platform features an award-winning Energy Management System (EMS) that connects electrical devices and creates storage networks that react intelligently to fluctuations in production and balances consumption.
  • Two examples: For clients who have heat pumps can use an eco mode which enables them to save up to 60% of energy during holidays without touching the pump; For clients using electric convector heaters, the solution allows them to control and program the temperature room to room and hour by hour.
  • The electrical devices are also connected to the platform's virtual power plant that offers the same functionalities as a physical power plant. By connecting households and businesses, Tiko has become one of the biggest real-time smart grids in the world.

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