Panasonic And Pika Energy Partner On Harbor Smart Battery
Panasonic Eco Solutions North America and Maine-based inverter manufacturer Pika Energy Inc. have partnered to offer the Harbor 10P/15P Smart Battery, a DC-coupled energy storage solution. Harbor 10P/15P will begin shipping in late 2017 and is available for pre-order today.
The solar-ready Harbor Smart Battery combines Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery modules and Pika Energy’s power electronics in a slim, floor-standing, wall-mounted enclosure. According to the partners, the solution provides 10 kWh (model 10P) or 15 kWh (model 15P) of usable energy and up to 6.7 kW of continuous power. Harbor 10P/15P can be used for clean backup power, self-supply, time-of-use and other solar-plus-storage applications.
The battery solution is directly compatible with the Pika Energy Island, a single-inverter solution for grid-tied solar-plus-storage. Harbor 10P/15P is installed as a plug-and-play battery coupled with solar PV on a common DC bus that feeds the islanding inverter. This connection of solar and storage is enabled by Harbor 10P/15P’s internal DC/DC converter using REbus, Pika Energy’s patented nanogrid platform.
“As a world leader in both the lithium-ion battery and solar modules, we understand the value in bringing innovative solar-plus-storage solutions to customers,” says Dan Silver, president of Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “We’re very pleased to be working with Pika Energy to continue pushing the boundaries of performance and efficiency to unlock even greater benefits for users for a wide variety of applications.”
“A single technician can install and commission a Harbor 10P/15P in less than an hour,” says Ben Polito, Pika Energy’s president and co-founder. “Harbor is pre-wired for the Panasonic battery modules, making assembly incredibly fast and simple. Combined with our transformer-less inverter, the Pika Energy Island with Harbor 10P/15P offers a vast improvement over heavy wall-mounted battery systems and outdated multiple-inverter configurations that suffer from low efficiency, extraneous hardware and complex installations.”
Tigo Adds Two Optimizers To TS4 Platform
Tigo has announced the second worldwide release of its next generation of solar optimizers featuring UHD-Core (Ultra-High Definition) technology: TS4-M (Monitoring) and TS4-S (Safety).
The Silicon Valley company says its UHD-Core TS4-M is a cost-efficient module-level power electronics monitoring device that provides a high sampling rate. The TS4-S adds to TS4-M’s functionality by providing module-level deactivation capabilities. The new solutions will join Tigo’s existing UHD-Core optimizers, TS4-L (Long Strings) and TS4-O (Optimization), announced last March. This release completes Tigo’s TS4 platform featuring an enhanced design architecture and component rating, according to the company.
Tigo says its TS4 optimizers with UHD-Core technology support more module types for three reasons. First, the maximum input voltage at standard testing conditions has improved to 90 V, which allows for compatibility of modules with up to 96 cells. Second, the maximum input current has increased to 12 A, which the company says enables the use of the high-efficiency and bifacial modules. Third, the company says the power capacity has upgraded to 475 W to support some of the most powerful modules.
Tigo’s TS4-M and TS4-S are shipping immediately, and the optimizers are available as integrated and retrofit/add-on solutions.
Silicon Maker Silicor Marks Cell Milestone
Silicor Materials Inc., a California-based manufacturer of solar silicon and aluminum by-products, says that in its first-ever attempt, the company has produced p-type mono PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) cells at approximately 20% efficiency, using 100% of its standard silicon feedstock.
“We are extremely pleased with the results of this first attempt at mono cell production,” says Alain Turenne, chief technical officer at Silicor Materials. “These results show the power of our process to produce silicon of such high quality that even the demands of a mono PERC cell architecture are well within reach.”
The company says a small mono boule was grown and wafered at Fraunhofer CSP’s lab for crystallization technology in Germany and then converted into cells by a manufacturing partner. The result demonstrates that Silicor’s feedstock can be used to make mono-crystals using the Czochralski method, as well as high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells, according to the company.
“Our results with mono PERC cells are only the beginning,” comments Terry Jester, CEO of Silicor Materials. “We will continue our work with perfecting the manner in which our material is integrated into mono wafer manufacturing and expect even better results in the future.”
CertainTeed Announces US Series Solar Modules
CertainTeed Solar, a subsidiary of building products company Saint-Gobain, has announced its US Series 60- and 72-cell solar modules, which offer power output reaching 305 W and 365 W, respectively.
The Pennsylvania-based company says the US Series modules are American-made using both domestic and foreign components. They are available individually or as part of CertainTeed’s Solstice system, which also includes racking, flashing and inverters – all backed by CertainTeed’s installation workmanship warranty of up to 25 years for credentialed installers.
“CertainTeed is proud to continue its heritage of manufacturing high-quality products in the United States since 1904 and standing behind them with warranties that customers can rely on,” says Mark Stancroff, director of CertainTeed Solar.
Trojan Introduces Solar AGM Line Of Batteries
Trojan Battery Co. LLC has launched its new line of true deep-cycle absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries specifically designed for solar and other renewable energy applications. The company, which has operations in California and Georgia, notes the new Trojan Solar AGM line is manufactured in the U.S.
Offering a three-year warranty for stationary applications and tested to an eight-year design life under IEC 61427 standard for solar batteries, this initial release includes a wide range of Trojan Solar AGM models. The company says that with its non-spillable design, the new Trojan Solar AGM batteries enable installers to customize the use and position of the batteries in customer applications and are certified for non-hazardous shipping per U.S. DOT/IATA regulations.
“As we continue to see strong customer interest and demand in applications such as residential storage (both off-grid and grid-tied), solar home systems, microgrids, remote telecom, as well as oil/gas, Trojan’s new line of true deep-cycle Solar AGM batteries has been designed from the ground up and optimized for these types of solar applications and the need for frequent cycling in harsh environments,” says Ganesh Balasubramanian, director of new market development for Trojan Battery.
The new Trojan Solar AGM battery line joins the company’s current family of Smart Carbon deep-cycle flooded batteries, which feature Trojan Battery’s proprietary carbon additive designed to help reduce the effects of partial state of charge (PSOC) or undercharging. Operating at PSOC on a regular basis can quickly diminish the overall life of a battery, which results in frequent and costly battery replacements, the company says.
“With batteries being one of the most expensive components of a battery-based solar system, it is critical to maximize the life of the battery bank to reduce the total cost of ownership of a system,” comments Michael Grundke, general manager of EMEA for Trojan Battery.