Battery manufacturer Saft has been chosen to supply a lithium-ion energy storage system for a new US photovoltaics research programme.
The Li-ion battery system will provide energy storage for one of the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) projects funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE).
Managed by Sandia National Laboratories, the SEGIS programme aims to develop high-performance products that will allow photovoltaics to become a more integral part of household and commercial ‘smart energy’ systems.
Saft is working in collaboration with Apollo Solar, a company specialising in the design and manufacture of power electronics for solar energy systems.
Apollo Solar was recently awarded a contract for the second design phase of SEGIS to deliver a working prototype of a less expensive, more efficient ‘Smart Grid’ inverter for solar electric systems. The design will attempt to incorporate energy storage and two-way communications between solar electrical systems and utilities.
The Saft Li-ion battery system, which delivers approximately 10kWh, will be designed to provide efficient energy storage so that solar energy can be effectively ‘time shifted’. The energy will be available for home consumption during periods of peak demand or for injection into the grid.
Saft has already begun to demonstrate this approach in SOL-ION, a Franco-German project aiming to develop a new concept in energy conversion and storage for grid connected photovoltaic systems in Europe.