SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) is launching a new high-voltage battery compatible inverter for private households. With the new SMA Sunny Boy Storage, SMA is the only provider that can currently offer an AC-coupled system for high-voltage batteries. The Sunny Boy Storage ensures the cost-effective, easy and flexible integration of storage solutions into new or existing photovoltaic systems. SMA is aiming to lend added momentum to the global growth market for stationary battery-storage systems.
“For end users, using a storage system means increasing independence from utility companies, for example, through increased self-consumption of the electricity they have produced themselves. More and more people are doing this to save money on energy costs and to contribute to environmental protection,” said SMA Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Pascal Urbon. “Within a year, the cumulated number of battery-storage systems installed in Germany so far has more than doubled to over 30,000, thanks to the decline in prices. Our future energy supply is decentralized and renewable. With the new Sunny Boy Storage, SMA ensures the cost-effective, easy and flexible integration of the solution into new or existing photovoltaic systems,” continued Urbon.
The new SMA Sunny Boy Storage battery inverter has been designed especially for high-voltage batteries like the Tesla Powerwall. The combined package of the battery and Sunny Boy Storage makes it possible to store electricity at costs that, according to Urbon, are comparable to German household electricity rates.
“SMA is the only provider that can currently offer an AC-coupled system for high-voltage batteries,” said Volker Wachenfeld, Head of the Off-Grid and Storage business unit at SMA. “This means, the storage system operates in parallel with the PV system, making it possible to easily and cost-effectively integrate battery storage systems into existing PV installations, while also flexibly enhancing the storage system. The reason for this is that with an AC-coupled storage solution it is not necessary to touch the PV system. With our solution, we can thus also tap into the major market of existing PV installations. In Germany alone, we are talking about nearly 900,000 installed PV systems with a capacity of less than 10kWp, where subsidies will gradually end.”
According to Wachenfeld, the system concept also enables integration into any system configuration, even in new installations. Thanks to AC coupling of the storage system and standardized interfaces, the system can be expanded and adapted to individual needs brought about by changes in living circumstances, such as the integration of an electric vehicle or changed energy demands, even after installation.
In addition, the online portal Sunny Places gives users of the storage solution a transparent overview of their home, while an app enables them to view energy flows and access potential savings. And with the Sunny Home Manager, the system can be integrated into a comprehensive energy management system, if needed.
According to Urbon, it is currently difficult to estimate the market potential for electrical storage systems. In the medium term, SMA anticipates global annual demand of approximately €0.5 billion to €1.2 billion for all storage applications. “To a great extent, demand will depend on the decline in prices of stationary storage systems, which currently make up more than 75% of investment costs for the storage solution,” explained Urbon regarding the market potential of electrical storage systems. As market leader with more than 30 years of experience, SMA has unparalleled expertise in the field of storage system integration. To ensure maximum long-term reliability and flexibility for end users, SMA is collaborating with almost all well-known battery producers.
The first systems will be sold starting March 2016, first in Germany, and then in other important storage markets such as Italy, the UK, Australia and the U.S. SMA will present Sunny Boy Storage for the first time at Capital Markets Day on January 29, 2016.