One of Tesla’s major rivals in the home battery storage stakes, Panasonic, has released its new 5.3kWh system for sale on the Australian residential market – just two weeks after Tesla’s bigger and cheaper Powerwall 2 was launched in the US.
Panasonic’s new LJ-SK56A lithium-ion system, which will be available from December 2016, has a 10-year warranty, with 5.3kWh usable capacity and 2kW output. It has a “slim, stand-alone design” and can be installed outside. Cost of the product has not been disclosed.
The batteries will be sold through energy companies including ActewAGL and Red Energy, following the success of a Canberra pilot project that tested the lithium-ion batteries in local households.
The solar plus storage trials conducted kicked off in December last year, with the installation of an 8kWh Panasonic battery system alongside a 5.2kW PV array at the home of an ActewAGL employee in Forde.
Panasonic Australia’s Managing Director Paul Reid said the pilot project showed the its batteries had performed well in Australia’s variable and dynamic climate conditions.
Modelling by Panasonic shows their battery storage has the potential to reduce household dependence on the electricity grid by between 30 and 60 per cent.
Energy retailers, meanwhile, can access the batteries via demand response platform software and DRED interface compliance to address peak load pressures and network inefficiencies.
The Demand Response Software allows programmed charge/discharge, remote control charge/discharge and controls and monitors usage, according to Panasonic.
This helps utilities with peak shaving and to improve stability across the network, with one utility server able to control up to 20,000 storage systems and monitor their time-of-use tariffs and control of demand load.
“We’re now evolving with this new 5.3kWh battery system, to support the needs of Australians who have adopted clean solar energy, balancing affordability, capacity and performance and delivering for retailers and consumers alike,” Reid said.
ActewAGL said it had decided to include the new Panasonic battery in its solar product suite on the back of the pilot program’s results.
“For example, our first installation created expected savings of up to 50 per cent on one family’s annual electricity bill,” said ActewAGL general manager retail, Ayesha Razzaq.
“The battery storage industry will continue to grow as an important companion for renewable energy systems and these technologies will increasingly have a positive impact on the ACT’s renewable energy target of 100% by 2020,” she said.