Leading Australian inverter maker Selectronic has secured a key partnership in the booming battery storage market, with the announcement of a strategic pairing with global battery giant, LG Chem.
Selectronic said on Wednesday it had formed a collaboration with the South Korean based LG Chem, whose lithium-ion battery systems have so far claimed the largest share in Australia’s residential energy storage market.
The deal will pair Selectronic’s world-leading Selectronic SP PRO battery inverters with LG Chem’s RESU batteries – a combination the two companies say will maximise solar self-consumption for consumers while also keeping houses in power during grid outages.
This latter feature has become more of a priority for households investing in solar and battery storage, as extreme weather conditions increasingly put networks around the country under pressure, and occasionally take them out of action.
Indeed, the importance of this capability – which is not shared by all battery storage systems – was exemplified last Spring, when when 100km/h winds swept through Selectronic’s home turf of Victoria, leaving tens of thousands of households without power.
Amid the chaos, the home of a young Selby mum – with SP PRO equipped solar and battery storage – not only kept its power on, but came to the rescue of other new mums in the region, offering a still-running fridge and freezer in whcih to store frozen breast milk.
“There are hundreds of SP PROs installed throughout Melbourne and we know that at least they weren’t amongst the 22,000 without power over the past couple of days,” Selectronic CEO Rod Scott told One Step Off The Grid at the time.
Scott, who has been in the energy storage game for some time now, says LG Chem’s RESU batteries are a great fit for his family-owned company.
The partnership is also well-timed, with the release of the Tesla’s Powerwall 2, with its own in-built inverter, potentially taking a major chunk out of Selectronic’s market.
“Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of lithium solutions come and go,” said Scott in comments on Wednesday.
“We’ve been in the industry for a long time, and are careful to put out the right solutions and partner with the right companies.
“It’s easy to put out a solution and not be around to back it up,” he added. “Working with LG Chem means we’re working with a trusted brand that has a proven track record.
“It’s an exciting time with a lot of technologies and companies in a very fast moving market, so it’s important to sort through what is and isn’t a reliable solution.”
The two companies say they have put their technologies through “significant R&D and field testing” together, to ensure the quality of the final product. The “rock-solid combination” is apparently installed in more than 30 field test sites around Australia.
LG Chem’s business manager for Australia and the Pacific, Jamie Allen, said the South Korean battery maker was “excited” to now be compatible with the inverter technology made by Selectronic.
“Selectronic has over 35 years of providing Australian-made energy storage solutions for both on- and off-grid applications. It’s an exciting prospect to see the two companies come together to provide such flexible solutions,” Allen said.
Combined, the companies say their storage solution is ideal for the retrofit market, allowing LG Chem’s RESU units to be added to any existing grid-tie solar system or incorporated into a new installation.
“As feed-in-tariff’s wind down, there are no longer incentives driving consumers to send their excess energy back into the grid,” the companies said.
“This solution allows consumers to regain control over their electricity consumption by storing their solar-generated energy to reuse at night and during peak times. People may even choose to go completely off-grid with LG Chem and Selectronic.”