Important Building Block for the Energy Supply of the Future
“The prize awarded to the Sunny Boy Smart Energy is clear confirmation of our approach,” explains SMA Chief Technology Officer Roland Grebe. “The complete energy supply from decentralized, renewable sources is feasible only through wide use of decentralized storage systems, which not only optimize the local supply but also compensate for grid-level power fluctuations and support grid control. To ensure the progress of the energy transition, affordable, easy to install and intelligently connected plug and play systems are needed, which suite nearly every household. Combining a battery, modern power electronics as well as intelligent system control, they provide even small PV systems with power plant features such as standby power and black start capability. In addition, they are able to replicate the stabilizing effect of rotating masses, contributing to the line voltage, and in so doing, gradually replace conventional must-run units.”
Small Storage - Economical and Efficient
The Sunny Boy Smart Energy is the result of SMA’s extensive research and development in the field of storage and energy management. The usable capacity of the integrated lithium-ion battery of about 2 kWh enables ideal economical operation in typical residential PV systems. While self-consumption increases only slightly with growing storage capacity, storage utilization decreases. The energy stored by the Sunny Boy Smart Energy is sufficient to supply a four-person household with about three hours of electric current in the evening. Overall, the new inverter raises the self-consumption rate by up to 50%. In addition, the integrated lithium-ion battery is designed with a service life of 10 years and a depth of discharge of 90%. This reduces the initial level of investment, overall costs over 20 years and space requirements.
Due to its design as a compact and fully integrated wall-mounted device, the Sunny Boy Smart Energy is just as quick and easy to install as a typical PV inverter, and needs no extra planning and design.
Integration Into the Smart Grid of the Future
The Sunny Boy Smart Energy blends seamlessly into the SMA Smart Home. Based on Sunny Home Manager generation and consumption forecasts, household appliances and battery can be managed in such a way that the storage system reduces the amount of electricity that must be transported by the utility grid, and evens out the fluctuating photovoltaic power generation. This not only makes the use of batteries even more efficient and gives the system operator more independence from rising electricity prices but also enables integration into future Smart Grid business models.
Particular Attention to Safety
During the development of the Sunny Boy Smart Energy, SMA paid special attention to safety. The VDE supported the entire development and both inverters and battery packages will be tested by VDE. In addition, SMA as well as the battery manufacturer LG Chem boast decades-long experience in the field of storage systems. Market launch of the Sunny Boy Smart Energy is planned for the second half of 2013.
The SMA Group generated sales of €1.5 billion in 2012 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants and, as an energy management group, offers innovative key technologies for future power supply structures. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented internationally in 21 countries. The Group employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. SMA’s broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all plant sizes. The product range includes both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. SMA is therefore able to provide ideal technical inverter solutions for all plant sizes and types. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for excellence as an employer and achieved first place in the nationwide “Great Place to Work®” competition in 2011 and 2012 and fourth place in 2013.
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