When it comes to energy storage, you don’t want science projects and unhappy customers. Ensure a near-future revenue stream by offering storage-ready hybrid inverters.
Batteries with grid-tied PV will soon be the standard offering, as customers increasingly recognize the benefits of storing local behind-the-meter energy. Pricing on lithium-ion smart batteries is projected to fall rapidly as demand spikes to support the ongoing boom of distributed solar on the U.S. electrical grid.
With the use cases growing daily for adding smart, distributed storage to PV, solar installers need to prepare for increased battery demand. Is the inverter you’re installing today ready to add batteries?
Conventional AC-coupling is a cumbersome and expensive design, resulting in low round-trip efficiency. Batteries that can be DC-coupled directly to a hybrid inverter are substantially more efficient and can return a much better economic outcome when cycled daily to manage energy costs. Best of all, customers only need one inverter to handle PV, batteries, loads and the grid.
These hybrid inverters with the innate ability to switch between grid-tie and islanding power can also offer customers flexible operational modes for various states of use. For example, customers with such inverters can use them for grid-tied net metering today and have the option to add a battery tomorrow for clean backup power, self-supply and arbitrage.
Hybrid systems like the Pika Energy Island are inherently designed to connect a battery directly on the same DC bus as the PV. Whether or not the customer is using a battery initially or plans to add it later, hybrid equipment is a simple solution for standard grid-tie, and adding a battery later means just connecting it directly on the DC combiner in the inverter.
This installation tip was provided by Chip Means, director of marketing, Pika Energy