Enphase updates AC battery solution for Australia, New Zealand and Europe

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U.S. inverter specialist Enphase has updated its modular 1.2 kWh AC-coupled energy storage system for customers in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The new version of the Enphase AC Battery (ACB) was released with a new battery cell supplier onboard and more granular Time-Of-Use (TOU) tariff management opportunities.

Weighting approximately 25 kg, the ACB system is easy to install and can be right-sized to ensure each system matches the unique energy needs of every household. Due to its modularity, more batteries can be easily added over time as energy usage changes.

The updated battery version continues to use lithium-iron phosphate chemistry. Earlier, the manufacturer was using prismatic cells from Japanese battery cell supplier Eliiy Power, but its new partner has not been named in the latest release.

The improved TOU software will make it possible for homeowners to optimize the value of its PV systems on the back of an expandable platform that serves evolving uses for energy storage such as residential peak shifting and grid services.

“In addition to the supply chain and TOU software improvements, our new ACB system has an enhanced Battery Management Unit (BMU) designed to effectively monitor the health of the battery and increase the safety and reliability of the product,” said Mehran Sedigh, vice president and general manager of the energy storage business at Enphase Energy.

According to Sedigh, Enphase has shipped over 30 MWh of residential energy storage systems to customers in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. “Our continued investment in the Enphase ACB reaffirms the commitment to our customers in these regions, in addition to reinforcing our target financial model,” he said.

Enphase has been active in Australia since 2013. In 2015, the manufacturer announced plans to debut its Enphase AC battery Down Under, and began shipments in 2016. It explained at the time that Australia had been identified as an ideal launch market for the ACB system because of its high levels of PV penetration combined with falling FIT rates for rooftop solar.

In 2016, Enphase opened a $4.4 million R&D facility in Christchurch, New Zealand, looking to support the firm’s internationalization and drive innovation and synergies between home storage and power conversion technologies.

In the latest release, the company said it had refreshed its product portfolio in the run-up to the release of the Enphase Encharge residential battery product family, which is expected to be available in capacities of 3.3, 10, and 13.2 kWh.

The Encharge battery is designed to be an integral part of Ensemble, an energy management platform that integrates controls for both off-grid and grid-tied solar-storage systems. It will retain key product features, including ease-of-installation, safety, modularity, and scalability, and is expected to add features such as backup, outdoor rating, and faster charging and discharging.

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