Integrated System Enables German Homes To Generate and Store Their Own Solar Power

An integrated energy storage product, Q. Home, has been manufactured to give the German residential sector its power independence.
Published: Mon 24 Nov 2014

An integrated residential rooftop solar and electricity storage system will be launched in Germany in December. Hanwha Q Cells rooftop solar and Samsung lithium-ion batteries will be sold together enabling German citizens to generate their own electricity from the sun and store it at home. The integrated storage technology is called Q. Home.

Convenient consumption monitoring

Q. Home will be offered in two versions -one is considered to be ‘standard’ and the other is for East-West orientations of rooftop solar systems. The solar power systems are 18 or 24 Q CELLS 260W modules, with capacities of either 4.68kWp or 6.24kWp.

A 3.6kWh Samsung SDI battery for energy storage interfacing with energy management software will be matched with the Q CELLS. Energy consumption can be monitored with a home computer, tablet, or smart phone. A one-phase inverter, mounting system, and some related equipment will be included in the whole package.

Samsung SDI, the spin-off from the Korea-headquartered multinational Samsung, focuses on batteries and energy storage systems at various scales. We wrote recently on the partnership formed between Samsung SDI and China's Sungrow Power Supply to produce energy storage systems. The venture will handle sales, logistics and the development of energy storage solutions. [Engerati – Samsung’s Ambitious Energy Storage Plans Take On China.] Samsung SDI has also just recently supplied Germany with 25,600 lithium-ion batteries. [Engerati – Germany Opens Europe’s Largest Grid Battery Plant.] Their batteries will also power Sharp’s ‘all-in-one’ integrated solar-plus-storage system that is being prepared for launch to the UK market early next year. Jens Mayer, a technical officer at Sharp, says that the integrated solution approach could make life easier for consumers and installers alike.

Hanwha Q CELLS chief commercial officer Justin Lee agrees with the idea of making user-friendly solutions: “Selecting and installing a PV rooftop system can be perceived as complex and time-consuming by many homeowners. With the latest Samsung SDI storage technology and our powerful Q CELLS PV kits we will offer Q.HOME, a convenient and easy solution for homeowners from a single source.”

Q CELLS will contract local energy consultants to assess the size and suitability of rooftops, before using installers on the company’s existing network to install the systems and connect them to the grid.

Increasing energy independence

The intention of the Q.Home product is to help consumers make the transition to become more grid independent.

According to Q CELLS, with a 6.24kWp PV array paired with a 3.6kWh battery, a family of four can consume around 2,200kWh of self-generated electricity annually. Based on average annual consumption figures for a four person family provided by Q CELLS of around 4,400kWh of electricity, this equates to around 50%, the company claims.

An increasing number of solar firms are moving into the storage market. In the US market for instance, some of the biggest residential PV companies have launched storage products for the residential market, commercial market or both, including SolarCity, Sunpower and most recently Sunrun. [Engerati – Energy Storage Sector Targets Commercial Customers.] and [Engerati – SCE Leads Energy Storage With Record 261MW Purchase.]