Renewable sources are developing fast. This is especially true for solar panels which have come down in price considerably due to overproduction. The price of installation has also dropped, making this a very attractive clean energy option to the residential and commercial sectors. [Engerati-Cheaper Solar Installations-Watershed Moment for Distributed Generation and Renewables]. However, clean energy sources such as solar and wind are not always generating power when it is needed most and therefore, it is critical that excess power generated during sunny and windy spells is saved for when it is needed.
Off and on grid energy storage solution
In response to this need, JuiceBox Energy, a Silicon Valley-based company, has launched an 8.6kWh lithium-ion solar energy storage system for residential and commercial use.
The JuiceBox system is a maintenance free power delivery device designed for extended service life and is capable of both grid tied and off grid operation, and allows a consumer to maximize their daily solar energy self-consumption. The system features a system controller so the battery can be used as back-up power to a grid, thus enabling peak shifting and demand charge reduction.
The system controller interfaces to a battery-based inverter and the battery management system to ensure intelligent control of charge/discharge cycles and overall safety and thermal management. Redundancy and diagnostics are implemented for fault handling and fail-safe behaviour throughout the system. A gateway to a secure cloud-based repository enables remote monitor and configuration.
JuiceBox systems have direct integration to several major inverter manufacturers and support both new and existing solar installations. The industrial designed enclosure is floor or wall-mounted and displays key metrics to the customer.
Energy storage puts the customer in charge
The JuiceBox puts customers in charge of their energy storage and consumption. Customers can prioritize operation for disaster preparedness or electricity bill management and in the future will be able to participate in utility demand response programs through aggregation of distributed energy.
"Energy storage is the critical technology that allows unrestrained solar growth enabling a clean energy future and a more resilient grid," states Neil Maguire, CEO of JuiceBox.
Added responsiveness at a customer level will save costs and avoid over-sized distribution grids, increase overall flexibility for DSOs and save costs on the consumer side. This will increase the amount of self-consumed electricity and this way optimize efficiency and reduce the amount of additional power needed from the grid. [Engerati – Customer Owned Battery Storage and its Potential to Provide Active Grid Support.]
JuiceBox will be available in the fourth quarter of 2014, with greater volume production beginning in 2015. JuiceBox is taking advance orders, but the price remains unclear.