Tuesday, 02 June 2015 23:04

Panasonic partners with energy companies on battery pilot projects

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Panasonic has set up pilot projects with Australian energy companies to install its battery technology in solar-installed homes for the first time, generating efficient, environmentally responsible electricity to ‘shave’ concentrated energy demand.

The pilot projects, with ActewAGL, Snowy Hydro’s Red Energy and Ergon Energy, will be implemented in a selected zone of customers with solar-installed households in the ACT, NSW and Queensland, using Panasonic’s residential energy storage system to complete the analysis.

Storage batteries have the capability to allow more solar energy to be used, with Panasonic modelling for the Australian market showing that the system could increase the self-consumption rate of solar generation from 30% up to as much as 60%.

The residential battery technology stores excess electricity generated during the day by solar panels to provide a reliable, efficient base load for solar-installed households during peak periods. Once fully charged from the day's sun, Panasonic’s lithium-ion storage battery produces a two kilowatt output for four hours.

Panasonic Australia’s Managing Director Paul Reid said the battery storage demand response control will allow retailers to trial different charge/discharge programs to evaluate the effects of distributed storage.

“Over the 10-year plus life cycle of the battery, our modelling is showing a significant reduction in the reliance of Australian households on the grid during peak periods.

“The pilot projects are a first for Panasonic in Australia, and Panasonic’s battery demand response system will help distributors model peak shaving effects, realised through solar and battery storage systems and provide a cost effective alternative to grid infrastructure investments.”

“Reid said that, for consumers, it means access to clean solar energy during the evening peak and potentially a lower energy bill. “For the retailer, we can provide a levelling out of costs and potential competitive advantage with customers.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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