Monday, 11 November 2019 17:28

Senec simplifies home solar batteries


Vertically integrated energy company Senec has launched a new hybrid solar battery that it says can make households up to 90% solar power self-sufficient, potentially saving them thousands of dollars a year.

The German designed, engineered and manufactured Senec.Home V3 Hybrid includes a 20 year warranty (double the usual length), a combined PV inverter and battery inverter, PV over-voltage protection, three-tier remote monitoring every five minutes, unlimited solar recharging cycles, and floor mounting rather than wall mounting for ease of installation.

According to the company, one of the key reasons why home owners haven't been installing batteries (which charge during the day when the sun is shining so the stored power can be used at night) is that the warranty on batteries until now has been half that of the solar panels.

The possibility of having to buy a replacement battery within ten years has a significant effect on the payback period, observed Senec managing director Jaron Schächter.

"By doubling the warranty and integrating a raft of safety and other features into the Senec.Home V3 Hybrid unit, home owners will have a huge incentive to buy a battery when they purchase their solar panels.

"This new hybrid battery can also be retrofitted to existing solar-powered homes," he added.

The incorporated hybrid PV inverter converts both the current flowing from the PV panels into the storage system and the current discharged from it, giving the battery 97.4% efficiency, but saves the customer having to purchase and install a separate PV inverter.

Schächter went on to say that the V3 Hybrid's "space-saving design makes installation simple and quick. With a footprint of just 0.29 square metres, it is the most compact power storage system on the market. With its removable side panels, the Senec.Home V3 Hybrid is easily accessible to the installer and specialist tools aren't necessary.

"This simplified installation and the design aggregation are expected to deliver instant savings of around $4000 per installation."

Other features include an integrated residual current monitoring unit to protect components from hazardous currents, two DC-over-voltage protection units to save the V3 Hybrid when lightning strikes the PV panels, and – unlike any other renewable energy battery, according to Senec – a two-phase emergency power supply when mains power is unavailable.

The battery has a maximum AC output of 5kW, expandable to 7.5kW and 10kW.

The Senec.Home V3 Hybrid is said to be one of the most intelligent storage systems available in Australia.

Three-tier remote monitoring (customer, Senec Australia and its installers, and Senec Germany) that can be delivered via the Senec app, which monitors the PV production and house consumption every five minutes.

SENEC smartphone app

"An essential component of this is the intelligent energy management system of the Senec.Home V3 Hybrid. It not only takes into account the individual consumption patterns, but can also charge the storage system based on weather forecasts," said Schächter.

"This is based on very accurate forecast data, not only taking into account the site-specific weather forecast, but also plant-specific properties. So the system already knows how much power the solar panels will produce at what time, and controls the charging behaviour accordingly."

Senec is a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany-based EnBW, one of the world's biggest generator-retailers. Approximately 30,000 Senec batteries have been installed around the world.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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