GoodWe and BYD Battery Storage Training
Battery storage is the technology that the Solar PV industry is waiting to take off. It’s not a question of if but when.
The main restriction to the mass deployment of battery storage technologies is, as with many new products, it’s the price. However a recent training event at Waxman Energy has shown us that this is about to change.
Auto manufacturers are rapidly pushing the development of batteries forward and as a result, other industries are also benefitting. Solar PV energy generation storage is an obvious use of this advancing battery storage technology. As the electric vehicle industry gathers pace and the demand for low cost high capacity batteries increases, the cost will inevitably fall. We are already seeing this.
In this rapidly developing market it is essential to keep abreast of developments, as such the training event we were invited to hosted at Waxman Energy was a great opportunity focused on two manufactures: GoodWe and BYD.
GoodWe, in their own words, are a “high quality Chinese manufacturer” offering a range of Grid Tie solar PV inverters and battery storage solutions.
BYD is a large automobile and battery manufacturer. To put that into context they have 180,000 employees and revenue of $17 billion in 2015. They make a range of electric cars and buses and also manufacture the batteries to go in them. Holding over 12% of global market share of lithium ion batteries BYD are one of the leading companies in the field.
It should no longer be a stigma that their products are made in China. Everyone’s products are made in China.
GoodWe Battery Storage
The first part of the training focused on the GoodWe aspect of the battery storage system. GoodWe have two options: Retrofit and new installation.
GoodWe BP Series For Retrofit Battery Storage
The retrofit offering uses the GoodWe BP Series product. This is like an additional inverter and includes a charge controller.
It is the brains of the battery storage system and decides when to send surplus power to the battery and when not to.
An important and impressive feature of this battery storage system is how the brain of the system interacts with the end user via the online monitoring system. It shows PV generation, consumption and export along with how much energy is imported from the grid. This allows the user to gain a full understanding of how the solar PV generation is being used throughout the day. It also demonstrates how the battery is operating.
Having this information is crucial in maximising energy use and making the most of the battery’s storage capacity. This understanding can also inform the end users behaviour; if it becomes apparent that there is regularly a surplus of energy at a certain time of day it could be beneficial to charge the battery or switch on an appliance such as a washing machine.
The monitoring system is available through a web browser or via the online app.
The installation of the BP series retrofit kit comprises of the BP unit and the EZ converter. The BP unit is installed close to the original inverter and the EZ unit next to the consumer unit. They need to be linked via ethernet cable.
GoodWe Monitoring System
GoodWe Hybrid Inverter – 25.kW – 6kW
For new PV installations GoodWe offer a hybrid inverter, which are essentially a standard inverter and BP unit combined into one unit.
The PV panels are connected into the inverter in the usual method via MC4 connectors. The brains of the unit are inside the hybrid box and the charge controller, which communicates with the battery management unit and decides when to charge and when to send electricity to the property.
The hybrid system uses the same monitoring system and has many of the same features as the BP series; it just comes in one tidy box.
The battery of choice to pair with the GoodWe hybrid or retrofit systems is the BYD battery offering.
Starting with a storage capacity of 2.5kWh the BYD battery system is modular and can be installed in series all the way up to 400kWhs. The battery comes with an external battery management unit, which is the intelligent piece of kit that syncs with the GoodWe charge controller.
The battery unit comes with a wall mounting kit. The BYD batteries excel in the depth of discharge (DOD) in allowing 100% of the energy stored to be used. This is better than a number of competitors as shown in the table below.