Wirtten by Gordon Clements, General Manager VARTA Storage Power and Energy
As with any 21st Century pioneers the early adopters of solar and energy storage systems were environmentalists driven by their interest to explore and use newest possible technology and to have the latest and greatest products.
The group that came along after this early phase, as the technology developed further and products became more cost efficient, were very much focused on a desire to increase their self-consumption rate and become more independent from sinking feed in tariffs and higher energy costs of their utility providers.
Over time these early adopters have been followed by more economically aware consumers whose motivation is more towards the return on investment that can be achieved. This development was further promoted by government subsidies or incentives.
Now as we continue into 2019 we see that solar and energy storage are only two components of what will become a major part of the smart home. Consumers are now more interested on how they can future proof their investments by buying components from respected brands that will be around to support their needs as systems and their demands evolve from one generation to the next.
The Smart Energy System
Currently we see a system that integrates solar, storage, hot water system, energy management system and EV wall box as illustrated above but in future this system will grow and develop in different directions to meet individual needs of different consumers.
System established brands, such as VARTA, have taken great care to ensure that their residential storage products whether free standing 3-phase systems or single phase wall mounted systems are as open as possible both in hardware and software. This allows 3rd parties the opportunity to seamlessly and efficiently integrate the systems into their particular configuration.
When looking to procure a home storage system, consumers are faced with a bewildering array of different manufacturers offering various features and benefits. In the final analysis what you pay for is the quality and performance of the battery electronics. Whether this comes in one fully integrated box or in two separate units, the safety and efficiency of the battery system will guide you to the long term performance of the system and to the return on investment you could expect to achieve. Consider in addition that the system should be as future proof as possible. Otherwise you will end up having to buy another system before the end of life has been reached of your original purchase.
As technology develops so quickly, responsible manufacturers will take great care that future developments will enhance and grow their abilities to interface to smart home and smart energy applications as well as many new applications, many of which are not yet available or maybe not yet even considered.
In conclusion when buying a residential storage system forget about features and benefits that add no value. Concentrate your investment in a long term solution with extended 10 year warranty on both the battery and electronics and make sure that the system is as open and easy to interface to both existing and new applications as possible.