Bosch has decided to step up to the plate and construct an integrated solar power supply system called the BPT-S 5 Hybrid. Almost everything is integrated into it. The company integrated an inverter, Saft lithium-ion batteries, and an energy management system (charge controller) into a single unit which is certified and safety tested for domestic installations.
This system was launched in 2012, but has now been fully commercialized. It is now being sold in Germany’s residential photovoltaic (PV) market. This reminds me of the Wagan eCube, which is even more integrated, but it is only a small-scale backup unit, so it doesn’t serve the same purpose as the Bosch unit, which can be scaled to a much larger size.
Speaking of installations: This design enables you to circumvent some of the installation tasks, such wiring of the batteries, charge controller, and inverter. A unit like this can simply be plugged into the house or grid as a gasoline-powered generator would be.
“Bosch Power Tec is a pioneer in the field of development of PV storage solutions. The BPT-S 5 Hybrid is a fully integrated system, and in terms of quality, safety and efficiency the industry benchmark. Therefore, Saft with its high quality standards and extensive experience has been the logical choice in this partnership”, says Dr. Andreas Stratmann, General Manager of Bosch Power Tec GmbH.
“Saft Li-ion technology proved its capability to meet the performance, reliability and safety needs of domestic users in the Sol-ion project that introduced Li-ion batteries into PV systems on the largest scale ever tested in Europe,” says François Bouchon, Director of Energy Storage at Saft. “Now, with this very important product for Bosch, we are building on the Sol-ion foundation as Saft Li-ion batteries are truly making the transition into the commercial arena.”
A solar panel system which uses batteries operates by using the solar panel to charge the batteries through a charge controller. The charge controller stops charging the batteries and only provides them with a small current to prevent self-discharge from damaging the batteries (often called bricking). The batteries then provide a smooth, uninterrupted supply of power to the inverter, which then powers the household appliances directly.