EnSync Energy Systems, a leader in distributed energy resources (DERs) and business models for commercial and industrial (C&I) buildings and microgrid installations, is launching a new integrated system for residential customers. The EnSync Home Energy System combines solar, energy storage, power electronics and an Internet of Energy control platform that delivers state-of-the-art functionality and modularity, with industry benchmark economics, safety and system efficiency. This could be the solution the multifamily sector has been waiting for.
“The current state of solar plus energy storage systems for the home is in the dark ages,” said Brad Hansen, president and CEO of EnSync Energy Systems. “Most are significantly underpowered and cannot support the entire home if the grid electricity is out, or they have issues disconnecting and reconnecting to the grid during an outage. If the home is off-grid, many cannot reliably perform if high inrush currents are created by the start-up of appliances like refrigerators or air conditioners.”
Hansen is also wary of the saftey of most home solar + storage systems.
“Many systems use lithium-ion batteries that are repackaged EV car batteries,” he continues. “Some of these battery chemistries raise thermal stability concerns when utilized in a home energy storage application. Systems on the market today are typically characterized by a mix and match of components that may or may not integrate well together and lack the modularity required to customize the optimum system for each individual home.”
The EnSync Home Energy System addresses these weaknesses and includes a residential-scale version of the company’s modular Matrix Energy Management system, safe and thermally resilient lithium-ion batteries and its DER Flex Internet of Energy solution — all of which were designed to work together at the outset.
Peer to Peer innovation
“Additionally, we’re bringing a phenomenal differentiator to the market with our True Peer-to-Peer energy exchange technology,” Hansen says. “True Peer-to-Peer enables individual residential units in a property to be linked into a network behind the utility meter to provide highly efficient, direct energy exchange between units. This is a major advantage for property developers, property managers and homeowners’ associations, providing the benefit of highly efficient and economical transfer of excess energy from any given residence on the DC-Link to any other residence in the network with excess demand. With True Peer-to-Peer, the entire property experiences a dramatic increase in the efficiency of the deployed renewable generation across the community. The payoff is a reduced consumption of grid electricity and significantly improved solar energy economics for everyone in the network.”
The sharing of electricity between interconnected residences on a True Peer-to-Peer energy exchange network prioritizes the use of solar generated or stored electricity ahead of that from the utility grid for any residence in the network. The network can also be configured as “non-export,” meaning no excess generation for any unit goes back to the utility grid. This capability is becoming more critical as several states and jurisdictions prohibit or economically penalize energy export.
Additionally, many utilities are in the early stages of implementing time-of-day electricity rates and are already levying increasing demand charges on customers. The evolving rate structures and impact of resident vacancy rates, vacation schedules and time-of-day load profiles frequently make deploying solar generation uneconomical for large portions of a property development. Virtual net-metering and virtual peer-to-peer programs are fraught with excessive complexity and administrative overhead. True Peer-to-Peer changes the game by incorporating each residence in the network onto a simple DC-Link, where the excess generation or generation deficit impacts of any given unit can be aggregated across a larger population of units in the network.
“The future of the electricity market will be individual homes and building owners operating in a ‘spot market’ for the buying and selling of electricity across a network. At EnSync, we have enabled this future to exist today with our innovative products and services,” said Hansen. “Our mission for the company is simple: the democratization of energy through innovative and economic energy systems. Homeowners and property owners that install our products today do so with the confidence that as the market for energy continues to be radically changed, they are not only prepared for it, but can capitalize on it and profit from it.”
EnSync will initially target the multi-residential property market for its solution, then broaden its market presence. At the time of announcement, the company has already built a sizable order backlog for the EnSync Home Energy System, including the approximately 150-unit Keahumoa Place property in Oahu, Hawaii, announced on May 9, which will utilize True Peer-to-Peer energy exchange.
The EnSync Home Energy System includes high-efficiency “LFP” lithium-ion batteries, a Matrix Energy Management system with 9-kilowatt alternating current (AC) output capacity, modular energy storage capacity of 9-kilowatt hour increments, modular direct current (DC)-DC converters for photovoltaic and energy storage and the DER Flex Internet of Energy control platform, which enables a home to access the same DER Flex cloud-based computing platform utilized by EnSync for connectivity between the asset owner, grid network and real-time market data for its C&I customers.
— Solar Builder magazine