German energy storage system manufacturer ASD Sonnenspeicher unveiled a couple of new products at Intersolar Europe in Munich earlier this month. The company claims that its new Pacadu battery management system is a "revolution" in energy storage. According to ASD, Pacadu (parallel automatic charge and discharge unit) allows batteries to be safely connected in parallel. The company claims this “allows any number of cells to be combined in a storage system, irrespective of their size, manufacturer, storage technology or power output”.
In a two-part video interview, PV Tech spoke to the company’s founder, Wolfram Walter at the show. Due to Pacadu currently being in the middle of the patent process, ASD was unable to give detailed technical information on the management system, but Wolfram Walter was happy to talk PV Tech Storage through the principle ideas. In addition, he discussed the company’s new residential storage unit 'Hybrid ON'. The device also allows homeowners to decide how much to store, how much to use and how much to feed back to the grid. In addition ASD has attempted to make the system both very easy to monitor and aesthetically pleasing (pictured below video). Walter claims that he is not a fan of complicated displays and says the new unit from ASD allows the user to monitor energy use “in one second”. The company consulted with a designer to overcome the challenge of producing something that could take pride of place in anyone's home instead of looking like a "sh**ty box" as well as relaying system monitoring information clearly and quickly to the system's owner.
Interview Part 2: From airline pilot to accidental storage company boss
In the second part of the interview, Walter explained how he went from being an engineer and airline pilot with no background in renewable energy to designing a storage system which won a German renewable energy award last year. Walter designed a system for his own use and claims that demand from friends and family snowballed into the commercial launch of the company’s range of battery systems. He also briefly discusses the energy storage market in Germany at present, currently one of the few markets worldwide to offer subsidies for lithium-ion based home storage systems.
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