The US arm of Japanese consumer electronics giant Sharp has launched an energy storage product for businesses in California which can be installed either independently or in combination with a PV system.
Developed in the Sharp Laboratories of America in Washington State, the new product, Smartstorage is designed primarily to cut demand charges for commercial and industrial customers.
Electricity pricing in the US is set against measured demand at peak times, making the use of storage to shift loads one of the most commonly referred to potential drivers for the growth of storage technology in that territory. Demand is measured as the highest spike point in the amount of electricity consumed instantaneously in a month. With particularly high demand charges, California is considered an attractive market for this use of storage, as is the state of New York.
Sharp’s new product aims to counteract this by storing energy in reserve to discharge in the event of a spike, which will prevent the spikes from occurring and therefore capping demand charges. According to Sharp, the system does this by using predictive controls to manage the release of stored energy.
The company has selected a supply partner for Smartstorage, Ideal Power. Ideal Power will provide Sharp with a 30kW battery converter. The converter provides battery charger and inverter functions in a modular package, based on Ideal Power’s patented Power Packet Switching Architecture (PPSA), preventing the need for a transformer.