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Sunwoda applying decades of experience to push into ESS market

By Solar Media Staff

Executives from Sunwoda, one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery OEMs, share the latest updates around the company’s grid-scale, residential, and commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage system (ESS) activity.

In this interview, Terry Yuan, Overseas Sales & Marketing General Manager of Utility ESS discusses its grid-scale battery technology and BESS activities while Ben Song, General Manager of Residential and C&I ESS, discusses the residential and C&I segment.

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Grid-scale segment What does Sunwoda do, and could you introduce its industry background to those not yet familiar with it?  

Terry Yuan: First of all, Sunwoda is a leading new energy technology company focused on the research, development, production, and sales of various types of batteries and energy storage systems. Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, our products have been proven first-class for over 27 years, covering consumer electronics, industrial applications, and new energy fields, particularly excelling in energy storage batteries. Big companies such as Apple and Volkswagen, are all our strategic partners.

The industry background is very promising at the moment. As the global demand for renewable energy keeps rising, energy storage technology is becoming more crucial. In Europe especially, the energy storage market is growing very rapidly. Market research reports predict that by 2030, the European energy storage market will be worth tens of billions of euros. This growth is mainly driven by supportive policies, a higher share of renewable energy, and the need for grid stability.

Many people might also be curious about what important role energy storage systems play in power systems, and where is the benefit.

Well, first, they help balance the grid load and reduce peak load pressure, which cuts down the cost of expanding the grid.

Second, energy storage systems can store extra renewable energy and release it when demand is high, like during the nighttime, making the most of wind and solar power and cutting down on fossil fuel use.

Plus, by relying less on traditional power plants, energy storage systems can save money for businesses and homes and provide energy independence, especially in markets where energy prices fluctuate a lot.

Also, I am very happy to see Europe is pushing renewable energy policies, like Germany’s Energiewende and the European Green Deal, which strongly support the growth of the energy storage market. Residential and commercial energy storage systems are now the main drivers of this growth.

In this context, energy storage solutions aren’t just for big companies and grid operators anymore; more and more small and medium-sized businesses, as well as homeowners, are adopting these systems to better manage energy and save costs.

To embrace the new demand from the European energy storage market, we have crafted a strong R&D team dedicated to continuously improving battery energy density, cycle life, and safety performance. To have full control of quality and pricing, we believe in the self-development of our own high-performance battery cells.

We don’t want to purchase cells from others and integrate them because with this we would lose our control of battery performance. Therefore, we are investing over US$400 million, annually, in the research and development of new products and safety compliance, and this amount is increasing every year, far exceeding that of most battery manufacturers in the industry.

Sunwoda has been using our own cells for over 27 years, and this strategy enables us to work with Apple, Huawei, Amazon, and Volkswagen to provide batteries for these global firms.

In the meantime, Sunwoda now has 13 global advanced production bases worldwide, and one more in Europe is in the construction process right now, just to ensure stable supply and reliable quality to quickly respond to market demands.

Another important point is we offer customised energy storage solutions based on the diverse needs of our customers, covering all application scenarios from residential to large-scale industrial energy storage. If you want to use SMA inverters, good. If you want to use Ingeteam inverters, done. PE? Too easy. Sunwoda’s flexible solution has matched all top-tier AC side providers, which leaves developers with no worries in designing the systems.

In summary, Sunwoda not only has significant advantages in technology and production but also plays an important role in the booming global energy storage market. We look forward to cooperating with more European customers to jointly promote the future of sustainable energy.

How much of your business is in China and how much is overseas?  

Well, as a globally responsible company, Sunwoda has a strong presence both in China and internationally. About 60% of our business operations and sales are in China, where we’ve built strong partnerships with, and are trusted by leading local companies and continue to grow significantly in areas like consumer electronics, EV batteries, and the energy storage market.

And the remaining 40% of our business is conducted overseas. We have a good international footprint, with a growing market presence in regions such as Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Australia. Our international business is expanding rapidly, especially in the energy storage sector, where the demand for renewable energy solutions is rising.

In the European market, the energy storage sector is really taking off thanks to supportive policies and a big push towards renewable energy. Our BESS solutions have been well-received, and we’re constantly working on growing our market share in the region. We’ve also formed strategic partnerships with key industry players which helps us navigate and meet the different regulatory and market demands across various countries.

Can you introduce the company’s latest C&I and utility energy storage products, technologies, and application cases? 

Certainly, I am pleased to introduce Sunwoda’s latest commercial and industrial (C&I) as well as utility energy storage products, technologies, and application cases.

For C&I applications, I would recommend the Sunwoda NoahX liquid cooling Cabinet Battery Series. Our 344kWh and 417kWh battery cabinet utilise high-efficiency LFP batteries, which offer high safety, long lifespan, and fast charging capabilities, maximum charging and discharging rate can reach 1C. This system helps businesses optimise energy management, reduce electricity costs, and provide backup power during unexpected outages.

Also, this system features a modular design, allowing customers to flexibly expand capacity based on actual needs. Whether for small to medium-sized enterprises or large industrial facilities, we offer suitable solutions.

The very recent project using this series is a 46MWh Wind + BESS project, located in Stockholm, Sweden. This project is owned by a German investment group and is meant to be North Europe’s First and largest 1c Wind + BESS project, designed for the European FRR market. We worked with Ingeteam for this project and used our 344kWh liquid-cooling cabinet battery.

For big projects, the Sunwoda NoahX Liquid-Cooling Container Battery Series is very popular. This series is our flagship product designed for utility-scale energy storage, primarily used for large-scale grid regulation, frequency response, and peak shaving. The latest container battery includes 5,015kWh, 4,179kWh, and 2,752kWh capacity per unit, using our self-manufactured 314Ah and 280Ah cell.

Our big BESS also offers high reliability and safety, capable of stable operation under extreme conditions, and complies with international standards and various national regulations.

For example, a 12MWh AC-coupled utility scale project which will be delivered in New South Wales, Australia, is using four units of our 2,752kWh battery containers, and we worked with SMA PCS for this project. Australia has a very strict regulation on design, and our customers are very satisfied with our product quality, service, and commitment to offering trustworthy products.

Residential and C&I segment

What are the competitive advantages you are bringing to your overseas expansion?

Ben Song: We are the global top 10 battery manufacturer with 27 years of devotion to this industry. Our advantages are in various areas, that include:

  1. Vertical integration to the mining, refining, and battery cell production 
  1. Extensive battery cell R&D investment, ranked top 2 in China, top 5 in the world 
  1. Equivalent performance of battery cell to the global top 2 players, competitive price in terms of the system integration 
  1. Various solutions in terms of various scenarios including Network energy, residential, Commercial and Industrial, Utility, and Smart Energy (System Integration of PV, hydro, wind turbine, and storage) 

What is your approach to selling energy storage systems to the overseas market? 

We’ll sell energy storage systems under the brand of Sunwoda Energy. Meanwhile working with our strategic partnership across various industries such as PV, consumer electronics, and EV industries, we’ll help billions of Sunwoda’s users to recognise that Sunwoda has powered their lives for many years, and will continue to empower their life in future.

What is your latest ESS innovation for residential and commercial use? 

For the residential products, we have launched our all-in-one system with a DC-coupled solution, named as SUNESS-Power. We have offered our cutting-edge solution, targeting to provide the Ecosystem from PV+storage to PV+Storage+EV.

For our latest C&I products, we’ll provide a unique turnkey solution with one CP feature, which will help our customers to reduce the system cost significantly, meanwhile satisfying various load configurations.

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