Ideal Power, which supplies its battery converters to Sharp’s Smartstorage product in the US, has launched a range of power converters that the company claims are capable of adding grid-tied storage to megawatt-scale solar power projects.
The developing economies of the world are largely located in geographical regions that have abundant renewable energy resources, be they solar, wind, hydro or in some cases geothermal, yet paradoxically at the individual and rural community level, access to energy is often a very real issue. Establishing a continuous chain of temperature controlled cold environments from the point of harvest to the marketplace and on into the home, a ‘cold chain’, is what is required in order to avoid produce spoilage and to connect farmers with higher value market options in distant urban centres or overseas.
SunPower CEO Tom Werner says that the idea of solar power users combining their systems with battery storage to become fully independent of the grid is “naïve”, echoing the views of one of SolarCity’s founders.
The emerging availability of storage and smart-grid technologies allows communities to meet their energy demands locally. As Andrew Jones of S&C Electric writes, community-owned micro-grids will become an increasingly important element of the future energy system.
After a strong showing in the energy storage segment at its European counterpart in June, Intersolar North America is following suit with a number of companies and organisations launching new products at the show.