Large scale lithium-ion batteries for energy storage are expected to become much more prevalent in 2012 as a result of technology advances and dropping prices. One prediction suggests that prices for lithium-Ion large format batteries will reach $600 per kWh by the end of the year with capacities exceeding a MWh. These very large batteriss are targeted at utilities and other large industrial users and generators of electric power. Now a manufacturer, Panasonic Corporation, which last year supplied a lithium-ion battery storage system for field tests in Germany, has announced that it will start mass-production of a lithium-ion battery energy storage system for homes, specifically for the European residential market.
The battery system consists of a battery cell with a capacity of up to 1.35 kWh and a battery management system designed to control battery charging and discharging. When the sun is shining the battery stores energy generated from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. At night when the PV system is not generating power, the battery provides up to a kWh of power, about enough power to keep a 100 watt bulb lit for 10 hours.
- The lithium-ion battery has a design life time of 5000 cycles.
- The battery management provides battery status information to the controller of home energy storage system, which allows users to remotely monitor the status of the system and battery.
- The system uses a lithium-ion cell that is specifically developed for an energy storage application.