Thanks Henry for the 'plug' - you're quick off the mark as we only launched PowerBanx™ (previously PowerStor™) last week.
We think there is a market for this kind of product at a fair price. Like solar, most battery systems have a 4 figure markup so we've simply chopped that right down to get to an attractive price.Never seen prices that good!
As a small business, we are able to put together the kind of system we'd like ourselves. Our CEO, Jason, installed a system in his house recently and I'm planning to do the same myself soon. A key part of that is we are keen to provide a product that suits EV owners who usually have Economy 7 and often also have solar just like us. This is one of the first products in the UK market that targets Eco 7 (though I've heard it may come soon to the Tesla Powerwall). Also it's highly modular (any size from 2.4kWh to 19.2kWh in steps of 2.4kWh). Expanding it is easy - the homeowner can do it - so you can buy a basic system now and just add extra batteries as and when you want, e.g. one per year.Feels like I need a few more PV panels to take full advantage though. Have to get the calculator out to see if economy 7 route will pay..
Thanks - yes, it annoys me how you can spend ages on the Internet looking at different sites and never actually get a price. We try to always show the price (and I think we were the first site to always include battery cost inclusive in our ZOE prices for example). In this case all our PowerBanx prices include 20% VAT and installation. It's funny how often the price is "plus installation" and that can even be 4 figures.I like that The PowerBanx prices from this site are all listed openly, e.g. the PowerBanx system with a double PylonTech US2000B battery for 4.8kWh in total costs £3199 installed including VAT. The tech specs say its a "LFP (lithium iron phosphate) cell".
For reference, that's almost the exact same price that PowerVault quoted me for their slightly smaller 4kWh Lead Acid Tubular Gel Powervault G200 (while their Lithium-ion version costs over £1000 more). Annoyingly you have to ask them for quotes.
Exactly so - all PowerBanx type systems have 20% VAT when bought separately, but if you include them as part of a solar installation then the VAT drops to 5%. Our prices show 20% VAT since our primary market is Economy 7 use or Economy 7 + solar retrofit, but later we may move into offering solar installs (in which case we'll also show the prices with 5% VAT).These prices were at 20% VAT, but apparently if you buy a PowerVault battery as part of a new solar PV installation then its only 5% VAT - which is quite a saving if you have the funds... presumably the same thing would apply to other battery brands too.
What's the power of the Inverter? A few of your competktors only do a few hundred watts!...When we launched PowerStor our expectation was that people would be interested mostly for the money saving - and let's be honest, it's not a huge moneyspinner when electricity is only, say, 10p per kWh. It's going to have a similar time to pay off as a solar array, say 7-12 years.
However, it can also work as a home backup system in case of a power cut and the feedback we're getting is that that is really of interest to a lot of people - more than we expected. Perhaps people don't trust the grid to work as well over the next decade as they have in the past.
Anyway, although these systems don't do backup 'out of the box' it can be added relatively easily. We currently have two options:
1. Add a single socket to the PowerStor system - example price £50. This would allow you to charge your phone, led torches, that sort of thing. If you were creative you could maybe stretch an extension lead to your fridge.
2. Add an additional circuit to your house that stays live during a power cut - example price £500. This could power your fridge and freezers, and a few led floor lamps. It could probably also include your cooker (mine's gas, but won't work without electricity) and central heating (same). Interestingly, what people also put at the top of their list is the router - particularly now so many systems around the house may need an internet connection to work (e.g. intruder systems, door access systems, etc.).
I'd be interested in some feedback on these options.
Nice idea - if you can estimate the number and wattage of lights I'm sure we can work it out.Actually, assuming all LED lighting, would it be realistic to include all the house lighting circuits on the backup supply?
The power of the inverter is 3kVA (so about 2400W if we assume the home has a power factor of 0.8). So the power is pretty generous, but of course if you used most of that you would need a battery for every hour of backup you wanted. More typical, I suspect, is that you'll have a draw of about 500W and will get 4 hours backup from a small PowerBanx and 8 hours from a big one, double that if you're happy with 250W, and so on.What's the power of the Inverter? A few of your competktors only do a few hundred watts!...
We certainly would like to offer lease options, but can't do so just yet. Same for solar car ports.A few questions:
Any plans to lease the PowerBanx in the future?
Any plans to offer Solar Car ports? Does the PowerBanx have to be within the fabric of the building?
Will it work ok with a 3-phase supply?
That's our current approach for just solar, have just a single battery. Any more and you won't be able to charge them much in the depth of winter and you're likely to see them deteriorate as they'll sit mostly empty. Instead we would recommend solar plus Economy 7 - and we expect most of our EV customer base to be using Eco 7 anyway. Then you can have a much bigger battery system - you charge it from solar in the summer and solar + Eco 7 (realistically mostly Eco 7) in the winter.That's a really interesting product. You suggest that we shouldn't be getting a battery bigger than the daily kWh generated in winter, but in December (and this January) we probably only average 1.5kWh generated. In the summer it's obviously a lot more (June last year was 490kWh => 16.3 kWh). I guess that means that without E7 this is not going to be used enough in winter to be worthwhile.
Yes. If you had solar you would ideally set your car to charge at low power to match the inverter output (I know my i3 can do this) or you would use a granny cable. If you don't have solar then you would charge your car from Eco 7 at night in parallel with but independently of the battery.If I understand the answer to Mike, the maximum power output from this system would be ~3kW - does that mean that to charge an EV at 7kW we would be pulling half the power from the battery and half from the grid?
The simple answer is in the house, close to the main consumer unit. This is because it needs a sensor on your grid connection (as well as one on your incoming solar supply) so it knows when to charge and discharge.Trevor, I'm looking at a PV install on a barn roof. house is about 100 mtrs away, where would the battery be best located; house or barn?