The largest municipally owned utility in the United States, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, has found the FLEX Energy Storage System™ designed by SolarMax Technology to be in compliance with Electric Service Requirements. With the move, the fully integrated battery backup system becomes available for installation by over 1.4 million customers in the LADWP service area. SolarMax participated with LADWP for a utility-built project using its 5kWh turn-key solution, which features a battery, multi-mode inverter and an automatic transfer switch (ATS) all housed in one self-contained system – along with two dedicated photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Unlike other offerings on the market, the FLEX system requires no additional components or labor assembly by the customer.
LADWP inspectors and engineers ran the SolarMax through a number of charging and discharging test cycles, evaluating the performance and safety of the technology. Officials aimed to ensure the FLEX system was safe for LADWP’s workers and that there would be no electrical back feeding to the grid in the event of an outage. LADWP Senior Electrical Mechanical Supervisor David Hanson said that system components were tested and found to be compliant with NEC and LADWP interconnection requirements. “As a municipally owned utility, safety is always our first priority,” Hanson said. “We have strict requirements in place concerning interconnection with the grid and disconnection requirements during grid failure. The functionality and performance of the SolarMax solution meets those standards.”
The FLEX system can now be installed by existing solar customers within LADWP service areas by homeowners considering the value proposition of converting to solar and even non-solar customers. The product bundle supports all market segments. Customers can configure the FLEX to supply power to selected appliances and devices identified by the owner of the system as essential to back up. The FLEX lithium-ion battery cells pack plenty of electricity when fully charged – enough to continuously power a 45-watt laptop computer, two 30-watt light bulbs, a flat-screen television and an energy star refrigerator for up to 8 hours. SolarMax CEO David Hsu said, “We designed this system to give people peace of mind when blackouts occur. With the approval from LADWP, we now have the opportunity to bring that comfort and assurance to millions of people within Los Angeles and beyond.”