A new hybrid solar storage system designed for homeowners will be available to Australians in January next year . Developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Sydney-based startup Evergen, the system includes lithium-ion batteries for storage, solar panels and a micro building management system that will operate a home’s electricity draw based on a sophisticated algorithm.
The system will draw energy from either the batteries, solar panels or grid power, depending on the weather, electricity tariffs and, ultimately, what is likely to save the occupant’s money. In short, the technology means that residents can store excess power, to offset peak load, for night-time use or to possibly even take a household off the grid.
The power usage and weather analysis happen remotely, and CSIRO is able to update and utilise the algorithms to optimise the system’s efficiency. In theory, says the CSIRO, the algorithm technology could also have the capability to support analysis for several houses or a block of flats as an integrated unit.
While the Evergen system is by no means the first hybrid solar system in use, the CSIRO has made every effort to simplify the technology and make it attractive to homeowners, who may otherwise be put off by the technical sophistication of hybrid solar. It is basically a plug-and-play system that can be connected to a home and grid in a single day. An app will allow homeowners to see how much money they are saving, and will also provide information on the weather, installation updates and current power usage. Currently, there are around 40 of the systems running in Australia. Evergen is looking for a limited number of homeowners as part of an early release programme, before a second-stage release in January next year.