Japanese solar inverter manufacturer Tabuchi Electric announced its entrance into the North American market this year at Intersolar NA, where it also launched its residential solar + storage solution. We connected with Daniel Hill, Tabuchi Electric Director of Sales and Marketing, to learn more. Here’s what he said.
Solar Power World: What opportunity do you see for international manufacturers in the U.S. solar market? What expertise do you bring?
Daniel Hill: Tabuchi has a strong heritage in Japan with nearly a century of experience manufacturing high quality electronics. We will continue manufacturing in Japan, but we see great opportunity in the U.S. solar + storage market. Japan was the second largest market for PV growth in 2014 and will continue to be a successful market for us. In concert, the U.S. solar market is growing at an exciting rate and our company is big enough to meet that demand now.
We’ve learned a number of valuable lessons from the Japanese market, including the importance of working with utilities. Some of the utilities in Japan started to regulate when and how much energy can be exported from solar systems. To address that challenge, we have developed a solar + storage system that can be easily manipulated to comply with utility energy standards.
SPW: What does your inverter and storage system consist of?
DH: Tabuchi’s EneTelus Intelligent Battery System (EIBS) is a grid-friendly inverter and storage system that is easy to install and delivers energy management and cost performance to solar installers and homeowners alike. The system combines a solar and storage all-in-one 3 MPPT 5.5-kW inverter with a 10-kWh lithium ion battery. When we selected a battery partner, Tabuchi tested all the top battery technologies and chose the safest and highest performing brand. The EIBS system is optimized for reliability and faster payback, as well as simple installation. It also comes with a 10-year warranty.
SPW: Why is a lithium ion battery a good choice for storage units for residential applications?
DH: The biggest advantage of our lithium ion battery is that it can be cycled 3,000 to 5,000 times over a 10-year period. Its long lifespan gives homeowners flexibility to use their system to save energy and money throughout the year. In contrast, lead-acid batteries cannot be cycled at the same rate.
SPW: How does the solution benefit homeowners?
DH: Tabuchi’s solar + storage system reliably reduces peak loads and demand charges for homeowners. If homeowners want to take advantage of time-of-use rates, they can charge their battery in the morning and then use that energy in the evening when electricity rates are high. Demand charges are commonplace for commercial buildings but are starting to be seen on the residential side too.
SPW: How does the solution benefit residential installers?
DH: Tabuchi’s system is incredibly easy to install, so installers love it. Our system is the only one on the market that’s all-in-one.