By Sun & Wind Energy

Storage, energy management and grid-integration are the hot topics. This showed Day One at Solar Power International in Anaheim.

The confines between producer and consumer, between off-grid and on-grid are decreasing. This became clear at Day One at SPI. “We are integrating more and more our off-grid knowledge in on-grid”, Andrew M. Zogby President of Alpha Group, the mother company of OutBack Power said. The Washington State based company introduced Skybox, a hybrid energy management and storage platform, scheduled to debute in January 2016. It is designed for compatibility with the higher-voltage storage solutions between 500 and 700 Volts.

To provide grid friendly solutions is one of the mission statements of Tabuchi. The leading Japanese inverter manufacturer is evolving more and more to a storage system provider, as U.S. Director Sales and Marketing Daniel Hall said. Through bidirectional use and easy to handle three modes switches, the consumer can avoid costly demand charges of utilities through smoothing of peaks or expensive time of use rates. “We see great interest”, Hall underlined, although most of the company`s products are still under certification for the German market.

More and more clients are using the storage systems of Japanese originated NEC grid-connected or alternatively off-grid (for example in cases of brownouts), Bob Gohn, Director Product Management said. Through its new SLD-technology NEC hopes to bring the costs of storage 30-40 percent down he stated.

Canadian based battery manufacturer Rolls focuses on product optimization and innovation. The company presents in Anaheim its AGM series of lead-acid batteries with sealed construction and a high-density paste. It is maintenance free, spill-proof and lead-proof, and faster rechargeable than previous models.

Some of the storage companies present themselves within the Energy Storage Pavilion, others as OutBack, Trojan, Saft, Panasonic or Samsung are spread across the large exhibition hall of the Convention Center Anaheim.