Highlights from This Episode:
Flashback to Anaheim
What was exciting
As we look back on the biggest trade show of the year, Tiernay and Aaron highlight a few key takeaways that stood out at RE+ in Anaheim. First and foremost, the new types of energy solutions really caught their eye. Everything from “small portable solutions and larger residential-focused or residential-oriented solutions on up through C&I and large-scale utility solutions”. RE+ had it all!
Mods, Mods, Mods
While there was a lot of talk about new technologies, PV modules were at the top of everyone’s minds. Tiernay talks about how excited we all are to “see module manufacturers coming back with plans for the future now that there’s a lot of IRA funds floating around.” And since the IRA has provisions for tax credits on domestically made modules, the potential for more American made products is on the horizon, perhaps as early as 2024.
The Direction of Energy Storage: A Conversation with Jordan Pacheco (06:29)
And of course, energy storage is the cherry on top. For a flashback on the storage solutions at RE+, Aaron sat down with Jordan Pacheco, the Vendor Relationships Manager for BayWa r.e. in the Americas:
We “saw so many storage options from so many [brands] that normally you wouldn’t see,” said Jordan. “There is a robust amount of offerings across the industry right now.” From companies like Energizer to Kohler, many new companies are jumping into ESS.
The real question is about supply, though. “There is a finite amount of lithium-ion cell production available,” said Jordan. “So, it’s going to be interesting to see which energy storage companies can secure their volumes going forward.” This all comes down to vertical integration within a company – a manufacturer is much more likely to have reliable supply if they have direct access to storage cells. “So, a parent company with a subsidiary that now makes ESS [can be a large] distributor of lithium cells as well.”
Vendor Relationships Manager, BayWa r.e. Solar Trade Americas
Our featured guest on Solar Tech Talk: Episode 14 is Duracell Power Center, the newly emerged energy storage branch of household brand name Duracell. Aaron and Tiernay sit down with Aaron Wright and Gabriel Williams to learn about their all-inclusive system and why installers are latching on to this innovative new offering.
Aaron Wright, Training and development Manager at Duracell Power Center
Entering the Home Storage Market (11:51)
First and foremost, Tiernay and Aaron asked why Duracell has added an energy storage approach to their overall brand strategy. “When we launched, we really wanted to bring a brand to market that consumers know and really change the way that solar is being presented to homeowners,” says Gabriel. “We have the complete ecosystem of products which consists of micro inverters, energy storage, and EV chargers with a fully customizable and modular solution to really simplify it for both the consumer and the installer.” The goal for Duracell Power Center is to improve the installation experience and the homeowner experience.
So, What Does That Look Like? (12:59)
For Duracell, making an appealing product for both installers and homeowners means allowing for system enhancements in a way many other brands do not. Gabriel explains: “We’ve implemented a trunk cabling system that allows everything to have precut segments completely plug and play, reducing the cost of installation by 5-10% on the roof because there’s no cutting required when installing our microinverters. And with our ESS system, it’s a very simple AC coupled solution with multiple options.”
Those ESS options come in 5kw and 10kw that hang easily on a rack on the wall – a flexible solution for designers, purchasers, and installers. And the perhaps the best part is that it comes all in one SKU. That means no shopping around for matching components and no waiting on other parts to arrive – it all comes together, ready to install.
For homeowners, the system has the helpful ability to grow their storage system as their home grows in energy use. “We have a really unique ability to increase the capacity of our system in 14kwh increments,” Gabriel shared. “So going from 14 to 28 to 42kwh on a single power electronics board.” This also means that installers can come back to homeowners and make another sale when the home is in need of more storage.
The Duracell Power Center Certified Installer Program (19:00)
One of the best parts of the Duracell Power Center experience for installers is the continued support for design and install. Each customer gets a dedicated technical resource person from the Duracell team. Together, they walk through the ins and outs of designing a system via online trainings and meetings and Duracell supports any adjustments required by the AHJ to meet code. But, unique to Duracell, they also show up in person to help with installation support! This means a trainer from Duracell Power Center comes out to support the job site work alongside the installation team for their first install and makes sure they truly understand how to optimize the products.
“We want to make sure that [installers] are confident and that they’re ready for the 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 12th install.”
Saving Install Time with Microinverters (25:10)
When it comes to microinverters, Duracell Power Center has again made ease of install a priority, by building inverters that “are designed to both work with the Power Center solution and independently.” The company’s three options:
- Single – 50-watt AC: One microinverter to one module
- Dual – 700-watt AC: One microinverter to two modules
- Quad – 1500-watt AC: One microinverter to four modules
All of these microinverters “can be fully mixed and matched and configured however [the installer] sees the best fit within their array,” said Gabriel. This flexibility allows for multiple design variations to accommodate any roof type. Pairing the microinverters with Duracell Power Center’s precut front cabling in 2 meter or 4 meter segments also allows the full system to be completely plug and play.
And there is more on the horizon for Duracell Power Center. Watch or listen to the webinar to get more in-depth information on the topics above and to learn about their new products launching in 2023.
BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC supplies residential and commercial solar installers in the United States with quality solar + storage components, forecasting, business planning advice, and a community of experts. Visit www.solar-distribution.com to read our industry insights articles and stream our Solar Tech Talk and Solar Town Hall podcasts on YouTube and Spotify. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to stay connected. Ask us about our Split Pay financing program and use our industry-leading Webstore to save time, get gear shipped, and get jobs done! Part of the BayWa r.e. Global family of renewable energy companies.