Korean industrial giant LG Chem has expanded its range of lithium-ion residential batteries in the Australian market with new low-voltage and high-voltage variants.

The new RESU low-voltage (48-volt) models can generate between 3.3 and 9.8kWh and between 7 and 9.8kWh in the high-voltage (400-volt) variation.

The high-voltage models provide a variety of inverters to convert solar DC into AC. The move into high-voltage systems is driven by the trend of developing new inverters in high-voltage area across LG Chem’s partners, the company said.

“Although the move to introduce low and high-volt variants was driven by inverter manufacturers/suppliers, it was done with consumers in mind,” said LG Chem Australian business development manager Changhwan Choi.

“Manufacturers are continually trying to find new solutions to enhance the efficiency of systems and reduce the overall cost. The main difference between low-volt and high-volt is that home storage systems using low-volt batteries will see the battery cost decreases while the overall system integration cost increases, and vice versa for high-volt. Skillful installers will consider the PV generation and load profile of an individual to choose the perfect combination, whether low or high-volt.”

The models are smaller and lighter than previous models and suitable for outdoor installation.

“Typically, PV inverters are installed in a garage or basement, but depending on the region if the location is too small the previous model was sometimes restricted due to temperature, water/rain and dust,” said Choi. “The introduction of the outdoor solution will open the door for a greater number of consumers to take up solar and storage systems.”

The company expects compact size and lightness will lead to cost reductions in the installation process. The RESU3.3 weighs 31kg and is the size of a standard computer, Choi said, “meaning it can be easily installed by one person”.

In the short-term Choi said he expects the residential market will see significant growth as storage becomes “more or less a consumer device”, especially as electricity prices continue to increase and incentives phase out. “In the long-term the commercial market will also see significant growth,” he said.

The modular design of the new RESU models brings heightened flexibility, Choi said. “If a user chooses to expand its photovoltaic system, the capacity of the storage system can also be adjusted accordingly.”

With the expansion kit RESU Plus, it is possible to combine two RESUs within the low-voltage class together. The range of capacity thus moves in the low-voltage range from 3.3 to 19.6kWh. All models are available in silver and champagne gold.

The launch of the new RESU series in the Australian market comes after strong momentum in Germany where the LG Chem RESU series won the ESS award 2016 at Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, for its innovation and design.


Image courtesy of Intersolar Europe 2015