Renewable energy is growing stronger by the minute, as new gigantic wind or solar farms are continuously popping-up at more and more locations. But these are not the only contributors to the production of clean power that make a difference, no. Rooftop solar, and the occasional home-based wind turbine, are becoming increasingly popular, affordable, and even fashionable, bringing clean energy to the dining table, or to the local supermarket.
As always, of course, I have to mention the big drawback of all these dream clean technologies, and that is the limited energy storage capacity, and therefore the risk of blackouts due to over or under production. Every now and then a very smart and highly innovative solution appears on the news, like the ECN Energy train, for example, but ultimately the one with the biggest and most impressive impact so far, was Tesla’s Powerwall battery.
Now, It is quite naive to think that the big guys would leave Tesla Motors take all the glory and allow Musk and co. to monopolize the market of large scale energy storage units. It was only a matter of time before another major giant brought a competitive technology to challenge Tesla’s development team. So here it is, the Mercedes-Benz home- and business-energy storage lithium-ion unit from Daimler.
The technology, which is originally developed for use in Mercedes‘s electric and hybrid vehicles, comes in two sizes: 2.5 kWh for home-use, and larger, 5.9-kWh model for businesses. The individual units can also be linked if the demand happens to be a lot larger. According to the makers, up to eight of the bigger modules can be easily linked together, and provide sufficient power supply to run large 24hr energy-demanding businesses like supermarkets, for example.
The units are already being put into use by The Mobility House and GETEC Energie, as part of their join Coulomb venture. There, 96 energy storage units are used to stabilize the grid of the German town of Kamenz, providing a combined capacity of 500kWh.
Daimler promises that by the end of the month the Mercedes-Benz energy storage units will be available to order, and they will begin shipping and distribution before the end of the year.
The technology is very comparable to what Tesla has to offer, at least in terms of storage capacity. The makers have not yet announced the price of the units, but to be very frank, I do not think they will come much cheaper or much more expensive that Tesla’s Powewall- after all, there has to be a fair competition, with a maximum profit for all parties, right?
image (c) Daimler