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Mercedes-Benz Home Battery Challenges Tesla’s Powerwall

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mercedes-benz-energy-storage-batteryDaimler, the company that provides batteries for the electric and hybrid vehicles of Mercedes-Benz, is taking on Tesla in developing energy storage systems for homes and businesses.

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

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Read the 4 previous comments – all good. BUT, if I can run a ‘self-contained’ Motor Home, on ‘conventional’ 12VDC, that’s NOT using Solar, WHY can’t I run a “bricks n mortar” home on 12VDC/Solar with a Diesel GENERATOR for occasional backup?.

    That means:
    1) converting everything from AC to DC; which means
    2) leaving Solar DC, I.L.O. antiquated AC; and then
    3) designing a combination veggie fueled diesel/battery ‘assist/backup’; all while
    4) leaving the AC grid intact (as a fail-safe).

    The story of kWh’s can be rewritten. What does it mean that your appliances are plugged into an AC outlet, while the appliance only uses 9-16vdc? This is the new millennium gentlemen: We now produce light WITHOUT HEAT. Heat IS energy. We’ve known how to transfer/multiply light without heat and loss of lums since the 1960’s. But electricity and gasoline was so cheap, why bother. Well, now is the time.

    WHAT WOULD NIKOLA TESLA DO? Remember, he had none of the technology from 1947

  2. Storage based PV systems have been around for over two decades. This is nothing new. Are you aware that the Lithium Ion battery that has bee in the news can only output up to 2,000 watts of continuous power? That’s not much more than a single hair dryer set on high.

    What good is having a residential solar storage system if your continuous power output is limited by your lithium battery’s chemistry and you’re still using the lower efficiency, single sided, glass on plastic, aluminum framed solar panels that most of the solar leasing companies are offering ?

    A far better alternative would be to connect your home to a lower cost bifacial solar powered LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery storage system.

    LiFePO storage batteries offers longer lifetimes, better power density (the rate that energy can be drawn from them) and are inherently safer.

    Hyper X 2 bifacial, (double sided) glass on glass, frameless, solar panels offer up to 22.2% efficiency, a 94.3% PTC to STC performance ratio, a -0.28%/degree C temperature coefficient for better performance in warm/hot climates. And a minus 60 degree C extreme cold temperature rating ?

    The new 300 Watt, 60 cell solar panels that are used in these systems offers a better PTC to STC ratio “Real World” performance according to the California Energy Commission’s performance rating listings than over 119 of SunPower’s solar panel models. Shop before you invest in a PV storage system.

    • Easy to say “you’re stupid for not using the best available technologies” without considering the economics involved. When I buy a new laptop, I get one that was the best available 6 months ago for $500, instead of the latest and greatest for $1,200.
      I bought my first PV panels 26 years ago and have been in the business for the last 20. I’ll get the 19% efficiency panels (for my clients) for $0.45/Watt, rather than the newest 23% panels for $2.30/Watt.
      But thanks for wasting your money in order to keep my costs so low !

  3. Germany figured out some time ago they could not depend on Russian natural gas and that coal was killing them off early; so, now they have a nationwide effort to develop renewable energy. In fact they are eating our lunch on the amount of progress they are making. We are still trying to get by the oil-funded, Republican climate deniers we so smartly elected to Congress.

    • That is because Germany missed out on the Nuclear revolution that happened in nearby France, where they have had reliable power with lower carbon emissions for decades.

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