ASD unveils new hybrid battery

A new storage system developed by Germany’s ASD Automatic Storage Device promises to significantly raise a household’s degree of self-sufficiency, frequently to over 80% compared to existing batteries.

ASD says the small number of components means that its new battery system is particularly cheap to produce and supply, typically costing 20–30% less than other lithium-ion batteries on the market.

"All the existing battery systems on the market have pros and cons,” says ASD Managing Director Wolfram Walter.

"We have managed to combine all the advantages in one storage system and avoid the many disadvantages. Homeowners can therefore truly use the power generated on site entirely for themselves, which is not an option with other battery systems."

Walter adds that the new hybrid technology marks a major step "towards making battery systems more efficient, and above all more cost-effective – which is a real milestone for electricity storage."

Previously, homeowners had to choose between grid-tied and stand-alone storage systems, ASD points out. Houses with grid-connected systems draw power from the grid almost continuously, even when their batteries are fully charged. Stand-alone storage systems, on the other hand, disconnect the house completely from the public grid as soon as sufficient power is stored and then supply the home with power produced on site.

"However, these systems have one big disadvantage: if the battery no longer furnishes enough power to supply all the appliances in the home, the storage system is shut down and the house draws 100% of its electricity from the grid again," ASD notes. "Conventional stand-alone battery systems therefore only allow either fully battery-based or grid operation, but not both at the same time."

The hybrid battery system combines the operating principles and advantages of both technologies, the company explains. It works like a stand-alone system and disconnects the house from the grid for as long as its batteries are able to furnish sufficient power. The house therefore needs no further power from external supplies and operates autonomously.

When the battery capacity is insufficient, the system automatically procures the additional quantity of energy required from the power grid. "By design, the system therefore combines both energy sources and thus utilises the maximum amount of battery power directly on site," ASD says. The flow of current is regulated via a computer-controlled filter developed by ASD for the hybrid battery.

The company adds that the operating principle of its hybrid battery significantly increases a household’s degree of self-sufficiency compared to that achieved with existing systems, frequently topping 80%. "It takes less than a millisecond to switch between the two operating modes, so the changeovers are detected neither by humans nor the appliances in a system."

The battery is suitable for both AC and DC coupling, enabling more flexible planning than previous storage types, which are specifically designed for either AC or DC operation, ASD adds. The battery can be charged by PV installations, CHP plants and small wind powered generators alike.

ASD will present its new hybrid battery at the upcoming Intersolar conference and exhibition, which runs June 4-6 in Munich.