France-based FHE Group has developed a residential thermochemical energy storage system that can be coupled with solar power generation to provide space heating and hot water to a household.
“Our storage system can ensure a solar self-consumption rate of 100%,” the company's CEO and founder, Jonathan Laloum, told pv magazine. “It is compatible with all heating and hot water networks and the links are made by simple hydraulic connections.”
Called Inelio, the device consists of a solid-gas sorption system based on adsorption and thermochemical processes. This kind of system utilizes an evaporator/condenser, a refrigerant fluid that changes state by condensing or vaporizing, and a reactor/adsorber. The latter is an active solid material that is able to adsorb and desorb the gaseous refrigerant to generate heat and regenerate the system, respectively. “As these two phases are not simultaneous, these technologies intrinsically adapt to a storage application with the ability to produce heat and cold on demand,” Laloum explained.
The storage system is able to store excess solar electricity in the form of heat during the day and to release it when the sun is not shining for space heating or domestic hot water. “This product can be easily combined with our Inelio Dynamic heat pump and enable 100% of solar self-consumption,” Laloum emphasized, noting that the company's heat pump series comprises products ranging in size from 8 to 16 kW.
The storage system has an output of 2.5 kW and a storage capacity of 2.5 kWh. It measures 1450x760x286mm and weighs in at 95 kg. According to the manufacturer, the storage device can retain over 95% of its initial performance after 20,000 cycles.
The system is offered with a 2o-year product guarantee and is developed in Perpignan, southern France, where the company is headquartered. “Our production is located in Kénitra, Morocco, with a capacity of 12,000 units per year,” Laloum added.
The system is sold at €7,500 in France. “This allows rapid and risk-free returns on investment given the 20-year performance and hardware warranty,” Laloum concluded. “After its launch, Inelio has been a real success, we have already equipped 400 homes in three months and our order books for the first half of 2022 are full.”
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