Chinese inverter manufacturer Growatt presented a new hybrid inverter solution that readily scales up to 300 kW for both on-grid and off-grid applications. It can be connected with up to 600 kWh of battery capacity with Growatt supplying its APX commercial battery to ensure compatibility and trouble-free O & M.
The combination of this 100 to 300 kW storage system with Growatt’s APX Commercial battery system is ideally suited to provide backup power or peak shaving to reduce user’s electricity costs. In addition, this new C & I inverter comes with grid-support functions to provide optimal integration of this distributed energy resource with the electricity grid.
Growatt’s move into larger-scale energy storage shows that the Shenzhen-based manufacturer is leveraging the technology it has developed for smaller-scale residential systems to also provide a state-of-the-art solution for large corporates and industrial users. For example, Growatt has developed battery soft-switching connection technology, providing each pack with a modular power optimizer, which enables battery packs with different capacities to be mixed in one system. Each pack can contribute power separately as needed and perform automatic balancing. This means that each battery can always be fully charged and discharged without the risk of energy mismatch.
As Zhang points out, Growatt is no longer just a solar inverter company. The company’s ambitions have become much broader to supplying a complete distributed energy ecosystem built on battery storage. This transition is well underway with the company already shipping thousands of storage-ready inverters last year, and the company expects storage-ready inverters to rapidly take up the top spot as energy storage becomes the core of Growatt’s offering, be it to residential or C & I users.
Zhang sees the adoption of e-mobility as supporting this trend. EVs are big consumers of electricity and as households and corporate users buy EVs they will want a more robust ESS to provide power to one or more electric vehicles. Being based in China, Growatt can gain valuable experience from the transition to EVs in its home market, where the electrification of transport is well underway and further than most European countries or the U.S.
Growatt has developed its own smart EV charging solution, which, when integrated in the Growatt distributed energy ecosystem, can optimize self-consumption to minimize grid charges. Zhang revealed that the manufacturer also offers a smart solution when it comes to heat pumps by coupling its GroBoost control unit with the heat pump. GroBoost can intelligently switch the power source to the solar array or APX ESS to boost self-consumption.
On the residential side, smart EV charging and GroBoost-enabled heat pumps form part of the overall GroHome smart home solution. Zhang points to the fact that Growatt already introduced GroHome in 2016 as part of its vision of the evolution of distributed energy ecosystems. Now in its second generation GroHome is also a battery-based ecosystem that can optimize self-consumption and integrate a wide range of electrical appliances with EVs and heat pumps being the most conspicuous ones.
Europe continues to be Growatt’s most important market, at least in terms of revenues. Over fifty percent of 2022 revenues were generated in Europe and the European Union’s ambitious climate goals will continue to make Europe a central market for Growatt. Production is still squarely centered in China with three factories in Huizhou and one in Vietnam. According to Zhang, Growatt can readily ramp up production capacity to meet global demand with less than six months needed to create additional capacity. This contrasts with Chinese cell and module manufacturers, who typically need a lot more time to add production capacity. In Growatt’s case we can be sure that the share of storage-ready inverters will rise and that many of these will be for corporate and industrial use as the manufacturer increasingly targets large energy users across the world.
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