Subsequent to the successful launch of power management solutions provider Eaton Electric’s xStorage Home system in Europe, the company plans to formally introduce the system to the local market at this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa Expo 2020 (PEWA) in August.
Although Eaton Electric had planned to introduce the system on March 31, which would have been the date originally scheduled for PEWA – before the Covid-19 outbreak – it will still make its new xStorage system available to the South African market through Eaton’s selected photovoltaic (PV) suppliers.
Eaton power quality manager and xStorage Home product manager Jaco du Plooy assures Engineering News that a full launch can be expected at the PEWA event, which will now be held on August 20 to 21 at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
The xStorage system provides solar power storage using batteries and accumulates energy produced during the day to use at any time.
“This means a client can lower his or her carbon footprint at home.”
Du Plooy adds that the xStorage system is a hybrid inverter, which selects the most optimal power mix for residential houses, decreasing a homeowner’s dependency on the grid.
The system selects the mix according to electricity requirements or demand of the household on the grid and the availability of renewable energy.
Plugged in to a solar panel and municipal grid, the xStorage system helps to lower a homeowner’s carbon footprint, save money and have a back-up lithium-ion power source.
“The system charges when renewable energy is available or when electricity is cheaper. It then releases the most suitable energy when costs are high or demand is pressing,” enthuses Du Plooy.
The xStorage system can be integrated into a home network and allows for optimising a home’s energy requirements from the xStorage Home application (app). This will enable homeowners to follow the energy generation and consumption of their home and check the battery status.
“This can all be done from a phone or tablet using the app’s friendly interface,” he adds.
Further advantages of the system include savings on energy bills because more solar energy is used and cheap off-peak electricity is harvested.
It also enables homeowners to control their energy consumption by either maximising self-generated solar power or choosing when to charge from the grid based on variable pricing tariffs.
“Importantly, amid our current energy crisis, clients will have the ability to keep the lights on, should the grid fail, powering your lights and security systems,” stresses Du Plooy.
The system is set up by a certified installer, as Eaton offers all the required training to its PV suppliers to ensure that a trained installer installs the xStorage system correctly.
Installation would normally take a couple of hours; however, installation can take a day or two, should the client, for example, require solar panels with the unit.
Du Plooy concludes by noting that, once the xStorage system, including solar panels, is installed, an increased self-consumption to about 70% can be expected by clients.