Owing to the need for instantaneous backup storage systems, industrial equipment distribution company EIE Group says the power storage market is showing good projections thus far.
“The interruptions of power supply, as result of cable theft, illegal connections, electricity tariff hikes and power generation from coal, which creates air pollution, are some of the reasons why backup power has shown steady growth in demand,” says EIE Group sales engineer Aubrey Nkadimeng.
He notes that, over the past two years, the EIE Group has been at the forefront of supplying batteries in various series, including maintenance-free, sealed valve- regulated lead-acid batteries (gel and absorbent glass mat) and vented lead-acid batteries, as well as lithium-ion batteries for the solar market.
The Sun I Power Pack Premium lithium-ion battery was developed in 2016 by renewable energy solutions provider Hoppecke and was made available in South Africa in September 2016.
“The Sun I Power Pack Premium has the highest charge efficiency, high-energy density, a high life cycle and long-life battery. This backup product addresses the need for more efficiency in the solar market,” he points out.
Nkadimeng mentions that, to date, the Sun I Power Pack is being used in residential areas in Cape Town and Nambia.
Supplying grid energy to rural areas in South Africa and Africa is expensive and using renewable energy and ensuring that it is consistent and efficient, including through the use of storage technology, is important, he says.
“Therefore, there is essentially a demand for microgrid energy in remote areas, especially for facilities like schools and clinics. A microgrid is a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid,” Nkadimeng highlights.
He further mentions that this has created a dire need for such renewable energy to be affordable.
Subsequently, the energy storage sector has seen the introduction of other technologies other than lead-acid batteries, such as lithium -ion and vanadium flow batteries, to ensure a more efficient and cost-effective storage solution.
“We are one of the few companies in South Africa that have introduced this technology with our Sun I Power Pack Premium product,” says Nkadimeng.
The company is hoping to increase its market share in the home solar power market and the larger off-grid market in rural South Africa by the end of this year.
“Currently, the Hoppecke 12 V and 6 V solar bloc batteries each have life cycles of up to 2 500 cycles at 50% depth of discharge. For larger systems, 2 V cells have been introduced and will be available with capacity from 400 Ah to 600 Ah in July this year,” he announces.