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The Mercedes-Benz of batteries

Vivint Solar is a Utah-based company that provides homeowners with simple and affordable clean energy. So, what’s different about them and the hordes of other companies doing the same thing? A Mercedes-Benz Lithium Ion battery home energy storage solution.

Mercedes-Benz makes batteries? Not unlike Tesla Motors, Mercedes-Benz sees the synergy for batteries in automobiles as well as in the home that uses alternative means of renewable energy—in this case with solar energy.

(Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

(Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

Vivint supplies the solar panels, just as Solar City does, and takes care of all the installation and maintenance for the home. By using the Mercedes-Benz home storage battery, the size of a mini-refrigerator, the homeowner can put their solar power to work lowering their electric bill as well as supplying a steady source of electricity during power failures.

The Vivint/Mercedes-Benz team will be bringing this combination to the USA to begin efforts of a sustainable energy future. Mercedes had already been supplying batteries to Europe and South Africa.

The Mercedes-Benz Energy Storage Grid is a proprietary energy management solution. Large-scale Mercedes-Benz energy storage systems are comprised of new lithium-ion batteries that are presently used in energy storage systems and are individually scalable up to 100 MWh. They are virtually identical to the batteries used in cars. (Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

The Mercedes-Benz Energy Storage Grid is a proprietary energy management solution. Large-scale Mercedes-Benz energy storage systems are comprised of new lithium-ion batteries that are presently used in energy storage systems and are individually scalable up to 100 MWh. They are virtually identical to the batteries used in cars. (Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

The Mercedes-Benz batteries were developed for demanding electromobility applications employ the most stringent safety and quality standards imposed by the automotive sector. The batteries offer the homeowner an attractive purchase price thanks to economies of scale in automobiles. After all, the batteries for automotive and stationary use are manufactured by ACCUMOTIVE on the same production line at Daimler’s Kamenz site.

These battery modules have an energy content of 2.5 kilowatt hours (private) and 5.9 kilowatt hours (industrial). For use in the private sector, up to eight battery modules can be combined to produce an energy storage plant with a capacity of 20 kilowatt-hours—that can power a refrigerator for a week. The systems are fully scalable to requirements for commercial and industrial use as well.

Check out this video with some really interesting possibilities using this technology:

This EV/Home Solar combination of efforts makes electric vehicle manufacturers more environmentally friendly to buyers and will help grow the Home Solar market as well. This, coupled with the lower-priced electric vehicles on the way, will certainly accelerate the EV industry going forward as well as solar-powered homes. This is in spite of where I live in Arizona, and also in Indiana and some other states that are unfortunately reducing incentives for solar. Renewable energy can’t be stopped; it’s inevitably gaining momentum. It’s not just about the electric vehicle, but the whole support infrastructure as well.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts and ideas with our readers and start a spirited discussion.

5 comments on “The Mercedes-Benz of batteries

  1. D Feucht
    May 22, 2017

    Lithium-ion batteries are fairly optimal for mobile use such as in cell phones or vehicles, but are highly suboptimal for stationary off-grid energy systems. The clear optimal choice for a residence or business is Nickel-Iron batteries. They last for a human lifetime of charge-discharge cycles (Changhong gives them a 30 year spec) are capable of extreme overcharge and undercharge without appeciable reduction in cycle life, and cost less than twice as much as lead-acid batteries.

    So why are they not commonly used in America? They were made by the T.A. Edison battery company, but when the Edison conglomerate was broken up, Saft, a lead-acid battery company, bought the NiFe battery works and discontinued the NiFe battery line. There is no battery business like repeat sales! Nowadays, there are at least three NiFe battery manufacturers in China, the leading one being the Changhong battery company, a company with a sterling reputation for which I can personally vouch. Changhong batteries are imported to America, relabeled and marked up significantly in price.

    Your best option is to form a group of those who want NiFe batteries, pool your money (about $110k) and buy and import a container-load of them directly from Changhong. As the word about NiFe batteries spread, you might even find yourself in the distribution business. Somebody in N. America needs to be.

     

  2. Steve Taranovich
    May 23, 2017

    @D Feucht—thanks for you valid commentary. All good points.

    I think that Mercedes-Benz is trying to leverage their EV batteries for stationary off-grid apps to take advantage of economy of scale

  3. AWW
    May 25, 2017

    I agree with your comments about NiFe batteries.  The one big drawback of the NiFe battery is the poor Charge/Discharge efficiency.  One spec. I read stated that the Charge/Discharge efficiency was in the range of 65% whereas the Lithium Ion battery was 80% to 90%.  I have not done any economic calculations but taking into account the shorter life (charge cycles) and higher cost of the Lithium-ion batteries, the cost of the poor efficiency is has to play a significant roll in using the NiFe technology.  It would certainly be interesting to see a complete analysis.

  4. will-onit
    May 27, 2017

    I'm glad that Mercedes is attempting to get into the territory that Tesla is dominating right now.  I'd say that they should work on getting their cars up to speed with the new P100 that's smoking the competition.  Interesting article nonetheless. 

  5. johnmn
    May 31, 2017

    I knew they would be the one to jump on that tron design their so innovativeee

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