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German battery storage company Senec launches products in Australia

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German company Senec-IES has begun shipping its battery storage units to the fast-growing Australian storage market, with 2,000 units to be supplied in the first six months of 2017. Senec’s Australian product launch is to be held in Perth later today (Wednesday).

With some of the most attractive economics for battery systems to be added to residential and small commercial PV arrays, Australia is continuing to attract major battery suppliers.

senecLG Chem is currently the Australian distributed battery market leader, with Enphase, Tesla, Sonnen, ABB, TrinaSmart, GCL and BYD also present. Germany’s SolarWatt is expected to join the burgeoning field in the coming weeks.

Germany’s Senec is the latest to launch in the market, signing a 2,000-unit supply deal for the first six months of this year. The first shipment of Senec’s HOME Li Home Energy Storage System has arrived in Australia, with the “million dollar deal” already accounting for 40 percent of Senec’s forecast export sales for the year.

Perth-based Ian Parkinson signed the import partnership deal and will assume the role of Senec brand representative in Australia and New Zealand.

“We recognized the need for high-quality energy storage systems early on and are glad to have found a partner which combines many years of experience in this field with the quality “Made in Germany”,” Parkinson (no relation to RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson) said in a statement.

Parkinson, along with Senec representatives from Germany, will present the Senec lithium-ion residential battery system to distributors, installers, and media at an event in Perth later today. Around 100 attendees are expected.

“Australia is one of the world’s largest and one of the most recent markets for home storage systems,” said Sven Albersmeier-Braun, head of international business development at Senec.

Albersmeier-Braun will attend the launch event today and indicates that both new PV system installations and homes with existing arrays present opportunities for Senec.

“Our forecasts unmistakably point in one direction: the current base and expansion of photovoltaic plants combined with already high and continuously rising prices for energy will lead to a rapid increase in demand for power storage units in the coming years.”

Senec, based in Leipzig in eastern Germany, has grown rapidly in its domestic market since 2009, where it has a fierce rivalry with compatriot firm Sonnen. Like Sonnen, Senec has been instrumental in introducing intelligent storage systems, with its Senec.Cloud, to optimize self-consumption of PV electricity produced onsite.

Alongside this, Senec has been advancing the use of distributed storage systems for grid services, like primary reserve control or frequency regulation.

By doing so, distributed storage systems can generate an additional revenue stream, improving the economics of battery storage, particularly important in countries where there are fewer daylight hours, such as Germany.

“The units for Australia are rolling off the production line and the first systems already arrived in Perth beginning of January,” said Senec founder Mathias Hammer.

“Preorders will be accepted from now on.” Hammer notes that Senec is currently present in Austria and Italy, alongside Germany, and is looking to use its Australian operations as a basis for further internationalization.

   

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  • Mike Dill

    I wonder what their cost per kWh is?

    • john

      True cost of unit does it come with an inverter.
      Obviously Australia with it hideous cost of power has to be one of the best countries to sell battery storage.
      Besides the cost of power the very in most cases governance is also a plus .

      • Jonathan Gifford

        Hi John, the battery is AC coupled and can be used with a wide range of PV inverters. The unit does include an inverter.

    • john

      I think Redflow market plan is to recover the cost of R & R first up so it has a basis to survive.
      If it can survive past the point of outgoings against incoming then it can progressively reduce the cost of the product.
      At that point its product will become very competitive.
      I feel actually when looked at over the long term it has merit.
      If they could improve the round trip efficiency from 80% upwards they would be even more in the picture now.

      • Mike Dill

        The Tesla PowerWall is down below AU$0.32 per warranted kWh. Redflow is currently at about twice that. I hope they can make it as the flow technology is something that I would like to use if the price was right.

        • Sim

          There are 2 things that need to be taken into account with Tesla and Redflow. Redflow can draw down 100% and have a longer life cycle. True, they need to get their prices down quickly.

          • MaxG

            However… the market is so confused, which can be seen by the uptake of OLT (Old Lead Technology) how matter how new (the technology)… they may draw down to 100% DOD, but look at the size of the thing… who wants that?!

      • MaxG

        The market is unforgiving! Once their sales do not catch on, the investors pull out, and they are toast… which I predict they will be.

    • Jonathan Gifford

      HI Mike, the Senec Australia guys report that the cost of the 7.5kWh unit – which they believe will be the most common sold in Australia – will come in at $17,000 fully installed.

      • DJR96

        $17k for just 7.5kWh!!!

        That’s not even close to being competitive!

        The benchmark is $1k/kWh. Bring it in under that and you might get some interest.

    • Mike – our Battery Storage Comparison Table has the full specs (including price per warranted kWh) for the 10kWh Senec here: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/battery-storage/comparison-table/?prod=senec.home-li-10.0

      ^JW

  • Phil

    Where is Redflow ?

    • Tomfoolery

      Slowly dying. Wayy too expensive.

      • Colin Vincent

        Now I’d like to see the latest price comparisons. I am/was considering Redflow as pretty much best choice.
        My head hurts.

        • john

          Colin
          Remember that a Li Ion will degrade to 70% over ten years, then need replacing, where as you replace the fluids in a Redflow and keep the basic system.
          Look at the Round Trip Efficiency for both and do the figures over 10 years this is not a 1 year purchase keep that in mind.

          • Colin Vincent

            Some figures I’ve seen suggest, like, a 20 year payback period. So, yeah, definitely not a 1 year purchase – nor, if that is the case, a 10 year purchase. It’s the degradation of Li Ion batteries that makes Zinc Bromide the more attractive option, to me.
            Thanks john,
            My head feels a little better now. πŸ™‚

          • Colin Vincent

            Thanks to everyone for the input. πŸ™‚
            At best, or so it seems to me, the batteries would barely pay for themselves over the expected lifetime and end up being expensive decorations to the house.
            Bit like my solar panels, since the useless Government decided to reduce the FIT to almost nothing.
            I’m considering a more cost-effective approach might be to install an air- con/heat-pump system and use it during the days we’re producing solar power.
            Idk.. No idea, unless things dramatically improve in the next 12 months.

        • Colin – you can compare prices on our battery storage comparison table here: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/battery-storage/comparison-table/

          ^JW

        • Phil

          According to Redflow the membrane and fluid needs to be replaced at the end of life. The cost is around 50% of the total Battery cost

          You would also have to take into account the MTBF ( mean time between failure) of the control and power electronics and circulation pumps. They may need replacing too as they would have to last 20 years in total to get through the 2nd lifecycle (10 + 10) if not replaced

          You would also have to ask yourself……

          1) Is this technology still cost effective after 10 years .

          2) Is the company still in business supplying the bespoke items ?

          • MaxG

            Good points!
            All I have is a bunch of LiFePO4 batteries… when they are dead, they will be replaced — at by then minimal cost … I bet my Selectronic inverter charger will still go strong by then… so will be my panels.

          • Phil

            Yes Selectronic look to be well made. And the price reflects that !
            Would not surprise me if 15-20 years a typical lifespan if kept under 30 degrees most of the time.

            My $500 “yum cha china ” 12v 3/9kw inverter often runs 70% load for long periods during the day and it’s still going strong after 4 years of use.

          • MaxG

            Forget the 30 degrees; the fan only comes on past 60… these things are build in Australia for Australia!

          • Roger Brown

            The fluid can be reused after filtering and put back in . The whole unit , pumps and electronics etc etc are guaranteed for 10 yrs / 36,500 cycles.

      • john

        Actually not so considering you can refresh the battery for minimum cost by replacing the fluid against the total replacement of a Li Ion it is in the market now.

      • Miles Harding

        Redflow’s place may not be in domestic storage, but at a community level, where kWh (electrolyte) storage is very low compared to the flow cell (liquid fuel cell) cost.

        • Tomfoolery

          Agreed. Does anybody know if they have won any contracts on this scale or perhaps utility scale with a wind or solar project?

    • Roger Brown

      Moving to Malaysia , to chase the 270,000 phone towers , with aging old lead batteries and install their Redflow battery set up. They have moved out of Flex and have taken their production line to Asia . Lowering costs and more sales in Asia . Share price has got a hammering πŸ™

  • George Darroch

    Good to have another credible battery supplier in the market. Competition will bring prices down and drive penetration of the residential and commercial markets.

  • We’ve noted the launch of Senec in Australia and so updated Battery Finder to reflect this. More information is provided here:
    http://www.batterystorage.info/articles/2017/01/senec-home-li-battery-is-now-available-in-australia/

  • Miles Harding

    How is this saleable in Australia?

    7.5Kwh for $17,000 is 4 times as expensive as a Powerwall2, at $8,00AUD for 14kwh useable capacity.