In the age of digital technology, breakthroughs create demand for even more innovation. In the case of residential solar power, customers now need a way to safely and efficiently store the power generated from the panels on their roof.
In May, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Empower Micro Systems announced the launch of its Genesys 8K modular smart home-energy platform. The system is designed specifically for residential solar, energy storage and unified solar-plus-energy-storage installations. The concept arose from the need to provide a simpler, unified solar-plus-energy storage system that can be installed in an increasingly broad and diverse industry, which includes roofers, home security specialists, electricians and HVAC service providers.
According to Empower, each residential solar-plus-storage installation typically needs a different set of power electronics components to work properly, and solar and storage equipment distributors and installers are required to keep different types of units on hand. The modular platform’s turnkey design is intended to set a new industry standard for simplicity of logistics and ease of installation by containing only two components, or stock keeping units (SKUs), for residential installations. These are the 8K PowerBridge, a module-level fractal inverter, and the 8K PowerHub, a smart energy combiner.
Empower said this is a fourfold reduction in the typical number of components offered by manufacturers. The company explains that, by offering this flexible and streamlined architecture, the product will dramatically reduce distributor inventory and logistics costs and speed up installation.
An analysis by GreenTech Media Research predicts the Genesys 8K will enable homeowners and installers to avoid the need for different inverters for solar and storage modules or the need to buy an inverter with a battery already integrated into it. Besides combining module strings, the new product performs grid safety functions, including abnormal voltage and frequency detection. Empower is licensing its patented technology to inverter, photovoltaic module, and lithium-ion battery module manufacturers.