Tesla's Powerwall technology has quickly become the gold standard for large energy storage units. The company has integrated them with home solar power installations as well as major electricity grid projects, but Tesla isn't the only car company using its battery know-how to expand into home energy storage.
Daimler has announced that it has started delivering Mercedes-Benz energy storage units to homes and businesses in Germany. The units are made with the same lithium-ion battery technology that is used in Mercedes-Benz hybrid cars. Each battery pack can store 2.5 kWh of energy, but the devices can be scaled up to contain up to eight battery packs for a capacity of 20 kWh.
The units are designed to work with home solar photovoltaic units to store excess electricity generated during the day instead of feeding it back to the grid. Homeowners or businesses can then use the stored energy during times of peak demand and at night when the solar panels aren't producing electricity. Daimler says that homeowners can increase their solar power use by up to 65 percent with the energy storage units.
Much like with Tesla's Powerwall, businesses and larger industrial facilities can scale up their energy storage by using several of the units together. Mercedes-Benz is already working on three large industrial-scale projects, including one with 29 mWh of storage capacity, that will help to balance the energy loads and fluctuations in the German grid.
For smaller customers, Mercedes-Benz is offering a customized clean energy package that will include solar panels, the energy storage unit, a battery inverter and an energy management system, plus installation. The cost of the whole set up for a small home is reported to run around $10,000.
Over the next few months, Mercedes-Benz will be selling these units through Germany and expanding into elsewhere in Europe as well as the U.S. sometime this year.