As we keep bumping along toward a smarter, more connected grid, large-scale battery systems are becoming an increasingly important part of stabilizing the delivery of electricity. Especially as more renewable sources of energy are added to the power mix, back-up power storage will be necessary to smooth out the gaps in power generation from things like wind and solar power.
Yet, just as the grid is becoming smarter and more connected, so are our homes and back-power there would be just as beneficial. To that end, Toshiba is releasing a home battery system called enerGoon in Japan that can power a home's refrigerator, TV, PC, and lights for 12 hours on a full charge.
In Japan, the need for such back-up power is more urgent as the country transitions off of nuclear power, power outages have become common. But Japan has also seen a large increase in residential solar power generation and battery systems and solar are real winning combination. As the solar panels generate energy during the day, any excess energy not used by the home can be stored for use at night,on rainy days or during times of power outages so that clean energy is used more often.
Recharging of the Toshiba battery takes about five hours, though there is a rapid charge option that takes only two hours. Phys.org reports, "The output power of the eneGoon is 3.0kVA, which Toshiba claims is the highest output power of a home-use electricity storage system in the industry The system's key component is Toshiba's "SCiB" lithium-ion rechargeable battery which has a capacity of 6.6kWh, considered relatively high for a home battery system."
The enerGoon goes on sale in Japan in November, but it's likely to be only one in of many similar systems that we see developed in the years ahead.