Introducing Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
Batteries have been in use for a rather long time both in standalone off-grid setups and in backup power systems. In recent years, however, there has been a significant surge in the popularity of domestic energy storage systems. One of the main drivers behind this trend is the desire for energy security.
Lithium-ion batteries, now recently being offered as 'energy storage systems' or ESS, that is, with advanced features and supporting components that may or may not include a hybrid inverter, MPPT capabilities and a battery management unit, and in 'modular' designs that make them easy to install and used as plug-and-play devices, have grown in popularity over the years. One of the many reasons for this includes the increase in research efforts. For instance, the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for research in Lithium-ion battery technology. Also, the success of the Powerwall and the electric vehicle industry has had a profound effect on the ESS market especially. While lithium-based battery cell technologies are still the costliest of the existing battery technologies, production costs are being driven down by optimal manufacturing processes to meet the boom in demand and more competition that has driven major players in the solar industry into the energy storage segment of the market.
The makers of Q.HOME ESS, the Q HOME, Hanwha Q Cells, is a German company wholly-owned by the South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, with headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. It was founded in 1999 in Germany in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. After being hit hard by the Great Recession of 2008 and the global crash of the solar cell market in 2011, and following significant loses, on April 3, 2011, Q CELLS filed for insolvency. In August 2012, it was sold to the Korean conglomerate, Hanwha Solutions. Shortly after acquiring Q-Cells, Hanwha Solutions also acquired Solarfun, a Chinese panel manufacturer. After this acquisition and merger, the new solar business became 'Hanwha Solar One'. In 2012, Hanwha Group launched the 'Hanwha Q CELLS' brand. In 2020, it rebranded to 'Q CELLS'.
Q CELLS is a globally recognized leader in the production of high-performance and high-quality solar cells and modules. With headquarters in Seoul, South Korea (Global Executive HQ) and Thalheim, Germany (Technology & Innovation HQ), as well as manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Malaysia, China, and South Korea, Q CELLS has established itself as one of the largest photovoltaic manufacturers worldwide.
Q CELLS offers a comprehensive range of photovoltaic products, applications, and solutions, catering to various needs in the solar energy industry. From individual cells and modules to complete kits and systems, and even large-scale solar power plants, Qcells covers the full spectrum of solar power solutions.
Q CELLS' dedication to innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction has solidified its reputation as a trusted provider of solar energy solutions worldwide.
The Q.HOME ESS
Q CELLS sells their ESS systems as the 'Q.HOME'. The first of the Q.HOME were the Q.HOME HYB-G1 (available only in the US) and G2 both introduced in 2018. Since then, Q CELLS has introduced the Q.HOME CORE H5S and A5S, both new and improved versions of the blue Q.HOME HYB-G2. They released the Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G3 in March 2021.
General Features of the Q.HOME
Q CELLS makes their Q.HOME ESS with the high-performance Samsung SDI, Lithium NMC (Nickel-cobalt-manganese) prismatic cells which are designed to give the battery a design life of 6000 cycles or around 15 years. They are popular in the electric vehicle industry.
2. Modular Design
The Q.HOME ESS are modular systems that allows for easy scaling of up to three batteries for more power with the same hybrid inverter and battery management system.
3. DC/AC Coupled
A Q.HOME ESS can be either DC or AC-coupled. This means that they can work with both AC-coupled and DC-coupled configurations, making them a good option for incorporating into an already existing solar panel system or to a new solar panel system.
4. Operating Temperature
The Q.HOME batteries have an operating temperature range of -10 to 45°C. This means that they may not function in very high temperatures. In short, Q CELLS states that "If the average hourly temperature of Product exceeds 50°C or less than -15°C, Q CELLS shall have the right to terminate the warranty of Product."
Q.OMMAND HOME is a monitoring mobile app and easy-to-use web portal and mobile app for the Q.HOME. It displays all the essential data, including real-time energy flow, detailed analysis, and various charts like consumption, consumption, generation feed-in and battery charging.
6. Sleek and Compact Design
The Q.HOME batteries come in a compact design that gives it a very small footprint that allows it to save wall space and an appealing aesthetic that can integrate well with home interiors. It can be installed on the floor or mounted on a wall.
Q CELLS is one of the first manufacturers to offer an extended 15-year performance warranty on the new CORE H5S and A5S ESS, beating the industry standard of 10 years. Users can expect a loss of capacity that allows a health of 60% after 15 years or
Types of Q.HOME ESS
1. The Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G2
Announced in 2018, it was Hanwha Q CELLS first entry into the ESS market. It featured a hybrid bi-directional inverter and the Q.HOME MANAGER, an energy management control platform alongside a battery system.
A single module was sized at 4.0kWh with a modular design that allows the system to be scaled up to a maximum of 20kWh with the additional of new individual modules. It was backed by a 10-year product and performance warranty. Q.CELLS has since superseded it with newer versions.
2. Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G1
Built with regulations and split-phase requirements required for installations in America and Canada, the ESS HYB-G1 is designed on the well-known Solax hybrid inverter platform and incorporates the Triple X modular battery system. It is available from 6.0kW to 8.6kW. The larger version features four MPPTs and thus, can, handle up to 10.3kW of solar. The system can be scaled up to 18.9kWh. It is offered in both DC-coupled and AC-coupled configurations and can connect up-to three batteries in series using only one inverter and the battery management system. The system includes an integrated backup power function for 100% of the rated inverter output to support critical loads in the event of a power failure and offers remote monitoring using the Q.HOME+ ESS.
3. The Q.SAVE
The Q.SAVE is Q CELLS' third-generation home battery system that was built to supersede its first ESS, the Q.HOME G2 system. It is a modular and scalable battery designed to be used alongside the Q.VOLT inverter with both forming the Q.HOME CORE. Designed for high voltage systems, the CORE can be scaled to 6.8kWh. Up to three of the higher capacity Q.SAVE batteries can be connected to provide up to 20.5kWh of storage.
The Q.VOLT hybrid inverter is rated 5kW and with a wider MPPT operating voltage range that allows it to take up to 8kW of solar input. The new inverter also features instantaneous backup with 0.1 second changeover time making it a UPS system.
Q CELLS covers both with a 15-year warranty.
4. The Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G3
The Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G3 is Q CELLS's latest and newest ESS. It was introduced in May, 2021 and is available in single and three-phase options. It combines a hybrid inverter and the third-generation of the Q.SAVE-G3 battery, pre-installed and cased inside a matebox.
It support a 150% oversizing with solar panels and is available in battery capacities of 3.1 kWh, 6.1 kWh, 9.2 kWh and 12.3 kWh. Its modular design allows for easy scaling. It is covered with a 10-year performance warranty.
Since their entrance into the ESS market, the Q.HOME systems have gained acclaim among installers, users and marketers for their sophisticated design, durability, high performance, longevity and their industry-leading warranty cover that beats the competition. While it costs above the average, they are a sure and safe investment for those who can afford them. SolarKobo is happy and confident to recommend them.