Product News June 1, 2016

Nichicon Corporation announces the release of the first-ever hybrid residential power storage system. The company has shipped more than 30,000 of its residential power storage systems since 2012.
With an eye to the future after Japan’s feed-in tariff scheme for solar energy, NICHICON is contributing to the proliferation of power storage systems that promote residential generation and consumption of solar power-generated electricity.

Background of Development

NICHICON has manufactured and shipped more than 30,000 residential power storage systems since they were first released in the summer of 2012 in response to the rolling blackouts and energy shortages resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Classified as single-function products that convert electricity from solar power, these power storage systems have been a key market driver because they meet the needs of existing solar power system users who have purchased them with the main purpose of selling solar-generated power back to the grid.
However, because electricity selling prices are dropping year by year while electricity costs are rising, there is a growing need to generate solar power for a household’s personal consumption. It is estimated that in 2019, 10 years after the start of the surplus electricity purchase system that Japan introduced in 2009, there will be 450,000 to 570,000 users across the country that will stop selling their excess electricity back to the grid. Many residential users are thus expected to purchase a power storage system as they shift from selling electricity to producing electricity for personal consumption.

This year sees the start of new government efforts aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, such as measures for a net zero energy house (ZEH) and the installation of improved insulation in existing homes. Against this background, a subsidy system will be launched to help residential users buy power storage systems that help them produce and consume their own energy. The outlook thus calls for growing demand among new and existing home-owners who plan to install power storage systems.

In the near future, scientists predict that an earthquake along Japan’s Nankai Trough will result in widespread blackouts affecting 27 million households (according to the Central Disaster Management Council). This makes it more important than ever that home-owners disaster-proof themselves by installing solar power and power storage systems.

In response to these changing situations and growing needs, NICHICON is releasing the ESS-H1L1 high-capacity, high-output hybrid power storage system, a global flagship model that offers plentiful, speedy solar power generation for electricity that can meet almost an entire household’s power backup needs, be it for use at night or during unexpected blackouts.

Product Features

Stores Plenty of Solar-Generated Electricity to Meet a Household’s Entire Backup Power Needs
Contributes to Power Self-Sufficiency

In conventional single-function products, direct current (DC) electricity from solar cells is converted into alternating current (AC) by a photovoltaic power conditioner. But for this electricity to be stored in a storage battery, it must once more be converted back to DC, resulting in further conversion loss. NICHICON’s hybrid ESS-H1L1 minimizes this conversion loss by combining the solar unit and the storage battery power conditioner.

The ESS-H1L1 is also easier to use, since it allows the user to monitor and control operating conditions, such as the amount of solar power generated and the amount stored in the battery, via one product. In addition, it can easily work with soon-to-arrive services such as demand response (DR) and virtual power plant (VPP).

Main Features of ESS-H1L1 Hybrid Power Storage System

1.Large-capacity 12-kWh storage battery (among largest in industry*1).

2. High-output, high-efficiency hybrid power conditioner (among largest in industry*2).
This allows 5.9 kW of grid-connected output, up to 6 kW of solar power input, up to 5.9 kW of solar power charging capacity to the storage battery, and 5.9 kVA of stand-alone output. Even during blackouts, the 6 kW (power factor of 1) means it can meet almost an entire household’s backup power needs.

3.Connectivity with most solar panel manufacturers’ products*3; and can link to fuel cells.

4.Can be installed in extreme environments (installation temperature: -30°C to +40°C; operating temperature: -20°C to +40°C).

5.The multifunction remote controller display shows electricity flow at a glance (also expandable to work with monitoring services and other new future services).

6.User peace of mind thanks to 15-year warranty (five years for remote controller).

7.Covered by (or scheduled to be covered by*4) subsidy programs for power storage systems.

NICHICON will begin taking orders for the ESS-H1L1 in June 2016 and begin making deliveries in July 2016.

*1: According to Nichicon (Does not include expansion unit).

*2: According to Nichicon

*3: Major Japanese solar panel manufacturers. (Note: Inquire separately about each manufacturer’s product warranty.)

*4: Covered by (1) 2014 Revised Renewable Energy Connection Reserve Emergency Subsidy (subsidy policy for household energy storage systems, extension of subsidies). (2) Awaiting confirmation for coverage under 2015 Revised Renovation Program for Residential Energy Efficiency and (3) 2016 ZEH House Support Program. (4) Inquire about eligibility for other local government subsidy programs

Main Specifications

Product name Hybrid Power Storage System
Model ESS-H1L1
Installation location Outdoors
Installation environment Installation temperature range:-30°C to +40°C
Operation temperature range:-20°C to +40°C
Weight 257kg
External dimensions 1,060 mm (W) x 1,250 mm (H) x 300 mm (D)
(excluding protruding parts)
Storage battery Rated capacity 12kWh
Type Lithium-ion storage battery
Solar power Number of input circuits 4
Rated input voltage 330 V DC
Rated output 5.9kW(during connected operation)
5.9kVA*1(during stand-alone operation)
Rated output voltage 202V AC (during connected operation)
101V AC/202V AC (during stand-alone operation)

*1:Single-phase, three-wire system. Maximum per phase: 29.5A

Sales Routes

Until now, most NICHICON brand power storage systems have been sold directly to housing manufacturers. However, this hybrid power storage system, which connects directly to the products of solar panel manufacturers, will also be sold through numerous other sales channels, such as to solar power system manufacturers and housing material suppliers. See the NICHICON website for details.

Sales Target

NICHICON is targeting monthly shipments of 1,500 units (including its single-function models) for the first year of sales.

Overview of Nichicon Corporation

  • Location

: Karasumadori Oike-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

  • Representative

: Ippei Takeda, Chairman & CEO

  • Established

: August 1, 1950

  • Capital

: 14,286 million yen (as of March 31, 2016)

  • Employees

: 4,818 (as of March 31, 2016, consolidated)

  • Line of business

:Production and sales of various kinds of capacitors for electronics, electronic apparatus, and power utilities, function modules, positive thermistors, switching power supplies, capacitor-applied systems and equipment, etc.

  • Net sales

: 109,815 million yen (As of March 31, 2016; consolidated)

Hybrid power storage system

Main unit

Enlarged photo of remote controller

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