Drivers and Debuts
Drivers and Debuts
Smart Energy 2019 presented the ideal opportunity for companies to showcase innovative new products and advances to a target market.
Making its debut at The Smart Energy exhibition was Alpha Home, also on show was LG’s first hybrid inverter; the much-anticipated Fronius Primo Gen 24 and 5B Maverick’s portable solar panels.
Another highlight was a crowd pleaser: the launch of the first ever ACE cargo van, Australia’s first electric vehicle which has fast attracted great interest.
Show-goers were introduced to the AI interaction between Amazon Alexa and Alpha’s SMILE5 to perform functions, to voice control Alexa to direct SMILE5 to charge/discharge, to respond back with useful information such as current battery SOC when asked or to turn on/off appliances through SMILE5.
Four sessions were held to demonstrate the convenient, user-friendly technological advancement.
Adaptable to various purposes, including monitor, interact and control of energy storage system - as well as other IoT devices that go beyond energy storage - Alpha Home lets users feel the human-machine interaction in real time.
Integrated with the AWS IoT from Amazon, the Alpha Cloud makes it possible for the Alpha system to control the IoT devices via Amazon Echo, which was demonstrated by AlphaESS Vice President Dong Lin in front of a large crowd at the Smart Energy show.
Even without IoT devices, a home could be upgraded to be ‘smart’, thanks to the IoT contacts provided by Alpha which enable home circuits to be leveled up to IoT capable while installing the energy storage system.
Smart modules are rapidly building momentum in the solar industry today and AlphaESS also exhibited its Smart PV panel for the first time, Dong Lin said.
"The aim is to make life easier and save money at the same time," he explained. “The new move has unfolded the ambition of AlphaESS, to shake the known experience and take life to the next level of technology.”
Since 2012, AlphaESS which specialises in advanced battery storage products and intelligent energy management solutions has continuously placed importance and increased its investment in R&D and developed a full power range of energy storage systems to meet the needs of different residential, commercial and industrial users.
“South Australia’s home battery scheme really prompted ESS in the market," Dong Lin said.
"The further price drop of both Solar PV and energy storage and state government driven energy storage policy through subsidies for batteries are definitely going to boost the Australia market this year."
In 2019, AlphaESS established a new Korean subsidiary and signed strategic partnerships with Taeyang Enertec, a new energy Korean company, and Okaya Electromechanical in Japan, to further expand its global presences.
The two-seater ACE cargo van is the first electric car to be manufactured in Australia. Last week, it rolled off the production line in Brisbane and into the halls of the Smart Energy Show where it was lauded and applauded.
The Australian assembled vehicle, which comes with a price tag of around $40,000 is initially targeted at small businesses and companies rather than the public, according to Queensland start-up ACE EV.
Managing director Greg McGarvie managed to contain costs by using a carbon-fibre shell from flat packs and parts manufactured and sourced from China and Taiwan, and believes the ACE cargo will be one of the most affordable vans on the maret.
By year’s end ACE EV want to have built 100 cars, including the Cargo, the ACE Yewt and ACE Urban two-door hatch. Following successful capital raising will ramp up manufacturing.
"It's about us taking responsibility for the next generation, both in jobs and innovation," said the former marine biologist, "But more importantly, to reduce our carbon impact.
“Advanced technology, zero emissions and local, specialised production. This is a new disruptive technology for the future of personal transport in Australia.”
He said the car is capable of driving between 200 kilometre and 250 kilometres on a single charge
Former Liberal Party leader John Hewson and independent candidate Zali Steggall who expressed their backing of Australian-made electric vehicles helped badge the car in front of a marge media contingent and other show goers.
Speaking at the launch John Hewson said "There is an inevitability in our transition away from petrol vehicles, and we're finally seeing it happen," and Zali Steggall agreed.
“This could be a new era for the automotive industry in Australia, bringing back manufacturing,” she said, expressing disappointment that EVs only make up around 0.2 per cent of Australia's cars
For more information: Ace-ev.com.au
LONGi staged an event at its Innovation & Technology salon at the Smart Energy booth, where LONGi Solar president WenXue Li, along with LONGi senior management Monsoon Wang and Boyal Mao scoped the scale and ambitions of the company.
The company which enjoys strong financial health has set a goal of 45 GW capacity by 2020, and driving innovation is the annual $200m spend on R&D. Representing 5 per cent of turnover, this is believed the highest in the industry.
And it’s paying dividends, with LONGi and UNSW long collaborating on project developments, with extensive involvement from the multi award winning “father of PV” Professor Martin Green.
The UNSW Professor presented the timelines of globally renowned PERC technology since its inception in 1983 and the decades of research devoted since to successfully improving cell efficiency.
The 85 per cent cell efficiency hit in 1986 was, he said considered “the four minute mile” of PV.
By 1999 it stood at 25 per cent, a record that held for 15 years.
PERC efficiency which adds bifacial capacity has continuously broken world records is now the technology of choice.
“It’s very gratifying seeing the uptake of PERC in the industry and technology getting cheaper … cell efficiency becomes more important in driving down costs,” Martin Green said.
“We are working hard to accelerate developments and could see 40 per cent efficient panels in 40 years.”
Read more in Winter Smart Energy magazine.
Also on show was LG first inverter, a hybrid that comes with capacities of 8kW and 10kW.
The much-anticipated Fronius Primo Gen 24+, the single-phase hybrid inverter that will be compatible with Fronius, LG and BYD batteries was also on show and attracting large crowds. The new hybrid inverter is being touted as available from July.
Completing this wrap on innovation on show we drop in on 5 Billion Maverick, roll out portable solar panels.
5B has reimagined the solar array as a portable, prefabricated, modular system, a plug-and-play unit ready to connect to DC isolator or inverter.
The concertina shaped bi-directional modules are secured with hefty concrete blocks.
More on this crowd pleaser in the Winter edition of Smart Energy.