As we wandered the halls of CES in Las Vegas, one product category stood out across the board; there is a lot of attention for portable (and less portable) energy storage. These are more than the average battery packs that you can charge your phone once or twice, ranging from simple small battery packs to advanced power plants that can be connected to portable solar or rooftop solar, and the largest versions can power your entire power the house. weeks at the time.
The smallest portable power plants usually come with a few 110V sockets and some USB sockets, and perhaps a 12V car cigarette lighter port for small peripherals. It can get pretty advanced from there; solid-state batteries, 240V power supply, wireless charging ports, the ability to connect additional batteries, and the ability to be powered from a number of power sources, including mains power, solar power, car chargers, and even the high-performance fast chargers designed for electric vehicles .
It would be a complete fool’s errand to try to capture everything we saw at CES, but here are a few highlights:
EcoFlow’s travel-forward innovations
EcoFlow came out of nowhere a few years ago and has established itself as a very serious player in the portable energy space. At CES, the company launched a battery-powered refrigerator with an ice maker, a portable, an updated version of its battery-powered air conditioner, and a number of other innovations. The biggest news this year, though, is that it’s rolling out systems for full-house battery backup systems later this year.
Yoshino’s solid state batteries
Yoshino‘s portable power stations are built around a new solid electrolyte, replacing the bulky and flammable liquid electrolyte found in most lithium batteries. The company told me this improves performance and provides higher energy density. In other words, the same amount of power fits in a smaller, lighter package compared to traditional lithium batteries. A company representative claimed that you could shoot the battery pack with a rifle without it catching fire. We didn’t have a gun with us to verify the claim.
The company also suggests the new batteries can be charged faster than the old chemistry, up to 80% capacity in less than an hour, and it claims up to twice the power per pound of traditional lithium batteries. Definitely one to keep an eye on. The power plants have numerous ports and the wireless charging pads on top of the power plants are a very nice touch.
Bluetti supplies your entire house with electricity
The biggest news of Bluetti was his entire power in the form of the B300S and matching inverter series. In normal use, the mains power (or a solar panel) keeps the batteries charged. When the power goes out, the batteries kick in, providing uninterrupted power for your entire home. You can power everything, or design two separate circuits; one with essential power circuits (e.g. your fridge, cooking and heating/cooling), and one with less essential circuits (e.g. your washing machine and EV).
Zendure’s cooler celebration of overkill
Superbase V from Zendure Really pushes the definition of what can be considered ‘wearable’. Weighing 46 kg (100 lbs), at least it has a pull-out handle and motorized wheels to help you move it around. Once in place, though, it can do just about anything – it packs 6.4kWh. However, it also supports additional battery modules, for a maximum storage capacity of 64 kWh. Fully charged, that’s more than an entry-level Tesla Model 3 battery pack, and the company claims that’s enough to power an average household for a week.
With a voltage of both 120V and 240V, it can power both small appliances such as a refrigerator and larger household items such as induction hobs and electric clothes dryers. Hell, with up to 12,000W of power, you can charge two electric cars at the same time if needed. The price starts at $3,100. Fully maxed out with four external batteries, you’re looking at a price tag of over $15,000.
Geneverse drives prices down
genevers has wide distribution in the US and is available at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, Sam’s Club and online. It’s easy to see why: the company launched two new power plants. The HomePower One has a capacity of 1,210 Wh, a rated power of 1,200 W and a peak power of 2,400 W, while its bigger brother, the HomePower Two, has a power of 2,419 Wh, a rated power of 2,200 W and a peak power of 4,400 W. has. Both have three 120V outputs, two 100W USB-C outputs, and two USB-A fast charging ports.
None of these metrics actually move the needle, but the price does. The smaller power station costs $1,500, and the larger one is $2,500. You can add two or four solar panels to the power plants, respectively, bringing the price tag to $2,600 or $4,800. With prices like that, home backup power is starting to come within reach for most homeowners. The company didn’t skimp on batteries either, opting for the highly efficient LFP/LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery technology. These are indeed very safe and offer a lifespan of around 3,000 charge cycles.
Schneider indicates that battery storage can no longer be ignored
We’ve seen a number of startups in the smart home panel space for a while now. What’s new is that the big boys are participating.
Energy giant Schneider Electric entering the frey shows that home battery storage is really starting to become mainstream. Why is this a big problem? About 40% of all homes already rely on the brand for main breaker panels and other key home electrical components.
App-controllable, the company launched a brand new home battery energy management solution that includes a powerful solar inverter, smart electric panels, EV chargers, along with a slew of additional features. It even got a CES Innovation Award for its troubles along the way. As we see more major energy suppliers enter the market with fully integrated solutions, it means the entire industry is well on its way to the races. Not exactly the sort of thing you can install yourself, but a harbinger of what’s to come in the near and medium future.