Energy

Mercedes-Benz Energy teams with Vivint Solar to put batteries in US homes

The Mercedes-Benz Energy battery to be sold through Vivint Solar
The Mercedes-Benz Energy battery to be sold through Vivint Solar
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The Mercedes-Benz Energy battery to be sold through Vivint Solar
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The Mercedes-Benz Energy battery to be sold through Vivint Solar

Mercedes-Benz Energy has made a lot of noise about its new energy storage units for the home, but Americans keen to get their hands on a set have been left wanting since the product was unveiled last year. Having announced their rollout in the UK last month, Mercedes-Benz Energy has now teamed with Vivint Solar to put them in Californian homes.

They're intended for homes, but the Mercedes-Benz Energy batteries borrow heavily from experience gained in the motoring world. Developed by ACCUmotive – Daimler subsidiary responsible for the lithium-ion batteries in Mercedes-Benz hybrids – the cells can be used to store energy generated by rooftop solar systems, wind turbines or any other alternative energy production sources people might have at home.

The batteries will be sold through Vivint Solar initially, giving solar customers the chance to better harness and control the energy they're capturing on their roof. Vivint says they can be used as a backup power source during power outages, or to avoid paying swollen usage rates during peak power demand periods.

The systems are made up of 2.5 kWh batteries that can be stacked to create single units up to 20 kWh. They'll be competing with Tesla, which sells the Powerwall in 7.5 kWh and 10 kWh variations, and can be scaled to 58 kWh with multiple units.

"The choice to work with Mercedes-Benz Energy, a world-class innovator in energy storage, was an easy one," says David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. "We believe their energy storage system is going to delight our customers and are impressed with their ambitious plans for the future."

California is the first part of America to be offered the Mercedes-Benz Energy system. It will only be on sale through Vivint Solar in Q2, with no word on when the batteries will be available in other states. Prices will range from US$5,000 for a 2.5-kWh unit to $13,000 for a 20-kWh system – that's fully installed but doesn't include any energy generation systems, such as solar panels.

Source: Mercedes-Benz Energy

6 comments
myale
Okay so in a previous article - http://newatlas.com/battery-stacking-electric-cars/49324/ - it was written "Additionally, all those electrical connections sap away current through resistance." so whilst I agree things like space and weight may not be a concern for house batteries - just putting them from Cars to houses - this does not seem to be a 'green' idea where we still have the same ineffficencies - and actual the technology still would benefit from development - suppose something is better than nothing - but wondering just how efficient these things actually are.
Doug Nutter
Your quote is accurate, but all electrical wiring creates resistance no matter the source. Right now, the significant value is in providing for peak loads without the utility having to invest in generating capabilities to handle those peak loads. In Nebraska for instance, the irrigation wells are cycled during peak demand with shutdowns. Heavy uses like manufacturing and air conditioning find that unworkable, so they are subject to high demand charges. These battery systems help mitigate that problem for both the consumer and the utility. For off the grid consumers, there is no other reasonable solution other than to simply do without. I remember paying $54 for a Texas Instrument calculator that only did the 4 basic math function. One can be had now for less than $5. Had consumers waited for the technology to advance until RAM was 8 gig and hard drive storage was in terabytes,we would still be in the dinosaur age as far as computer development. Early users do pay a premium for new technology and those costs usually go down, but we need the early users before that will happen.
Tanstar
I'd enjoy it if Atlas did comparisons of technologies like this, similar to their smart phone and smart watch comparisons. Solar battery efficiency, cost, throughput, etc. Similar between various solar panels, home wind options, etc.
HerrDrPantagruel
The 2.5kWh battery is the smaller size that is needed for scalable storage with lots of applications. That could run a single independent circuit in a home for a micro-solar project. You could have two to four panels and this battery on a grid independent circuit, providing power to a fridge and computers and a few lightss, and emergency backup for power outages. Beyond that, this size battery would be perfect for RV, marine/yachting house batteries, long range trolling motors, peak shaving and a host of other home storage angles like avoiding having your AC be shut off by the local power company during excessive demand periods (such programs exist as in California.) I would love to have one for my camper van. You could run the little fridge and lights for a week, whereas on my lead acid deep cycle I only get hours. So yeah that's a great size battery and not many affordable options yet on the market in that size. The problem is the pricing. $5000 for 2.5kWh is kind of crazy, while for the same price Tesla's Power Wall 2 is 14kWh or more than five times the storage. What gives? 2.5kWh needs to be on the order of $1000 before this makes sense and then it will take off like wildfire. And current dropping lithium ion prices should make that possible. $5,000 is a non-starter.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
When I had time of use, I was just gone during peak period and made out like a bandit! Base was $.07/kwh and peak was $.35/kwh.
Paul Karaffa
Powerwall 2 is $5,900 (after install) for 14 kWh. This will never compete with that pricing and it will die quickly. California is also a very limited market where Tesla has a great foothold. I don't understand the Merc strategy here...