SMA Solar, the world’s largest supplier of solar inverters recently announced the launch of a battery set which will allow solar households to store surplus energy. The award winning product will be the first mass produced inverter to integrate a lithium ion battery, increasing the self consumption of households by up to half.

German-based SMA’s Sunny Boy Smart Energy technology recently won the best product in its category at the Intersolar Award in Munich this year. The energy stored within the inverter of 2kWh is enough to supply a four person household with approximately three hours of electricity in the evening.

The device could have significant impact in the Australian market, where most new installations are not subject to the generous feed in tariffs of the past. This has meant that exporting during daytime hours is less beneficial and savings can be made primarily through self consumption. Typical households use approximately 30 per cent of the electricity they produce; but through the ability to boost self consumption many households could decrease their power bills by an even higher percentage.

The device will also have advantages for the electricity grid, where a reduction of the amount of power that needs to be exported during the day will even out fluctuations that can occur. With potential for less money spent on grid upgrades to deal with these fluctuations, savings could be made to electricity bills in the longer term.

SMA are the global leaders in development and production of solar PV inverters. The Sunny Boy Smart Energy will be available in Germany in October 2013. The company said it will announce the price of the device later this year, although there is no news as to when it will be released in Australia.