Panasonic, Pika Energy Roll Out Powerful Smart Battery Suited For Solar


Panasonic Eco Solutions of North America and Pika Energy have introduced a significant upgrade to the Harbor smart battery portfolio with the solar-ready Harbor Plus smart battery, which has an energy capacity of 17.1 kWh and a real power output of up to 10 kW.

The companies claim the Harbor Plus smart battery delivers 21% more energy and 30% more peak power than the next leading home smart-battery solution – enabling homeowners to extend solar power longevity, better manage energy around peak-rate periods, and withstand off-grid scenarios at a more cost-effective price per kilowatt-hour of storage.

Panasonic and Pika Energy first co-developed the Harbor portfolio of residential smart batteries in 2017, and less than a year later, the companies are introducing upgraded capacity with the premium Harbor Plus, as well as the entry-level Harbor Flex.

“The solar industry faces the reality of certain maximum energy density, pushing the market to deliver innovative and disruptive solar solutions to a quickly growing consumer base,” explains Dan Silver, vice president of Panasonic Eco Solutions North America.

The solar-ready Harbor Plus smart battery is powered by six Panasonic lithium-ion battery modules connected in series for built-in redundancy. This design is coupled with 17.1 kWh of usable energy and up to 10 kW of power to support homeowners for long-term grid outage and off-grid scenarios. It can also power heavy equipment such as well pumps and air conditioning units, the partners explain.

Paired with the Pika Energy Island – a single-inverter solution for grid-tied and off-grid solar-plus-storage – the Harbor Plus smart battery offers solar system owners the following features:

  • Self-supply mode, which maximizes self-consumption of stored energy captured by solar panels to reduce the home’s dependence on the grid;
  • Zero-export mode, a subset of self-supply mode that prevents any solar energy from transferring to the grid, enabling homeowners to reduce grid dependence and remain in compliance in states where exporting solar power to the grid is prohibited, such as Hawaii;
  • Time-of-use capability, helping homeowners who live in areas with time-of-use rate policies, such as California, efficiently manage solar power and reduce costs with an optimized schedule that reduces or eliminates grid use during peak-rate periods;
  • Clean-backup mode, which stores solar energy in the smart battery for use when the grid is disrupted. Load transfer is instantaneous, taking as little as 1/60th of a second;
  • Priority-backup mode, which charges the smart battery from the grid at the full capacity of the system, allowing homeowners to prepare for an expected grid outage, such as in the event of an impending storm;
  • Dark-start capability, with the ability for Pika smart batteries to commission without the grid and restart using only solar power, should the batteries exhaust their reserve energy – as compared to other solar storage systems that require on-site service from a technician to jump-start dead batteries.

The Harbor Plus and Flex smart batteries are now available through a national network of distributors in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, as well as Canada.

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