Big Board Alerts

September 24, 2023
Blue Planet Energy Has a Solar Battery With Character

Blue Planet Energy, a clean energy company based in Hawaii and founded by Henk Rogers, founder of The Tetris Company, gave us a sneak peek at its new residential solar battery, the BlueWave. And we are happy to say that it doesn’t look like an outdoor refrigerator.

Blue Planet Energy unveiled BlueWave during this year’s RE+, a renewable energy trade show in Las Vegas. The design of the battery accomplishes two main goals. The first is a compact, modular and aesthetically pleasing battery capable of meeting a variety of energy needs. The second is to provide the installer with a ridiculously easy battery installation.

“Everything has been designed thinking about the field serviceability, thinking about the homeowner, the installer, and also the distribution partners,” Ava Gibson, chief revenue officer for Neubau Energy and ambassador for Blue Planet Energy, told CNET. “Which is really how you’re going to be able to scale and employ as much energy storage to the world as possible.”

Here’s everything we know about the BlueWave.

BlueWave specs

Battery capacity
3kWh – 12kWh

How many BlueWaves can I install?
Up to four for a total battery capacity of 48kWh

Inverter capacity
3.3kW – 13.2kW

Continuous power output
1.65kW – 13.2kW

Round-trip efficiency
90%

Depth of discharge
100%

AC or DC-coupled?
Options for both

Battery chemistry
Lithium ferrous phosphate

Warranty
10 years

Indoor and outdoor rated?
Yes

Modular battery and inverter design

The BlueWave has a scalable battery and inverter design, making it easy to get the right amount of energy storage capacity and power your home needs. The battery itself is an enclosure that contains smaller 3kWh battery modules. One enclosure can hold up to four 3kWh modules, for a total of 12kWh. The beauty of this design is that you can start as small or as large as you like, knowing that you can always upgrade if you need more storage capacity.

“It’s a very low barrier to entry, which is also very impactful for folks who aren’t sure about it or maybe they don’t have the budget for it,” Gibson said.

Three additional BlueWave enclosures can be installed for 48kWh. The modules are light and easy to install. The installer just slides them in and clicks them into place.

Each battery module has a 100% depth of discharge rating. This means you can completely drain your battery in one cycle safely. But to prolong the lifespan of your battery, draining the battery all in one go is not recommended.

Gibson also touted the BlueWave’s energy density, which is a measure of how much energy a battery can hold in relation to its size and weight. For a battery of its size, the BlueWave is capable of containing quite a bit of energy.

The scalable inverter works very similarly to the scalable battery modules. Small inverter components easily fit into the main battery enclosure and can be added or removed as necessary. One enclosure fits 3.3kW – 13.2kW of inverter capacity, with a continuous power output rating range of 1.65kW – 13.2kW. For a smaller battery, that’s not too shabby. The BlueWave can be AC or DC-coupled, meaning that it’s compatible with new and existing solar panel system installations.

Easy one-person installation

Most solar battery systems feature one giant heavy box with a few little boxes scattered here and there. With the BlueWave, everything fits in one box, not three. And it’s a small box too. The BlueWave was designed to be a quick and painless install. The entire system can be installed by one person (yes, only one installer) in less than two hours. Gibsontold us installers could likely finish the installation and be off your property in an hour. You might even save some money on labor costs too, since you’ll only be paying one installer.

“It’s all under one roof,” Gibson said. “Another reason why this is such a quick install is that the transformers and the communications are in here, the inverters are in here, energy storage is here. It’s all one box.”

Most solar batteries require multiple installers to get the job done, sometimes even an entire team. Solar batteries and their components can get pretty heavy, and it’s easier (and sometimes necessary) to have some help. But the BlueWave’s components are fairly lightweight. Each component weighs less than 50 pounds and can easily be picked up by one person.

Blue Planet Energy wanted to create a battery design with a simple and straightforward installation. The battery modules literally slide into the enclosure and click into place. And it works the same way with the inverters.

“There are lots of features that were made with the installer in mine,” Gibson said. “So everything is just as simple and straightforward and easy as possible.”

Customizable battery

Blue Planet Energy takes the BlueWave’s aesthetics a step further by offering a custom battery cover plate. Most solar batteries have the same color palette: silver, white or gray. By default, the BlueWave also falls within this color scheme, but it doesn’t have to be.

After purchase, you can commission Blue Planet Energy to create a customized battery cover plate for your battery to blend in with your home’s color or materials. You can even use your battery as a decorative element if you want to. This is great if you have a picky homeowners association that isn’t too thrilled with the idea of you having a random silver box sitting in your yard.

“Once the homeowner receives it, they can actually take a picture of the outside of their house, send it in, and we create a customized fascia so it blends in with the outside of their home,” Gibson said.

The BlueWave is currently available for preorders and will begin shipping in February 2024, Gibson said. It will be available throughout North America and South America.

 

 

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