At this year’s SNEC exhibition in Shanghai pv magazine met Lisa Zhang, Director of Marketing at Growatt. At its SNEC booth, Growatt presented its new 100 kW hybrid inverter WIT 50-100K-HU/AU, developed for commercial and industrial applications.
The combination of this 100-300 kW storage system and Growatt’s APX Commercial battery system is ideal for back-up or peak shaving, reducing the user’s electricity costs. In addition, this new C&I inverter has grid support functions that enable optimal integration of this distributed energy source into the power grid.
Growatt’s move into larger-scale energy storage shows that the Shenzhen-based manufacturer is applying the technology it has developed to smaller residential systems to offer a state-of-the-art solution for large companies and industrial users as well. For example, Growatt has developed a soft-switching connection technology for batteries, which offers a modular power optimizer for each pack, which enables battery packs of different capacities to be mixed in one system. Each pack can increase power separately as needed and perform automatic balancing. This means that each battery can always be fully charged and discharged without the risk of energy differences.
As Zhang points out, Growatt is no longer just a solar inverter company. The company’s goals have expanded significantly to deliver a complete decentralized energy ecosystem based on battery storage. This transition is well underway, as the company already shipped thousands of storage-ready inverters last year, and the company expects storage-ready inverters to quickly rise to the top as energy storage becomes the core of Growatt’s offering, whether for residential or C.&I users.
Zhang sees the introduction of electric mobility as supporting this trend. Electric vehicles are big consumers of electricity, and when households and business users buy electric cars, they want a more robust ESS to power one or more electric vehicles. Based in China, Growatt can gain valuable experience in the transition to electric cars in its home market, where the electrification of traffic is well underway and further than most European countries or the United States.
Growatt has developed its own smart electric car charging solution, which, when integrated into Growatt’s decentralized energy ecosystem, can optimize self-consumption to minimize network payments. Zhang revealed that the manufacturer also offers a smart solution for heat pumps by connecting its GroBoost control unit to the heat pump. GroBoost can intelligently connect the power source to the solar panel or APX ESS to increase self-consumption.
In the residential area, smart electric car charging and GroBoost-compatible heat pumps are part of the overall solution of the GroHome smart home. Zhang points out that Growatt already introduced GroHome in 2016 as part of its vision for the development of distributed energy ecosystems. Now in its second generation, GroHome is also a battery-based ecosystem that can optimize self-consumption and integrate a wide range of electrical devices, the most prominent of which are electric cars and heat pumps.
Europe is still Growatt’s most important market area, at least in terms of turnover. More than 50 percent of the turnover in 2022 was generated in Europe, and the European Union’s ambitious climate goals will continue to make Europe Growatt’s central market. Production is still focused directly in China, with three factories in Huizhou and one in Vietnam. According to Zhang, Growatt can easily increase production capacity to meet global demand, as it takes less than six months to create additional capacity. This is different from Chinese cell and module manufacturers, who usually need much more time to increase production capacity. In the case of Growatt, we can be sure that the proportion of inverters ready for storage will increase and that many of them will be used in business and industry as the manufacturer targets more and more large energy users around the world.