According to Sigenergy founder and CEO Tony Xu, artificial intelligence will play a bigger role in solar and energy storage products. Here, he discusses future trends and current challenges in the renewable energy sector, as well as the innovations his company brings to energy storage solutions.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your experiences?
What do you think are the trends and innovations in renewable energy?
The solar industry has seen significant growth and change over the past two decades, with grid parity achieved in several countries. The industry is experiencing a major shift in focus to energy storage, and in recent years we’ve begun to see explosive growth worldwide in Energy Storage Systems (ESS) shipments. At the same time, artificial intelligence, especially the significant potential unleashed by ChatGPT, offers unprecedented opportunities for widespread applications in various industries. Accelerated change could occur in the energy sector by integrating artificial intelligence to improve efficiency and create customer value. I believe that the biggest innovations will be in ESSs equipped with artificial intelligence to improve the customer experience.
What challenges do you see in the market that need to be overcome?
First, battery safety issues and quality risk. Unsafe solutions can be disastrous and we have already seen recalls and fire accidents in many countries. Second, time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive installation is a problem, especially in Europe, where labor costs are high and there is a serious shortage of installers. The third challenge is low system integration and performance, especially when combining devices from different brands. Not only does it look good, but it also creates compatibility issues that can cause system errors. The final challenge is low system intelligence – data is loosely collected and reported for system monitoring, but never effectively processed and utilized to make the system smarter.
Why did you start Sigenergy and where does the name come from?
Sigenergy was founded with a vision to integrate artificial intelligence into sustainable energy solutions by adopting the latest Device-Edge-Cloud architecture from the ground up and help guide the industry to the next stage and allow more and more people to enjoy green energy. We want to be a pioneer and problem solver in energy, so the name Sigenergy is a fusion of SIGEN and Energy and represents our core values: Safe, Smart, Green, Efficient and New.
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What are your (key) products for the market?
SigenStor is our 5-in-1 energy storage system of the year and is compatible with both home and business scenarios with capacities from 5 kWh to 480 kWh. It is a game-changing solution that seamlessly integrates PV Inverter, EV DC Charger, Battery PCS, Battery Pack and EMS into a single system stack, reducing installation time to 15 minutes and commissioning time to 5 minutes. We set the highest safety standards in the industry with SigenStor’s five-layer battery protection and four-level system protection, and we are the first to use 280 Ah battery cells with a human-safe total voltage. Through our two-way DC charging module, SigenStor enables EVs to be fully charged in three hours and also charged with green energy, supporting both V2H and V2G modes. This means that electric cars can also act as high-capacity mobile batteries that supply electricity to homes and the grid when needed. In addition, our Energy Gateway enables 5 ms back-up switching. The artificial intelligence-controlled mySigen APP works on all four platforms on different devices.
What role does artificial intelligence (AI) play in your energy storage systems?
Embedding cloud-based technology and AI deep learning algorithms enables AI-supported proactive security protection and a user-tailored energy plan. With the help of the generated data, our products and applications become smarter over time. Instant intelligent VPP functions have also been introduced with the help of artificial intelligence, which enables better participation in the electricity trading market. The mySigen App, which we launched at EES Europe this year, functions as a control center that enables monitoring, management and troubleshooting of energy production, storage and consumption. It is the first app in the industry to include GPT-4, enabling it to be a personal energy assistant that supports the user’s verbal and written commands.