After three long years, RE+ (formerly Solar Power International, or SPI), the largest energy trade show in North America, occurred last week. We at EnergySage were lucky to join the 30,000 people (!) who attended the event and gained first-hand knowledge about what's creating a buzz in the industry. The excitement surrounding the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act was palpable, and there seemed to be a clear commitment across the industry to support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) initiatives by supporting a wider array of workers in the industry and bringing clean energy to a broader group of people.
In this article, we'll highlight both the new products that caught our attention as well as some of the soon-to-be-released products we're most excited about. Here's what you need to know from RE+ 2022.
We're always amazed by how many new companies are entering the energy storage market, especially as supply chain constraints continue to limit product availability for some of the most popular batteries. At RE+, it seemed like a new battery company was exhibiting around every corner! From load management partnerships to portability to new chemistry, these companies aim to make a splash and differentiate themselves to gain a share in the increasingly competitive market. Here are some of the newer companies that we noticed:
HomeGrid has been on our radar for a while, and we've enjoyed following their journey as they've gained clout in the industry. At RE+, we checked out their modular lithium iron phosphate (LFP) storage systems that stack like a set of LEGOs, offering anywhere from 9.6 to 39.4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in battery storage (scalable in 4.8 kWh increments). We also learned about HomeGrid's partnership with Savant to create the Savant Power System, an integrated smart energy management system and storage system designed to provide scalable whole-home backup solutions (more on Savant below). To learn more about HomeGrid, check out our Q&A article with their team.
We'd never heard of HAME until RE+, where their LFP battery solution grabbed our attention. Similar to HomeGrid, they offer a stackable battery solution, with a single battery module coming in at 4 kWh, scaling up to 24 kWh in a single battery cabinet. If you're an avid camper or live in an RV, they also offer a portable LFP power station for outdoor use that provides 1.28 kWh capacity and can charge directly via a wall outlet, carport, or portable solar panels!
Adaptiphy also offers a modular battery solution that comes in two cabinet sizes, with each battery cabinet supporting a minimum of 2 kWh and a maximum of 3 or 6 kWh capacity (depending on your chosen battery cabinet). Their storage solution is unique due to its chemistry, Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO), which is recently increasing in popularity (check out the VillaGrid for another LTO battery). If you choose a battery with LTO chemistry, you can expect a longer lifespan (Adatiphy says their batteries should last 50+ years, and they offer a 25-year warranty for their battery cells) and increased safety due to the inflammable nature of LTO. However, you should also expect a higher price tag.
If you want insight and control into your energy consumption, you'll want to install an energy management system. And, if you have or are installing a solar battery, energy management is crucial for maximizing your battery's capacity. RE+ made it clear that the industry is evolving to make smart home energy management a pivotal part of an electrified home. New companies are entering the space, and older companies are advancing their products. Here are some of our favorite energy management advancements from RE+:
Back in 2019, when this trade show was last held, Span stole the spotlight with the launch of their Smart Panel. Since its inception, Span has been a leader in the energy management space, and the company has launched new iterations of its Smart Panel in recent years. Previously, the Span Smart Panel could only integrate with a few batteries: the LG Chem RESU, SolarEdge Energy Bank, and the Tesla Powerwall and Powerwall+. However, at RE+, they announced that their Smart Panels will now be compatible with all AC-coupled battery solutions, including the Enphase IQ Battery, currently the most popular battery on EnergySage. Their Smart Panel also integrates with their own new EV Charger, the Span Drive, which we detail below.
Last year, Lumin launched their modular energy management system, the Lumin Edge, which was on full display at RE+. Unlike most other energy management systems that either replace or add to your electrical panel, the Lumin Edge modules can be installed anywhere along your circuit lines (AKA the wires that feed out of your electrical box to power loads). Each module provides both monitoring and control for its respective load, and you're able to install as many modules as you want or need.
If you want to make your current electrical panel smart, the new Savant Power System is a great option. Their Power System Relay Modules work with all major electrical panel brands to control 20A, 30A, and 60A circuits. You can choose how many circuits you want to make smart, depending on the level of monitoring and control you want. Their energy management system integrates with Sol-Ark, HomeGrid batteries, and their own EV charger (more on that below) to provide a complete smart electrical home solution with the option of whole-home backup power.
More and more states are announcing plans to phase out gas-powered vehicles by banning new sales after a certain date. With an increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs) hitting the road, home EV charging needs to expand to ensure these cars can maintain their charge! More companies are launching EV charging products with new features like energy management system integration and/or bidirectional charging. Here are some EV charger companies with exciting new technology at RE+:
If you're interested in installing an EV charger at your home, it's possible you'll need to upgrade your electrical panel – if you upgrade to a Span Smart Panel and install the new Span Drive (Span's EV charger), you'll get an integrated system that allows you to dynamically charge your EV. This means you can choose the rate at which the Span Drive charges your EV, depending on factors like the availability of sunshine, the cost of electricity, and the power needs of your other home devices. You can set a charging schedule to avoid peak demand charges and even charge your EV during an outage if you have a solar-plus-storage system.
Savant also offers a home EV charger called the Savant LVL 2 EV Charger that provides key insights into and control over your EV charging when connected to a Savant Power Relay Module. You can get the most out of your electrical panel by automatically powering down other energy-hungry devices while charging your EV, which may help you avoid the need for an electrical panel upgrade. Similar to Span, you can also schedule your charging to avoid peak electricity rates and monitor your charging trends.
Wallbox showcased their current Pulsar Plus EV charger at RE+, offering features like dynamic charging speeds based on your home's power needs. You can decide how much you power your EV charger with your solar system versus the grid, and you can directly control it with voice commands through smart home ecosystems like Alexa or Google Home. Wallbox has announced plans to release Quasar into North American markets soon; the Quasar product is a bidirectional EV charger that allows you to use your EV as a home battery by directly feeding electricity into your home.
One of the most memorable booths at RE+ was Solar4America, a solar and storage company, which featured a prototype of the EdisonFuture EF1-T Electric Solar Pickup Truck. The truck includes a retractable solar cover that allows you to partially charge it with solar, reducing range anxiety for those considering an EV. The vehicle likely won't be available until 2025, but it's anticipated to have a range between 300 and 450 miles (depending on the model) and a towing capacity of 7,500 to 11,000 lbs.
Interested in adding some of the products we've showcased to your home? They're all electric and are best paired with solar! To find a solar or solar-plus-storage system that fits your needs at the right place, check out the EnergySage Marketplace. You'll be able to compare multiple quotes from our network of pre-vetted installers and will have access to our team of Energy Advisors – all for free! If you have any particular equipment or electrical home upgrades in mind, be sure to make a note in your profile so installers can take it into account while creating your quotes.