pv magazine recently met with Discover Battery at Intersolar North America in Long Beach, California, to view the unveiling of Helios ESS, a lithium ferro-phosphate (LFP) battery with use cases in off-grid solar, tiny homes, and RVs. The battery comes in 24V or 48V designs, with 60Ah and 30Ah-rated capacities, respectively. It has a nominal energy rating of 1.54 kWh.
Up to 20 Helios batteries can be linked in series and controlled by Discover’s Lynk II Gateway, a battery management system (BMS) that can dynamically manage charges and perform remote troubleshooting when connected with the internet. The Lynk II can be integrated with major inverters from Schneider, Victron, Sol-Ark, SMA, Studer, and more. The BMS is located in a cabin at the top of the battery unit for ease of access. When charged in a closed-loop managed by proprietary BMS, the batteries can be charged 25% faster, said Discover Battery.
Discover Battery said the battery case is designed in house, making the devices stable, especially when used in mobile applications. In remote, cold climates, the Helios battery employs its integrated self-heating layer for optimal performance. The battery also has an on/off switch for flexibility and energy conservation. It is now available globally, with shipments starting in February.
LFP batteries have a significantly lower risk of thermal runway compared to their conventional lithium counterparts, as they remove the key culprit, cobalt, from the battery chemistry. Helios is UL 1971 certified.
Discover Battery has been making batteries since 1949, and primarily works in the lead-acid space. The team brings 100+ years of combined solar industry experience, using that expertise to create a product that is sensitive to the needs of solar installers and service teams. Remote management via BMS means less truck rolls, and a removable BMS that does not require moving cells prevents the need for shipping lithium when repairs are needed.
Coming down the line for Discover this summer is its Element battery, a 5 kW LFP battery that can also be placed in a series of 20 and managed by Lynk II. This device joins Discover Battery’s workhorse, the AES battery, a 3.0kWh and 7.4kWh, 48V unit.
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