Recently, the European energy crisis has brought huge development space to the home energy storage track. The home energy storage market has exploded beyond expectations, and the shortage of batteries has become the biggest bottleneck in the development of the industry in the short and medium term. The number of companies entering the home energy storage track has also increased sharply.
For example, in the first half of 2022, Pylon Tech achieved an operating income of 1.854 billion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 171.94%, and a net profit of 264 million RMB, a year-on-year increase of 70.02%. In the first half of 2022, Great Power's operating income was about 4.065 billion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 65.58%, and its net profit was about 244 million RMB, a year-on-year increase of 105.95%.
Among them, home energy storage contributed the main increment. In the short term, home energy storage batteries are an obvious incremental market. HITHIUM, Great Power, Pylon Tech, etc. have increased their investment in the field of home energy storage. Among them, Great Power and Pylon Tech set off a wave of cell expansion. And HITHIUM has released a large cylindrical battery for home energy storage.
1. Home battery manufacturers racing
For home energy storage, the system composed of small cells is very important, which involves key experience such as SOC, BMS skills, software, and charge-discharge balance. Obviously, in the face of the rapidly growing home storage market, the market for small-capacity batteries suitable for home storage does not have enough reserves. Sungrow, which has just released its semi-annual report, also illustrates this point. In the first half of the year, due to the impact of battery cell bottlenecks, only 15,000 battery systems were used for home energy storage.
In order to increase supply capacity, Great Power and Pylon Tech have increased production capacity. In May of this year, Pylon Tech planned to invest 5 billion RMB to build a 10GWh lithium battery R&D and manufacturing base project in Hefei. After two months (late July), Great Power plans to build an energy storage battery project with an annual output of 20GWh in Zhejiang, with a total investment plan of about 6 billion RMB.
In addition to the expansion of battery cell manufacturers, HITHIUM recently released a special battery for large cylindrical battery for home energy storage, which intends to redefine the special energy storage battery for home energy storage scenarios. Its cylindrical product specifications cover 4680 battery - 46300 battery, and the single capacity is 10-50Ah, which is more flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of diverse energy storage application scenarios. There have been major breakthroughs in many aspects such as cost, flexibility, consistency, safety and long life.
2. Home energy storage batteries pay more attention to product design
Home energy storage, as a small energy storage battery, seems to focus on storage, but subsequent battery management and whole-house energy allocation are equally important. Therefore, the core competitiveness of home energy storage batteries is product design capabilities. In the design of energy storage battery products, it is mainly the adaptation with energy storage inverters (different countries/regions have different requirements) and customized product design for customer needs.
For example, the BMS (battery management system) in the energy storage system needs to be adapted to the energy storage inverter. The energy storage inverter controller communicates with the BMS through the CAN interface to obtain the status information of the battery pack, which can realize the protective charging and discharging of the battery and ensure the safe operation of the battery. Among them, the energy storage BMS should have the function of real-time monitoring of battery voltage, current, and temperature, and then realize the calculation of battery states such as SOC and SOH.
In this way, functions such as balanced management, thermal management, and fault alarm of the battery are realized. According to reports, energy storage BMS is different from vehicle BMS, which has higher requirements for adapting to the environment. The energy storage system is more complex and huge, with deeper charge and discharge depth and longer life cycle. The energy storage BMS needs to deal with a more complex energy management system.
According to relevant forecasts, by 2025, the value of China's energy storage BMS market will reach 17.8 billion RMB, with a compound annual growth rate of 47%. Top 10 home energy storage battery companies which have a high market share in the global home energy storage battery market, are completely independent research and development and production in key links such as battery, BMS and system PACK. In the short term, having strong battery capacity has obvious advantages in the field of home energy storage.
3. The trend of home energy storage battery cost reduction is obvious
Overall, the development trend of home storage batteries is mainly reflected in reducing production costs, reducing the risk of thermal runaway, and improving battery adaptability.
First, increased production efficiency can lead to lower monomer production costs. A typical home energy storage system is generally 5KW (component + inverter) with 10kWh (energy storage battery), of which the battery is the core of the energy storage system, and the cost accounts for about 45-50%. Then the cost reduction of the battery cell is very important for the energy storage system.
Second, improving safety reduces the risk of thermal runaway. At present, most home storage systems lack precise temperature control systems, so there are higher requirements for the safety of the battery itself.
Finally, the smaller single cell capacity can improve the battery adaptability, and the module shape and charge capacity are more diverse. From the perspective of monomer capacity, home energy storage cells mainly include squares, large cylinders, and soft packs. Among them, the monomer capacity of the large cylinder is 10Ah-50Ah, the square is 50Ah-300Ah, and the soft bag is 30Ah-80Ah.
Smaller cell capacity determines the diversity of cell module formation and module capacity, which can match household storage and portable energy storage systems with different charges. In the increasingly popular household storage high-voltage system, smaller cell capacity is more suitable. At present, the European household storage market is undergoing product iteration from low-voltage to high-voltage systems, increasing the voltage platform in order to reduce the current, and finally reduce the system heat generation + improve the discharge efficiency.
Generally speaking, as the voltage platform rises, to keep the total energy storage system capacity unchanged (home storage systems are usually within 10kwh), the cells need to be made with small capacity. The energy storage cells of the low-voltage platform are mostly 100Ah, while the high-voltage platform gradually transitions to 50Ah.