South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution unveiled its latest innovations at the Smarter E event in Munich last week. He also announced the transition from chemistry of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries to lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) in his future products.

From pv magazine Global

Flexibility underpins the latest innovations for battery storage from South Korean company LG Energy Solution. As seen at the Smarter E event in Munich last week, LG Chem’s energy and battery storage division has gone one step further in the modularity of its home RESU Flex battery system. He also developed a new container solution for energy storage on a grid scale that comes pre-assembled.

According to its name, the modular solution of RESU Flex household batteries can be installed in different capacities from 8.6 kW / h to 17.2 kW / h, with more than 30 different forms of installation for maximum space efficiency. According to the customer’s wishes, RESU Flex can be installed on any surface, indoor or outdoor, said the manufacturer.

Depending on the configuration, the RESU Flex has a voltage range of 192 V to 531.2 V and can serve a variety of power schemes. The 8.6 kWh system, which has two battery modules and a battery protection unit, is primarily designed to support your own consumption, reduce peak hourly loads and back up critical loads in emergencies. The module with three batteries with a capacity of 12.9 kW / h can cover energy-intensive devices such as heat pumps and EV, as well as provide maintenance of critical loads in emergencies. The 17.2 kW / h system is well equipped for a wide range of applications from home to small C&I, as well as for backing up the whole house, depending on the functionality of the inverter.

The size of the battery is 665.2 mm x 665.2 mm x 148.4 mm and the weight is 48.9 kg. All configurations come with a separate battery protection unit that weighs 16.6 kg. Operating temperature range – from -10 C to 50 C. The product also has a protection level of IP55.

In addition to single-phase inverters, RESU Flex is compatible with three-phase inverters from Kostal, Fronius, SMA and GoodWe. As confirmed by Jörg Jürgens, LGES Director of Energy Storage Systems EMEA pv magazine, RESU Flex is easily available for shipping. When ordered today it will be delivered in just a couple of weeks, which is much faster than the deadlines offered by most battery manufacturers. The current waiting time for orders in Germany, for example, is about five months.

The new RESU Flex series will feature an NMC battery. The South Korean manufacturer has long been loyal to the NMC, but now it plans to develop and release standard LFP cells by October 2023 and long LFP elements by the fourth quarter of 2024. Jürgens said pv magazine that the transition will be smooth, as LFP cells will be produced in the same format and size, so systems will be able to use the same modules and racks as before.

The new rechargeable cells will be manufactured in the Netherlands in the U.S. state of Michigan, and two-digit gigawatt production lines will be added to the facility, Jürgens said. This coincides with an earlier LG Energy Solution report that the company is investing $ 1.7 billion to increase the production capacity of Michigan’s battery cells and units, which is five times more than 5 GWh now.

Residential recalls

The transition to a safer chemical composition of nickel and cobalt-free batteries comes after LG Energy Solution was forced to recall some battery storage systems in the United States and Australia due to the potential risks associated with fire. In March 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a revocation notice for batteries in the lithium-ion range of the RESU LG Energy Solution due to the potential risk of overheating and ignition.

Just a couple of months later LG Energy Solutions itself launched a Free replacement program for some models that were manufactured between April 2017 and September 2018. The replacement program, which is estimated to cost about $ 350 million, was announced after reports of overheating incidents.

Last August, LG Energy Solution Michigan launched a campaign to recall its RESU 10H batteries in the U.S. market, which affected about 10,000 storage systems. “Home batteries can overheat, creating a risk of fire and harmful emissions,” the manufacturer said at the time. The recall was initiated based on five reports of smoking and burning lithium batteries, resulting in property damage and one injury.

The first recall of household batteries in the United States came just weeks after the manufacturer launched a new product line in December 2020. This affected 1,815 RESU 10H units sold between January 2017 and March 2019. The reason for the recall was reports of LG Chem RESU 10H fires, which resulted in minor property damage but no injuries.

Other innovations that LG Energy Solutions unveiled last week in Munich include a new container-based ESS solution that comes fully assembled at the factory. It says it reduces site installation time by 40% and cost by 30%. Compared to conventional 40-foot ISO systems, the modular and scalable ESS container solution reduces installation space by 15%, saving land-related costs. It is designed as more than a simple battery rack system that includes an active ventilation system, a fire extinguishing system and a ventilation and air conditioning system.

The company has also showcased other high-performance ESS grid products in its portfolio, including a high-voltage rack (1400V) and a Transportable Rack 1300, a pre-designed shelving system optimized for indoor conditions.

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