SMA on solar storage dangers

In a reaction to a report on safety faults and dangers at German solar storage systems, inverter maker SMA Solar Technology assures its storage systems meet high quality standards and rebuffs the report as undifferentiated.

The engineering news service VDI Nachrichten had published a study by the Karlsruhe institute for technology, or KIT, that points to “significant safety flaws” at a number of lithium-ion based solar storage systems from German providers, and says those could lead to fires and explosions.

The news report with the sensationalist title “The solar storage risk: 'homes will burn'" could unsettle consumers and clients, SMA said, stressing that safety is priority for the company.

Developers, PV manufacturers and battery producers are eying the fledgling market for solar storage that is expected to become a mass market within the next couple of years as more and more home owners try to expand the scope for self-consumption of the energy they produce from PV modules.

“SMA has more than twenty years of experience with battery storage systems and for five years has been taking a closer look at lithium-ion technology,” SMA says.

The company adds that the two solar storage systems it offers have complex safety concepts to all but exclude the dangers described by KIT entirely.

The cells in the batteries it sells meet the high quality standards of the electric vehicle industry, SMA stresses.

KIT admits in the VDI article that its findings derive from a small number of tests and can’t be generalised, but advised consumers to only buy batteries that are very carefully chosen.