Solarwatt develops new battery Battery flex with BMW Group

Technological partnership expanded: Solarwatt develops new battery storage system SOLARWATT Battery flex in cooperation with BMW Group
By Marleen Reinders Contact
High-quality standards: BMW Group supplies Solarwatt with high-quality battery components that are also used in the group's electric vehicles.  
Development and production of the storage unit are carried out in Germany by Solarwatt.  
Photovoltaics and electromobility are growing together: Electric vehicles can be charged ecologically and economically with solar power in the home via an intelligent energy management system. 

Solarwatt, one of Germany's leading manufacturers of photovoltaic systems, and the BMW Group are deepening the cooperation they began in April 2013. The two partners have developed "Battery flex", a battery storage system whose battery module uses components that are also used in the BMW Group's electric cars. The new storage system sets new standards in terms of technology and design and will be available from Solarwatt-certified premium installers from autumn 2021.

As a pioneer in the photovoltaic industry, Solarwatt set important standards in modularity and safety in 2015 with the introduction of its own battery storage system. With "Battery flex", Solarwatt is now introducing the next generation of storage: Together with its technology partner BMW Group, the Dresden-based company has developed a battery storage system that meets the very highest industry standards and can always be adapted to the relevant customer requirements. The battery modules of the "Battery flex" storage system are manufactured by Solarwatt in close cooperation with the BMW Group. The BMW Group supplies Solarwatt with high-quality battery components that are also used in the group's current electric vehicles. The storage system is developed entirely by Solarwatt in Germany and produced in an environmentally friendly manner. The highly efficient battery management system, which enables safe operation of the storage unit at all times, was developed by Dr. Olaf Wollersheim together with his team at Solarwatt Innovation.

 According to Solarwatt CEO Detlef Neuhaus, the "Battery flex" battery storage system is a strong symbol of the close cooperation between Solarwatt and the BMW Group: "This product incorporates the comprehensive automotive expertise of the global BMW Group coupled with the in-depth storage know-how that we have built up at Solarwatt in recent years. The production is then carried out by us – but with the same quality standards that are used in the automotive industry. In addition, the storage unit also has an attractive design that immediately catches the eye. Battery flex is, so to speak, the BMW among battery storage units and the ideal addition to any photovoltaic system," says the Solarwatt Managing Director.

High standards with regard to the environment and working conditions

The fight against climate change and the use of resources will determine the future of our society. That is why the BMW Group is taking responsibility here and now: "When developing the battery modules for our electric vehicles, we pay particular attention to sustainability in addition to high energy density and efficiency. We attach great importance to ensuring that all environmental and social standards are met in our supply chains. Therefore, the cell modules with their special properties are also ideal for use outside the vehicle. We are pleased that through our partnership with Solarwatt we can make an additional positive contribution to further bringing photovoltaics and electromobility together," said Dr. Eric Hamm, Head of Drive Systems for Industrial Customers and Remanufacturing at the BMW Group.

 For partner Solarwatt, sustainability and the guarantee of comprehensive social standards throughout the supply chain are also essential, as the main shareholder Stefan Quandt confirms: "Solarwatt also sets high standards regarding the environment and working conditions. We produce sustainably and can guarantee that our supply chain is socially and fairly managed."

SOLARWATT Battery flex – quality standards as in the automotive industry

The "Battery flex" home storage system is modular in design and flexible in terms of capacity from 4.8kWh up to a size of more than 240 kWh. The storage unit can thus be perfectly adapted to the existing photovoltaic system, which keeps costs low and also conserves resources. In addition, the storage unit can be integrated into the direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) circuit and is thus also suitable for retrofitting into any existing system. The individual components of "Battery flex" weigh no more than 25 kilograms. This means that the storage system can be easily installed by a single person. Using an existing Internet connection, the latest software version and new functionalities are always automatically uploaded.

 The electricity demand in a home is typically particularly high in the morning and evening hours. With a battery storage system, the self-generated solar power can be used when it is needed. This increases the self-consumption rate to up to 80 percent, which reduces energy costs in the household and thus CO2 emissions particularly significantly. The use of the Solarwatt "Battery flex" battery storage system in conjunction with the Solarwatt "Manager flex" is particularly efficient. The intelligent energy management system controls and optimises the energy flows in the household and thus ensures that as much solar power as possible is consumed in the household itself. In this way, the purchase of grid electricity can be reduced and energy costs lowered even further. The Solarwatt "Manager flex" also takes care of the intelligent charging of an electric vehicle.

 The partnership between Solarwatt and the BMW Group has already been in place since April 2013. The collaboration initially involved arranging complete photovoltaic solutions for roof systems and carports for BMW i customers. The development of the new electricity storage system is now the next step in collaboration. The common goal is to develop further customer-centric and sustainable solutions, that the fields of photovoltaics and electromobility grow together and that help to reduce CO2 emissions, as Detlef Neuhaus explains: "E-mobility and photovoltaics simply belong together inseparably. Because only if as many electric cars as possible are charged with renewable electricity, such as solar power, does the shift to electromobility make any sense at all, ecologically and economically. That's the only way we can make the world a little better as a result."


About Solarwatt

Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Dresden, Germany, Solarwatt GmbH is the European market leader in glass-glass solar modules and is one of the leading suppliers of electricity storage systems. For 28 years, the Solarwatt brand has stood for premium quality from German manufacturing. Solarwatt's vision is to be the lifelong companion for people who want to supply their homes with clean energy. Solarwatt now employs around 600 people worldwide. Further information:


About the BMW Group

With its brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world's leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and a provider of premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly plants in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network with representatives in over 140 countries.

 Long-term thinking and responsible action have always been the basis of the BMW Group's economic success. The company set the course for the future at an early stage and consistently places sustainability and resource conservation at the centre of its orientation, from the supply chain through production to the end-of-life phase of all products.

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Marleen Reinders
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