ITOCHU Announces Launch of New Product in the Smart Star Series of Next-Generation Residential Energy Storage Systems

Aiming to create a virtuous circle of the environment and economy

March 3, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it will begin selling Smart Star 3, a new product from the ITOCHU-branded Smart Star series of residential energy storage systems (ESS), which are developed and manufactured jointly with NF Blossom Technologies, Inc. The new product will launch in May 2021.

The “Smart Star” series products has been highly acclaimed for its functions that are resilient in unforeseen power outage caused by a natural disasters or similar event, and for “GridShare”, an AI-based software for the battery optimal control that captures consumers' needs for the self-consumption of power associated with the expiry of feed-in tariff (FIT) period for solar power generation systems. As of February 2021, cumulative sales of the series has exceeded 40,000 units (approx. 400 MWh). Cumulative sales of network-connected ESS AI software equipped exceeded 30,000 units (approx. 300 MWh). The number of distributed energy resources on ITOCHU's AI platform have increased every year.

Aiming to move on to the next stage, ITOCHU will launch Smart Star 3, the next-generation distributed energy resources creating a virtuous cycle between the environment and the economy, in addition to the existing standard functions for power failures and AI functions.

◆World's first point reward program in which non-fossil environmental value is created through ESS and converted into GridShare points

The greatest feature of Smart Star 3 is that the ESS itself will create new value. While self-consumed power from solar power generation systems for commercial use is tradable as non-fossil environmental value, the self-consumed power of households was not identified, overlooked as an embedded value. Focusing on the embedded value of increasing number of post-FIT households, ITOCHU has developed the world’s first system for capturing non-fossil environmental value in household through ESS. ITOCHU will provide this non-fossil environmental value to our partner companies, which aim to build a decarbonized society and share our philosophy, while providing customers with GridShare points reflecting this value. Customers can check the non-fossil environmental value points (GridShare points) through a dedicated app and they can use the points for shopping and other services. Thus, the new product enables customers to more immediately feel their own environmental contributions.

◆Approaches for next-generation power trading, including P2P

By establishing direct contact with customers through the app, we aim to use the ESS data accumulated by its AI platform, with the goal of further improving its existing services. In addition, ITOCHU will innovate to continue enhance the unique features of Smart Star 3 in anticipation of new services that will leverage ESS, such as the Virtual Power Plant business, which features the integrated control of network-connected ESS, and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading, which is expected to begin in the near future.

◆ Achievement of a clean energy cycle through the EV charging feature

In addition, Smart Star 3 has a charging feature for electric vehicles (EVs). It is also capable of functioning as a part of the charging infrastructure for rapidly growing EV. As “Smart Star 3” accurately measures the electricity generated by a household solar power system and charges this clean energy into EVs, we will promote EVs driving powered by clean energy and contribute to the enlargement of the EV charging network. Specifically, EVs can be charged by Smart Star 3 and then travel to commercial facilities, retail stores, and similar facilities and discharge the power, enabling the use of clean energy. Through these and other initiatives, ITOCHU aims to create a new economy through energy management beginning with Smart Star 3.

Through sales of the Smart Star series, ITOCHU will continue to popularize distributed energy. At the same time, the company will continue to take on new challenges to create new value and establish a new economy, beyond the frameworks of individual industries or products, through its storage battery business.

Illustration of the new Smart Star 3 (the product video)

Outline specifications

Rated capacity 13.16 kWh
Maximum power Grid-connected operation/Off-grid operation 5.5kVA
Rated voltage Grid-connected operation
Connected to single-phase two-wire AC202V or single-phase three-wire AC202V
Off-grid operation
Single-phase two-wire AC202V
Single-phase three-wire AC202V / AC101V with auto-transformer
External size 118.2 cm (W) x approx. 100.8 cm (H) x approx. 39.2 cm (D)
Weight Approx. 265 kg
Installation location Outdoors
Shipping date Sequentially commencing in May of 2021