Franklin Whole Home has entered the residential energy-storage market with an eye to moving homeowners beyond energy security toward true energy freedom.
With The Right Storage Solution, Energy Freedom Begins at Home
Q&A David Wang, CEO and Gary Lam, chief sales officer | Franklin Whole Home
We sat down with David Wang, FranklinWH’s CEO and Gary Lam, chief sales officer, to learn more about the company’s vision and technology.
How are today’s residential solar and storage solutions falling short? What’s missing?
To date, we haven’t focused enough on how storage integrates into people’s homes and lives. The industry’s done a good job with generating, storing and exporting energy—but when it comes to optimizing the use of that stored power, we just haven’t offered the homeowner the sophisticated control they need.
A second shortfall is the siloed approach in our solar and storage technology. Most available storage solutions are tied to specific solar configurations like inverters. There’s not enough flexibility for consumers and installers to create customized solutions that meet specific needs. FranklinWH is breaking out of that box with a system that can work with any solar inverter in the market.
Is the industry forward-looking enough?
During the last 10 years, the costs of purchasing solar PV have decreased by 80% and lithium batteries have decreased by 70%. Now, we’re going through one of the biggest energy revolutions: new renewable energy plant additions are more competitive than conventional sources and we are seeing more climate-related storms impacting the grid.
We aim to change the energy usage user experience.
Today’s solar and storage is focused on security—which is the right place to start but far from enough. During outages, we can guarantee you’ll have light, and your fridge will work—but we can’t promise anything else. When the grid is down, you’re on edge even if you have a battery system: “How long will it last . . . can we run the air conditioning, keep the TV news going?” You sacrifice your quality of life because you’re in the dark about how much power’s left to keep essentials running.
How’s FranklinWH looking ahead?
For us, basic energy security is table stakes. The real key to our innovation is a unique combination of capacity and control. Our system gives homeowners more power to enjoy the extra things they want and the ability to optimize how that power’s used. It’s moving residential energy storage from bare minimum to better—from security to freedom.
We are working to help homeowners become aware of this shift and the “energy revolution” that’s happening right now. The FranklinWH solution is different from other market alternatives, and our mission is to help consumers understand this.
As a technology-oriented company, we will continuously invest in R&D and attract talent into this new, rapidly growing, and unstoppable industry.
How’s Franklin Whole Home making that happen?
Our vision is to bring energy security and freedom to every household – to drive the evolution of smart energy and provide a level of experience beyond what is attainable through traditional grid services. On the path to this goal, we aim to become a leading whole-home storage brand in the United States within the next 5 years to make a positive contribution to the digitization of energy.
We’re laser-focused on the homeowner and their use scenarios—and not just on what they need today but what they might need tomorrow. Because Franklin Home Power is an AC instead of DC system, it’s flexible, compatible and easy to install. There are two integrated components: aPower, a super-robust, high-capacity battery, and aGate, the smart circuit that gives the homeowner the flexibility to optimize that stored energy.
One of our main differentiators is our complete home integration: Beyond supporting a home’s main panel, FranklinWH is unique in its ability to power and control up to three additional large loads, including such things as HVAC, pool heating, and electric vehicle charging.
With Franklin Home Power, you get real-time data on usage and battery level—and suggestions about what to turn off to optimize your reserves. There’s even an app that puts system control at your fingertips.
How does the aGate work?
For starters, the aGate uses built-in adaptive learning algorithms to ensure home comfort . Its smart circuitry lets the homeowner prioritize power for things they can’t live without—the family’s electric vehicle, for example, or medical equipment. You can program the aGate to monitor parameters and reserve power for those items. If the battery drops to 20%, for example, aGate will only power the dedicated circuits you’ve identified. This optional smart circuit capability is built in—so there’s no need to pay thousands for a customized system.
How does aPower stack up against its competitors?
It’s super strong. A single aPower can handle the start-up of a four-ton air conditioner. It takes two batteries from our closest rival to support that same load. It’s also one of the scalable systems on the market and reaches up to 15 units for a total of 204 kWh.
Is battery safety still an issue?
Safety concerns are definitely still there. We use lithium iron phosphate—or LFP—a very stable, iron-based battery that’s gained a lot of traction in the market because of its safety.
Thinking about your installation partners, what advantages does FranklinWH deliver?
Four things come to mind. First, our system is really appealing to homeowners. We deliver power, flexibility and control they just can’t find in other solutions.
Second, installers appreciate that our system is pre-assembled. Our one-step “roll-and-hang” design is incredibly easy to install and our AC platform streamlines wiring and battery placement. Plus the fact it does not require any upgrades to the electrical main panel means lengthy permitting fees and delays are a non-issue. Because FHP includes advanced monitoring installers can pinpoint and resolve failures remotely - this simple diagnostics and troubleshooting means limited truck rolls and service calls, freeing installers to focus on new business.
Third has to be the high performance and reliability of our technology itself. To ensure confidence, we back our fully-certified system with a 12-year warranty, two years more than the industry’s standard.
Lastly, the fact that we’re compatible with any solar inverter opens up a lot of opportunities.
Thanks so much for your time today. Any final thoughts?
We’re excited to bring homeowners a power-storage solution that delivers real energy freedom—and to share the message that conservation doesn’t mean deprivation. With the capacity and control of Franklin Home Power, you can go green and still enjoy the luxuries that make life great.
About David Wang, CEO, FranklinWH
David Wang has over 10 years of R&D and marketing experience in the UPS industry and has been in the energy storage business since 2017. He brings a deep understanding of large-scale energy storage plants and home energy storage scenarios and solutions.
Facing the challenges of home electrification, energy decarbonization and the needs for high-quality energy storage, David and his team bring a novel whole home power supply experience in creating Franklin Home Power solutions.
About Gary Lam, Chief Sales Officer, FranklinWH
As the head of US business development for FranklinWH, Gary leads the company’s residential battery storage business; bringing energy freedom to every household. He previously served as Head of Utility Business for Ginlong USA (also known as Solis) as well as Director of Channels Sales and Director of Product at Huawei Technologies.
With expertise in inverter technologies, Gary is passionate about promoting new PV technologies for better yield and lower running cost. His experience included building the U.S. largest utility string-inverter project of 120MW. Gary began his solar career during college at Rutgers University in 2009 and participated in the DOE – Solar Decathlon as a lead engineer for his team.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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