Saturday, October 17, 2015

New Trends in Battery Storage

Allow me to report the newest trends in battery storage from the German market, one of the pioneering markets in terms of renewable energy.
Next to trending residential home storage systems in the size of approx. 5 kWh combined with intelligent energy management systems, bigger commercial and industry battery storage systems in the size of 15 kWh up to MWh-range are now entering the market.
These XXL battery storage systems - realized with different technologies - can be used:
(a) to stabilize a local grid infrastructure, (b) for peak-shaving (cutting the peaks of volatile renewable energy supplies, such as solar and wind), (c) for arbitrage (optimization of difference in supply price and feed-in tariff, and (d) as uninterruptable power supply (USV).
The newest trend is virtual large-scale clustered swarm storage, where several smaller distributed battery storage systems are combined into a network structure via mobile connection.

Internationally, not only company Tesla is venturing in this area, also other big car manufacturers are joining in, e.g. Daimler, battery producers, e.g. German company Varta and French company Saft, and technology providers, such as SMA, Siemens, Bosch, Younicos, BYD etc.
Further regional energy providers, e.g. Lichtblick in Hamburg, and many start-up ventures.

Let's think about Podcars. If we are going to deploy and integrate battery storage into a Podcar system design, the following points could be considered:
- we could subdivide the looped podcar infrastructure in power cells, which are interlinked with each other. This would keep the overall system more robust and resilient. In this way, the multiple cells can load balance for peak shaving, price optimization and emergency backup. A local grid connection might still be needed to keep costs for battery storage at an acceptable limit. A feed-in tariff stucture would decrease the payback time period significantly.
- continous power monitoring from central station. A virtualized large-scale clustered swarm storage network could be deployed, which interlinks power cells and looped podcar nodes.
- a decision on battery technology has to be made, e.g. Vanadium Redox-Flow Technology, Lithium technologies or traditional "dinosaur" lead gel batteries (low price and matured technology).



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