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Directory:Utility Scale Batteries

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Utility Scale Battery Technology

Batteries of all sizes have been part of life for decades. But, large utility scale batteries have been slow to develop, due to technological limitations and the demands and costs of delivering utility scale power, when necessary, for use on the grid. Recent developments indicate that utility scale batteries have finally reached a point of technological development in which they can be intergrated into the grid in select applications to ensure a constant power supply. This development will affect the entire alternative energy field, as large amounts of electricity generated by alternatives means from solar to wind to any alternative power source, can be stored in large quantities and used when necessary. This development means huge wind installations or solar arrays could someday provide reliable electricity throughout the world. Utility scale batteries are starting to be tested in localized applications, such as military bases, and if they prove effective in providing reliable electricity in these isolated areas, then large batteries are sure to be used in many more utility scale applications.

Companies

  • Featured: Batteries > Utility-Scale >
    Donald Sadowy's Liquid Batteries - Liquid Metal Battery Corporation, founded by an MIT professor and his students, is commercializing a battery technology for grid-scale energy storage. Their battery uses magnesium in the top layer and Antimony in the bottom layer, divided by a liquid salt layer. (PESWiki; April 17, 2012)
  • Featured: Storage > Utility-Scale / Refrigeration >
    Isentropic Gravel Batteries for Renewable Grid Storage - Using two large tanks of gravel, argon gas, and a special heat pump design, the British company, Isentropic, uses the temperature difference between the tanks as an inexpensive energy storage and retrieval mechansim. Applicactions also include heating/cooling as well as solar generation. (PESWiki; Apr. 28, 2010)
  • Plurion Systems - Zinc/Cerium Redox technology for renewable or grid electrical storage provides the highest power density of any battery on the market. The environmentally benign organic electrolyte is maintenance-free, making it possible to engineer sealed battery modules in the range of 250kW - 5MW, which can be connected to meet larger power requirements.
  • ZBB Energy Corp - The zinc-bromine battery is specifically designed for utility and large customer applications. As a flowing electrolyte battery, it is designed to efficiently store large amount of energy - storing up to three times the energy of conventional batteries. Customized systems for: Voltage regulation and system stability. Power quality / UPS. Peak shaving / plant deferral. Renewables support.
  • Deeya Energy - L-Cells have much better charging and discharging performance while being much cheaper than other batteries, contain environmentally benign materials and are infinitely recyclable. They will enable commercial renewable energy storage, Uninterruptible Power Supply and peak-off-peak Load Shifting.
  • VRB Power Systems - The VRB (Vanadium Redox Battery) Energy Storage System can economically store and supply large amounts of electricity on demand and is focused on stationary applications. It is particularly beneficial to renewable energy providers, utilities and end users through its ability to “inventory‿ electricity, allowing for the optimal match of supply and demand.
  • Fixing the Power Grid - American Electric Power deployed a huge NGK sodium-sulfur battery as part of a demonstration project that will fight blackouts and could make renewable power economically viable. AEP set goals of having 25 megawatts of storage in place by 2010, and 40 times that by 2020. (MIT Technology Review; Oct. 17, 2007)

Recharging the Power Grid

  • Altairnano and AES partner on grid storage - Altairnano, manufacturer of NanoSafe™ battery packs, announced that it is developing a grid storage solution with AES. A suite of energy storage solutions are expected to deliver in excess of 1MW of power and 500 KWh of energy to deal with congestion, peaks and fluctuations in electricity demand. (Inside Greentech; Jul. 23, 2007)
  • ZBB gets contract for renewable energy storage - ZBB Energy announced a contract with the Australian Federal Government to accelerate development of the company's zinc-bromine storage system, to store and supply renewable energy generated from photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbines. It will smooth the delivery of renewable power to the grid as well as deliver power at times of peak demand. (Inside Greentech; Jul. 9, 2007)
  • Article by Peter Fairley - "The world's largest battery is under construction. Two cavernous steel tanks, each one 10 meters tall and 20 meters in diameter, will soon hold nearly four million liters of concentrated salt solutions, electrolytes that will be charged and discharged by 24,000 fuel cells in an adjacent building. At night this installation, known as a flow cell battery, will suck electricity from the grid and store the energy, which it will discharge during the day when power lines are strained. When blackouts strike-common in this tornado-prone region-the huge battery will keep the base humming for up to 24 hours." (Technologyreview.com; March 2003)

Additional Information on Utility Scale Batteries

  • Vanadium Redox Batteries Directory - The vanadium redox battery stores energy in a liquid electrolyte. It is a low cost, low environmental impact battery that has a superior deep cycling life and can be mechanically refuelled in minutes. It can be charged and discharged simultaneously. Applications include geen energy storage, backup power, electric vehicles and utility load levelling / peak shaving.
  • Nagoya-based NGK's sodium-sulfur units - Costing about $2.9 million per megawatt, store electricity for sale when demand is greatest and have 4.3 times the capacity of lead-acid devices. They may permit Japan Wind Development Co. to triple to 27 yen per kilowatt-hour what it charges at peak times for power from the turbines in Rokkasho, while the profit surges sixfold to as much as 13 yen. NKG Insulators (Next Energy News; April 14, 2008)

Research and Development

  • Storage > Batteries > Utility-Scale >
    Bradwell's cheap, reliable batteries to store renewable energy - A battery designed by MIT grad student, David Bradwell, has active components that are liquid, which enables it to handle high currents without fracturing, and could eventually cost less than $100 per kilowatt-hour. Bradwell's battery is based on an electrolyte that can dissolve a compound consisting of two metals, such as magnesium and antimony ... (MIT Technology Review; Aug., 2010)

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