RE: [hreg] New battery packs powerful punch - USATODAY.com
- 2:24pm, Robert Johnston wrote:
> Interesting announcement. What captured my attention is that they are doingThe article cites a cost of about $2500 per KW, which really isn't bad at
> this on a large-scale. There is an upcoming battle between distributed
> power generation/storage (i.e., consumers and businesses) vs. utility-based
> power generation and distribution (what we have today, but augmented by
> renewables). This battery is another "piece" in the puzzle for large
> utilities. I think long-term most consumers will prefer utility-based
> distribution to messing with their own, unless the distributed systems can
> be made as cost-competitive and really easy to use and maintain. It will be
> interesting to see how it all shakes out over the next several years.
all, since that includes the inverters and such. Granted, a
traditional 225KVA UPS (which is basically what this is) would only cost
about $90k or less, but mass production should make a big difference here.
And speaking of UPSes (uninteruptable power supplies), these batteries
should be a big hit there, too, as people typically have to replace their
lead-acid batteries in UPSes every 3 years or so, depending on their power
quality. (The worse the power quality, the more the batteries get used, and
the shorter their lifespan.)
This could mean a boon for an industry that uses UPSes (like telecom, IT,
medical), as well as a positive environmental impact because all those
lead-acid batteries won't have to be replaced.
AEP looked at installing on of these down in Corpus Christi . Because of the Texas restructuring laws a battery fits into a strange area. AEP is the TDSP (transmission distribution service provider) for that area. They are not allowed to own any generation assets or consumers, just the wires.
My take on it was it was not generation but just “slow” electricity. The generator charges the battery and the electricity comes out later as needed.
But who owns the electricity while its in the battery and who gets charged for the battery losses (about 20% loss in a sodium battery).
They payback on congested areas works out quite nicely in some cases, an are that runs out of peak power only once or twice a year can have upgrades delayed for quite some time with a 2 Mw battery in the right place. Last I heard they weren’t going to pursue the project because of the ambiguity in the rules.
The Smart grid newsletter covered this a bit.
Technologies and Capacities
Pumped hydro, which generates electricity by reversing water flow between reservoirs, is the most widespread energy storage system on power networks. With an efficiency rate of more than 70%, pumped storage accounts for over 90GW worldwide, according to the Electricity Storage Association (ESA).
Flywheel systems, which utilize a massive rotating cylinder, boast effective load following characteristics and a wide-range of short and long-term capabilities. Beacon Power has refined low-cost commercial flywheel designs for operation that could last up to several hours and experts estimate that forty 25kW (25kWh) wheels can efficiently store 1MW for one hour.
Super capacitors, or electrochemical capacitors, possess swift charge and discharge capabilities. More powerful than batteries, they can be cycled tens of thousands of times. Those with energy densities under 20kWh/m3 have been successfully developed, and work is underway to expand the effectiveness of larger units.
Flow batteries have low energy density, but they offer high capacity and independent power and energy ratings. Technologies in use include polysulfide bromide (PSB), vanadium redox (VRB), and zinc bromide (ZnBr). The Tennessee Valley Authority recently built a 12 MW, 120 MWh PSB storage plant. VRB installations offer up to 500kW, 10 hrs (5MWh). In 1991, Meidisha unveiled a 1MW/4MWh ZnBr battery and numerous multi-kWh ZnBr batteries have been built and tested over the years.
Vehicle-to-grid. The idea of using the batteries of electric vehicles as an energy storage resource -- a concept called Vehicle to Grid (V2G) -- is still in its infancy, but may have potential as a quick-response, high-value service to balance fluctuations in load. By connecting enough vehicles to the grid and transmitting power back and forth as needed, utilities could one day save billions per year, some experts predict.
According to Electricity Storage Association chairman Jim McDowall, installation of electricity storage is accelerating. Demonstrations are popping up around the country and confidence is building. Some of the benefits of electricity storage include:
· Protection from long outages, voltage sags, and surges
· Effective on-site generation for peak shaving customers (GridPoint has developed an energy management portal that informs customers about the most cost-effective time to run appliances and allows them to control energy consumption and costs.)
· Streamlining supply during peak periods by coalescing storage capabilities with renewable resources (Ice Energy has patented an energy storage module that can reduce building peak demand by up to 95 percent while providing 7.5 tons of cooling capacity for six continuous hours.)
· Complementary optimization of photovoltaic and wind-generated electricity
· Favorable life-cycle cost, including capital and installation cost, operation and maintenance cost, and disposal cost
· Versatility for transitioning to microgrids and decentralization
The storage industry has been working work with governments, regulators, utilities, and operators to address and attempt to overcome the challenges to the proliferation of electricity storage. Some of these include:
·A lack of government subsidies and incentives to encourage investment
·Regulatory constraints and limitations
·The uncertainty of selling electricity storage systems at a price that will allow both developers and customers to profit
·Political will (it will take time to influence decision-makers. Will the window of opportunity stay open long enough for that to happen?)