Energy storage is largely presented by pumped hydro storage, but the battery storage market is emerging with a rapid growth rate. Dr.-Ing. Nam Truong and Dr.-Ing. Arthur Singer from STABL (m-Bee GmbH) give their insights about why we should now focus on large-scale battery storage.
This article is brought to you by EIT InnoEnergy.
EIT InnoEnergy brings together the three elements of what is known as the Knowledge Triangle – higher education, research and industry – to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the world today. The company’s pan-European network of partners includes 23 shareholders, as well as 430+ associate and project partners which represent the best of Europe’s industry, research, and higher education – and all are key players within the energy sector.
Their professional learning offers a single-point of access to thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, businesses, career information and start-ups to build courses, learning solutions and hands-on industry experiences. Individuals who would like to reskill, upskill or advance their career can create personalised learning journeys with a mix and match range of learning experiences. Online and blended courses are designed to develop knowledge, build skills and deepen expertise. Companies can use their online and blended courses to catalyse the business‘ critical knowledge, skills or expertise. By tapping into EIT InnoEnergy’s collective expertise companies can create custom learning experiences for the organisation or outsource part of their corporate university.
The most popular application with the largest number of systems and an installed capacity of 420 MWh in Germany, are residential PV-home storage for the optimisation of a prosumer’s electricity bill by increasing the household’s self-consumption. Commercial-, industrial-, and utility-scale battery storage are not as well-known as their residential counterparts but already amount to a total installed capacity of 380 MWh in Germany.
PV-home batteries are primarily addressing emotional needs, such as energy independence or in some cases power supply for potential power outages that rarely happen in the ENTSO-E grid (German consumers suffer power outages for less than 15 minutes per year on average). Real value by relieving the grid, stabilise the power system, or mitigating the consequences of power outages are mainly delivered by larger storage systems. Residential batteries could provide the value to a small extent if they are pooled and if they work together like a swarm, with each providing a small share of its capacity to the respective application.
Therefore, larger battery systems will dominate in the future. The learnings from PV-home batteries should be applied to the larger systems, as soon as possible, to enable rapid market adoption. That implies specifically that the price is a major decision criterion, but the other factors like long cycle-life or the efficiency need to be considered over the lifetime of the battery system. Not only do these factors need to be considered holistically, but the variety of systems and manufacturers create datasheets of systems that cannot be compared properly. Consequently, a standard for the ascertainment of comparable values for performance indicators is required. This ensures that the best system will prevail in the market, not the best-promoted one.
STABL (m-Bee GmbH) develops and sells a new inverter technology to battery storage system manufacturers. STABL allows for a simplified design of battery storage systems that enable personal safety due to low voltage design and are robust against battery malfunction. The STABL technology uses a new modular approach that utilizes the existing battery modules, instead of the high voltage battery packs. Each battery module is equipped with a STABL module that allows a dynamic, software-based connection. STABL has been founded 2019 and has since won numerous awards.