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Energy Storage Global Conference 2018 Spotlights Long to Short Duration Energy Storage Methods

Energy Storage Global Conference 2018 Spotlights Long to Short Duration Energy Storage Methods

| Jan-Hendrik Ernst, Key Account Manager, EMEA

I was recently among technologists, policymakers, regulators and market designers to discuss the implementation of energy storage into our electricity system at the Energy Storage Global Conference, organized by the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) in Brussels.  

Three days, three foci
Each day of the conference had a special focus. Day one covered technology and gave manufacturers and researchers the opportunity to present a variety of storage technologies. On day two, policymakers and regulatory authorities presented the various European regulations and discussed methods for forming a framework for future deployment of energy storage into the grid. On day three, project developers and utilities presented business cases that demonstrate current energy storage system deployments and offered views on how markets can be effectively designed to maximize the value of storage.

Emerging from the diverse topics and presenters was the common challenge of integration of renewable energy and achievement of carbon dioxide reduction goals.

Exploring long- to short-term energy storage
As intended by EASE, the technologies presented were widespread. Three categories of technologies spotlighted at the conference included:

  • Long duration — Storage with high energy density; includes pumped hydro power, thermal energy storage, liquid air energy storage, power-to-X (gas, heat, etc.)
  • Medium duration — Battery energy storage, which provides high energy density
  • Short duration — Ultracapacitor (supercapacitor) energy storage, which provides high power density and is deployed as standalone systems for certain applications or as support for long and short duration technologies to increase flexibility in several applications

The conference was organized to allow numerous presenters to provide more in-depth information on these three areas of storage.

Ultracapacitors, the short-duration, high power option
I had the pleasure of presenting "Ultracapacitors: Stabilizing our Electricity System” for Maxwell Technologies in which I reviewed how high power, fast-response ultracapacitor technology addresses power-intensive, rapid response applications. My review included a brief discussion of how ultracapacitors are best-in-class for providing fast frequency response, with highlighted implementation in the Siemens 50 MW SVC PLUS frequency stabilizer (SVC PLUS FS), a system designed to reduce the risk of grid load shedding or blackout. Maxwell’s ultracapacitor-based Grid Energy Storage System included in the Siemens solution provides system inertia in the form of fast, active power injection into the grid to arrest frequency drop.

Beyond frequency stabilization, utility stakeholders participating in the conference had keen interest to learn more about all of the use cases for ultracapacitors in T&D grids. My presentation also highlighted implementation for renewables power firming to ride through second by second intermittent power output fluctuations and generation bridging where ultracapacitor systems rapidly provide full power support until secondary resources can be brought online.

I was also asked about the latest developments in ultracapacitor technology. The materials, production process, voltage parameters and cell capacitance are well understood, and the technology has been widely commercialized—there are millions of Maxwell ultracapacitor cells deployed in systems worldwide. The next step for deployment is the systemization of ultracapacitors, including adding intelligence to subsystems, enabling scalability, introducing highly reliable communication, and establishing control interfaces with the utility or with a power conversion system.

The conversations became more technically oriented at Maxwell’s booth, where attendees had the opportunity to meet with members of our grid energy storage team and ask questions specific to their current projects. We featured our portfolio of grid energy storage solutions, including a full-scale 19-inch equipped rack with our Grid Energy Storage System and cabinet controller, as well as our Grid Cell Pack, a scalable ultracapacitor-based energy storage module designed for microgrids, behind-the-meter demand and power quality management.

The ESGC organizers did an excellent job of providing attendees with in-depth content on the technologies, regulations and market opportunities for energy storage in Europe. It was a pleasure to attend and represent short duration energy storage with Maxwell’s ultracapacitor systems. The benefits of ultracapacitors for our electricity system include their ability to address frequency response, synthetic inertia, intermittencies in the grid caused by renewable energy integration, power quality and generator ramping. Visitors to our booth who were not yet familiar with ultracapacitors widened their awareness of these systems and the flexibility they provide when deployed into large-scale grid applications.

To learn more about ultracapacitor-based grid storage projects, you may view our power grid case studies.

Also by this author: Three Ways Energy Storage Solves Modern Grid Power Challenges

JanJan-Hendrik Ernst
Key Account Manager, EMEA
About this author

Dipl.-Ing. Jan-Hendrik Ernst is key account manager, EMEA at Maxwell Technologies. Ernst specializes in energy storage system design and consults EMEA clients employing ultracapacitors for a variety of grid energy storage applications, including wayside storage for rail, peak shaving for heavy industry, UPS bridging power, and battery preservation. Ernst consults clients from the design-in phase through the completion of the storage project, providing his expertise in deploying full ultracapacitor storage systems and in the hybridization of grid solutions with batteries. He is a member of the European Association of Storage of Energy (EASE) and is currently contributing research on the role ultracapacitors will play in the grid for the EASE European Energy Storage Technology Development Roadmap for 2030.

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