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      NUVATION ENERGY’S BATTERY MANAGEMENT SOLUTION EMPOWERS THE ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM MARKETPLACE


      Energy storage systems (ESS) are essential in transitioning to a renewable-based, decentralized energy grid. They play a critical role in addressing the challenges of the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources and satisfying the increasing demand for energy by electric vehicles (EVs).

      By storing excess electrical energy in batteries and releasing it during peak demand, ESS helps stabilize the grid by balancing energy supply and demand. Ensuring ESS efficiency—from batteries and control systems to connectivity infrastructures—requires a safe, reliable, and scalable battery management system (BMS). Innovation is needed to advance ESS capabilities, increase operational reliability, strengthen preventative safety measures, and reduce the total cost of ownership.

      Nuvation Energy, a leader in the stationary ESS market, meets the challenge with a configurable BMS that supports a wide range of battery chemistries. This flexibility allows ESS owners to source batteries from multiple sources, including spent EV batteries. For its next ESS innovation, Nuvation needed a trusted partner. It chose Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), an industry leader known for its deep domain expertise, extensive field support, and precision BMS cell monitors to help solve Nuvation’s new technical problems, cater to market needs, and facilitate getting to market faster.

      AT A GLANCE

      COMPANY

      For over a decade, Nuvation Energy has provided configurable products and engineering services for ESS. Its battery and energy management systems are used worldwide, from utility grids and EV charging stations to solar energy storage and second-life battery packs.

      TECHNOLOGY

      Battery and energy management solutions, including a proprietary continuous cell balancing algorithm and a high and low voltage BMS module, based on the LTC6811 high precision cell monitor.

      CHALLENGE

      Maximize the usable capacity of the ESS and deliver a BMS that is supportive of many kinds of battery chemistry. Minimize system downtime and maximize power conversion efficiency.

      GOAL

      Improve total cost of ownership (TOC) for ESS. Enable reliable BMS performance and a long ESS lifetime. Provide ESS manufacturers with a faster time to market so the operator does not have to develop and maintain a BMS in-house.

      A SHARED VISION FOR THE FUTURE

      interior of custom designed energy storage system
      A custom-designed ESS by Nuvation Energy. Nuvation develops advanced battery management solutions, incorporating its proprietary algorithms with precision hardware technologies. It provides a third-party configurable BMS recognized for ESS’s functional safety, meeting the UL 1973 standard.

      Nuvation Energy and ADI have worked together for a decade. In 2021, the Nuvation-ADI relationship accelerated when both companies recognized they shared a vision for the future, including reusing EV batteries in second life and expanding the electrification ecosystem—a key market play for Nuvation.

      Nuvation turned to ADI to collaborate on its next advance, Gen 5, targeting the ESS equipment and offering high and low voltage BMS designed for long-term reliability. Over the next two years, Nuvation worked closely with ADI as its trusted partner to integrate past technical accomplishments and solve new issues.

      MEETING THE CHALLENGE

      Screenshot from a BMS (Battery management System)

      Comprehensive range of voltages and temperatures

      After review and testing, Nuvation selected ADI’s LTC6811 high precision cell monitor to integrate with its BMS. Working together, the technologies can more accurately monitor and manage high and low voltages (from 60 V to 1500 V) and higher energy-density lithium batteries. Nuvation’s cell balancing and state of charge (SOC) algorithms help maximize the usable capacity of the batteries and decrease system downtime.

      connected batteries

      Multiple battery profiles and chemistries

      ADI’s BMS cell monitor sensors enabled Nuvation to develop a flexible battery management solution that could be programmed to support the voltage and temperature ranges and charge/discharge profiles of many types of batteries. The sensors also allow ESS providers to source batteries with different chemistries and capacities from a wider pool of vendors.

      Spider web graph of different battery styles

      Integration

      Nuvation Energy’s BMS prepares ESS installations for future augmentation, as newer batteries with newly designed management profiles and chemistries may be added. Nuvation BMS’s configurability would help simplify the integration of these batteries.

      Worker dismanteling an EV battery

      Support

      Nuvation’s BMS solution supports Lithium-based batteries (as well as batteries employing other chemistries). Lithium-based primary batteries are more expensive than other chemistries but are optimum for energy storage and faster charging. Low use secondary batteries, added for redundancy, allow for more cycle time. They use cheaper chemistries but may require longer charging times.

      PASSIVE VS. CONTINUOUS CELL BALANCING

      The time an ESS spends in downtime during battery charging can be costly to the system operator. Reducing downtime and avoiding damage during charge and discharge cycles are essential for a productive ESS. The following presents two methods for balancing cell charge and compares efficiencies.

      Icon depicting before balancing
      Before Balancing
      icon depicting passive balancing
      Passive Balancing
      Icon depicting continuous balancing
      Continuous Balancing

      Passive Cell Balancing utilizes voltage change data acquired at the top of the charge cycle. Depending on the amount of imbalance in the batteries, this may result in a reduced operation period for the ESS as cell balancing brings all the cells to a full charge. The BMS monitors cell voltage and temperature and provides crucial data to the power conversion system (PCS) (which converts AC to DC and vice versa) to help ensure it does not damage the batteries during charging and discharging and initiates preventive safety measures when needed.

      Graph showing Continuous vs. Traditional balancing

      legend continuous balancing 2  Continuous balancing can occur anywhere in this region

      legend traditional balancing 2  Traditional balancing can occur in this region

      Continuous Cell Balancing utilizes Nuvation’s G5 BMS and ADI’s precision measurement technology. Cell imbalance is periodically estimated when the fastest charging cell reaches 100% state of charge. Nuvation’s BMS balances the remaining cells during system operation. This process enables the ESS to resume full operation quickly. According to Nuvation Energy, in many use-case scenarios, Nuvation Energy’s innovative continuous cell balancing approach can deliver over 99% ESS uptime.1

      A SECOND LIFE MARKETPLACE

      IEA’s New Policies Scenario foresees the number of electric cars on the road to exceed 125 million by 2030.2 After 8 to 10 years in an EV, the battery packs retain 70% to 80% of the original charge capacity. This can be leveraged for up to an additional decade in stationary ESS applications.

      ADI’s precision cell monitors help build trust between EV battery buyers and sellers. They provide accurate cell voltage and current data to determine the battery’s state of charge across its lifecycle and as the battery comes out of EV operation into the second-life marketplace.

      Graph showing increase of global EV usage

      Global EV Outlook 2023: Catching Up with Climate Ambitions.” IEA.2

      “An EV’s BMS is designed specifically for use in an EV. While appropriate to that use, better performance and scale can be achieved with a BMS designed for stationary energy storage,” said Michael Worry, Nuvation Energy CEO. “Our customers choose Nuvation Energy’s BMS for second-life applications in stationary ESS because it’s specifically designed for ESS, allowing for that improved performance and scale.”

      There are clear economic and environmental incentives for nurturing a secondary battery market—a critical component of Nuvation and ADI’s shared ecosystem strategy. Organizations that manage high volumes of used batteries can create new revenue sources where batteries can be repurposed to store excess power generated by wind and solar. The total cost of ownership is reduced as the lifetime value of a battery (~30% of the cost of an EV) is amplified. Extending a battery’s life also puts less stress on mining raw materials and decreases the number of batteries going into landfills.

      ev battery container
      Containerized EV Battery Second Life ESS

      PARTNERS NURTURING THE ESS ECOSYSTEM

      Today, Nuvation Energy provides advanced energy management solutions and ESS design services to automotive companies, system integrators, and battery warehousing companies, adding second life to their EV battery life cycle strategy. A robust second-life strategy enables organizations that manage high volumes of used EV batteries to create new revenue sources, reduce expensive warehousing, and delay battery recycling when there is usable life. Nuvation’s solution helps minimize waste and wasted energy, supports distributed energy resources, and helps to nurture an open energy marketplace where commercial microgrids and producers can sell their excess renewable energy back to the grid while supporting grid stabilization.

      “We continue to work closely with Nuvation Energy and introduce them to our ecosystem partners,” said Nitin Sharma, General Manager, Sustainable Energy, ADI. Michael Worry, CEO of Nuvation Energy, said, “We view Analog Devices as partners in our journey to solve critical next-gen platform and system challenges, develop the energy storage marketplace, and help us create great ESS solutions for our customers.”

      distribution of storage of energy

      References

      1Battery Management Systems. Nuvation Energy.
      2“Global EV Outlook 2023: Catching Up with Climate Ambitions.” IEA.