Powerlines on Blue Sky
Powerlines on Blue Sky
 

RENEWABLE ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS FOR A SMARTER GRID


The centralized energy grid is a network of generator sources, high voltage transmission lines, and lower voltage power lines transporting electricity over long distances and powering the lifeblood and economy of nations.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on electrification, the stresses and strains on an aging power grid are substantial. Spikes in usage during peak power times are growing more common, as are brownouts in India and Africa due to capacity shortages and infrastructure failure1.

Energy storage systems (ESS) allow for stabilization of the modern grid by capturing and storing renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. By mitigating the intermittency issues that renewable power sources face, storage helps remove the barriers that have historically prevented greater adoption of wind and solar resources. This makes power available anytime, to all users, and for all applications, including electric vehicle charging and powering for buildings, hospitals, and schools. ESS makes it possible not only to support the grid during peak hours of operation but also to keep the existing grid infrastructure without the risk of having grid overload and collapse.

ESS effectively facilitates the integration of the renewable sources of mainstream energy production.

Conor Power

Energy Director, Automation and Energy Group, Analog Devices

Energy storage and ESS have become a global focus in recent years, driven by the projected adoption rate of electric vehicles (EV) and other electrification technology. ESS will support the growth of EVs but also serve as the primary application for battery second life.

Recycle

RECYCLE

At the end of its lifecycle in an electric car, the battery is still valuable.

Refabricate

REFABRICATE

The used battery modules are tested and reassembled.

Reuse

REUSE

The battery modules are integrated in the stationary storage system.

Resell

RESELL

The electricity from these large batteries are used tor instance for grid stabilization.

SUPPORTING SUSTAINABLE ENERGY USE

ESS captures and stores energy provided primarily by distributed variable renewable energy sources, benefiting not only the environment but populations in the developed and undeveloped world, where electrification drives commerce and sustains life. Energy storage systems not only store energy in times of low energy demand for use in times of peak load demand, but also make future grid operation possible without the need to invest trillions of dollars into extending transmission lines or building new fossil fuel power plants that pollute the atmosphere.

POWERING THE FUTURE WITH RENEWABLES

Renewables contributed 18.1% to the world’s energy consumption and 26% to its electricity generation in 2017 and 2018, respectively. This energy consumption is divided as 7.5% coming from traditional biomass, 4.2% as heat energy (non-biomass), 1% biofuels for transport, 3.6% hydroelectricity, and 2% electricity from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and ocean power2.

The requirement of a sustainable energy future is driving the integration of more variable renewable energy sources onto the grid, which, in turn, is accelerating the adoption of storage to help maximize the resiliency of the grid. Forecasts predict the storage market will grow very quickly over the coming decades, helped by the projected adoption rate of electric vehicles (EVs) and other electrification technologies. Over the next two decades, investments (in new energy storage) are expected to soar by $620 billion3.

65%
GRID STORAGE CAPACITY ADDED BY 2030 TO BE USED TO INTEGRATE VARIABLE RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

In 2030, it is projected that 65% of storage capacity added will be used to support the integration of variable renewable energy sources onto the grid and to offer various grid-services, 30% to support residential, commercial and industrial facilities, and 5% to support EV infrastructure.


FORECAST ENERGY STORAGE MARKET GROWTH (2020-2025) 4

  • The market for energy storage is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% from 2020 to 2025.
  • The residential sector is expected to account for the largest share of the storage market.
  • The fastest-growing market: The Middle East and Africa. Largest market: Asia-Pacific.

ELECTRIFICATION, STORAGE, AND EV FORECAST5

  • The surge in global electricity production will be powered by renewable sources accounting for an estimated 80% of global electricity production in 2050.
  • Storage capacity, currently at 650 GWh globally, will expand to 31 TWh, with the lion’s share of that provided by batteries.
  • EVs will produce the most transformative lift in electricity demand from 0.3 PWh in 2017 to 9.1 PWh in 2050.

ON THE ROAD TOWARD A DECENTRALIZED ENERGY GRID

City Skyline at Dusk
The distributed generation of power through renewable sources, such as solar and wind, permit consumers who are producing clean electricity for their own needs to send surplus power back to the grid.

There are still numerous practical barriers in the way of a decentralized energy network, but the economics of small-scale and the cost of renewable technologies have vastly improved in the past decade along with the growth of localized solar plants, small wind farms, and battery storage facilities.

“The grid is evolving from one of centralized power production to one driven by distributed renewable energy sources, creating huge opportunities for energy storage,” said Mario Battello, general manager, energy and industrial systems, Analog Devices. Two basic types of energy storage exist: front of the meter, known as grid-scale storage, designed for major energy producers, and behind the meter, in which residential property owners and businesses make use of a variety of storage options installed on their premises. Last year, business services firm Lloyd’s Register said it expects decentralized renewable energy to be cheaper than power from the grid by 20256.

A PERFECT STORM CREATES A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY

The rapidly changing electrification environment, and a relatively immature energy storage market, created the perfect storm for one forward-thinking global energy storage company to enter the ESS space as a first mover, capture market share and demand, and become an industry leader.

To meet the challenge, the company partnered with Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) to tap its extensive hardware systems expertise, industry-leading battery management system (BMS) technology, and renowned, comprehensive onsite support. First and foremost, the company required a collaborator with a shared leadership vision and an uncompromising drive to innovate and deliver next-generation energy storage systems solutions. Together, they would quickly develop and industrialize an accurate, high performance functional safety certified energy storage system.

AT A GLANCE

COMPANY

A pioneer in the global energy storage systems market, enabling the future of energy generation, transfer, and use, consolidated its expertise in electrochemistry, power electronics, and systems integration to develop affordable ESS.

APPLICATIONS

ESS for residential, industrial, and renewable energy applications.

CHALLENGES

Upgrade existing power grid infrastructure in a cost-effective and efficient way to be able to support future power consumption needs. Develop an accurate, certified, ESS solution, ready to go into production. Assist with a critical need for application support, speed to market, and time to revenue.

GOAL

Differentiate position in the marketplace by focusing on developing premier BMS software and high quality ESS products to become the industry leader.

Battery Room in Power Plant

Since 2013, the global ESS company has been enabling energy generation, transfer, and use across residential and commercial storage systems, and the larger, grid-tied storage systems, deploying 2 GWh of energy storage systems worldwide. With self-developed technologies in cathode material, battery cell, and BMS, the company is now a leading manufacturer of lithium iron phosphate batteries and supplies off-grid power batteries and chargers.

CREATING A SUPERIOR PRODUCT THROUGH COLLABORATION

Building on a long history of collaboration, in 2018, ADI and the global ESS company embarked on a project to rapidly industrialize a functional safety certified energy storage system. “Speed to market and time to revenue was a challenge for the ESS company, along with high performance at an acceptable cost,” Conor Power, energy director, Automation and Energy Group, Analog Devices said. “They were not looking for components but sought a partner for help and guidance on integration, power, and the design of a full system solution.”

For over half a century, the goal of ADI has been, and continues to be, to help create and unlock technologies that solve engineering’s toughest challenges, share insights, and support partners and customers design the right solutions, empowering global populations while driving human potential.

ADI’s ESS partner existed in a heated environment filled with competitors. To be successful in the marketplace required a point of differentiation to distinguish their solution as superior to competing products. They drew on their core strength—software, and a BMS from ADI, featuring unsurpassed accuracy.

BMS ACCURACY MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

“With ADI’s BMS technology, the enhanced accuracy can provide an additional 15% to 20% in vehicle range per charge and a longer battery lifetime,” said Conor Power. “Higher precision in the measurement of charge may also translate into an extended battery coverage period. In large ESS systems costing millions of dollars, the cost savings can be substantial.”

ADI’s team of dedicated field application engineers (FAEs) leveraged their extensive hardware systems expertise and industry-leading BMS technology to work hand-in-hand with the partner’s software knowledge. ADI furnished the ESS partner with the LTC6813 to measure and monitor the battery cells, and provide precise information about voltage and current. Mario Battello said, “The LTC6813 is the most accurate in the market today and offered our partner’s engineers the opportunity to tap the microcontroller to calculate the state of charge and stage of health of the battery with extreme precision.”

Electric Car Charging at Public Station

Higher BMS accuracy is needed to determine the precise discharge rate of the battery and achieve an extended EV range. One needs to know precisely how much power is left (20%, 15%, or 10%?) to understand how far you can travel (50, 37, or 25 miles?). It is critical to know how much to charge and when to stop discharging the battery, as it can damage performance or the battery itself. Conor Power said, “Greater measurement accuracy means you can assure a longer battery life for your EV than one that is not accurate. The same principal holds true for energy storage systems for residential or commercial use.”

SITTING WITH ADI’S FIELD ENGINEERS

ADI’s FAEs sat together with the energy storage partner to create the reference designs and finalize those designs. “We’re creating reference designs at the system level,” Mario Battello said. ”We gave our partner two ICs, the BMS, and the isolation communication channel.” Conor Power said, “ADI’s competitors don’t sit with you in the field. Their evaluation process is designed to evaluate, not offer a solution. Our collateral is meant to be a final solution. Support from our field teams is common for our BMS relationships.”

Together, the partners developed and refined an energy storage system that provided higher system accuracy and better functionality at a lower cost than competitive solutions. In addition, it resulted in a high energy storage solution that enables a faster, boosted charge by simultaneously leveraging power from both the ESS and power from the grid.

Worker in Energy Storage Area

THE BEAUTY OF SIMPLE AND COMPLEX

“ADI’s BMS components are complex inside the silicon but easy for the customer to work within design, thanks to the collateral we furnish,” Mario Battello said. “Now the partner is starting mass production with the (BMS) LTC6813 and LTC6820. They are always interfacing with ADI to see if they can use our new components in their devices to stay ahead of the competition.” Today, the company and ADI are discussing a new generation design.

House with Solar Panels in Summer

COLLABORATION BENEFITS WITH CRITICAL TIME-TO-MARKET ADVANTAGE

The global ESS company found a partner in ADI that went far beyond being a mere parts provider. They discovered a trusted ally with extensive system-level knowledge, deep domain expertise, and crucial ESS experience and insights.

ADI offered technical support to the company’s local team and furnished expert-level field application engineers onsite. It not only provided components for the BMS and power and monitoring system, but also assured high accuracy and performance, reliability, and speed to market when timing was critical so the company could acquire new customers in a hot market while enhancing their time to revenue.

“Energy storage systems result in a better world through a more resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable electricity grid.”

Energy Storage Association

SHIFTING TO A HEALTHIER HUMAN AND GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT

As energy demands and the role of the consumer continue to shift, energy storage solutions will play a more prominent part in powering the world. This shift will set the stage for a move away from environmentally damaging fossil fuels to cleaner and more sustainable electrified applications.

ESS enables the efficient connection of renewable energy sources to the grid, thereby promoting the use of renewable energy on a much larger scale, while providing a cost-effective upgrade to the existing grid infrastructure, potentially saving trillions of dollars.

Solar Panel Fields on Green Hills

A key driver in the transition to electrification is the adoption of electric vehicles by consumers. Cost, range, and slow charge times continue to be barriers. However, one barrier was broken: ADI and global energy storage company’s partnership resulted in a faster, boosted charge. By eliminating this critical barrier, and developing accurate, safe, and cost-effective ESS solutions, ADI and its partner are paving the way to energy independence, a more sustainable electrified future, and a healthier human environment and global ecosystem.




1 Quratz Africa, “The cost of electricity shortages in Africa is more than just a problem of access.” Oct 21, 2018

2 Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century

3 Environmental Defense Fund, “Energy storage market booms, with more growth to come”

4 Mordor Intelligence, Energy Storage Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)

5 DVN-GL Energy Transition Outlook 2019, Power Supply and Use report

6 Raconteur, “Moving Towards a Decentralized Grid”, 2019