HELPS SMOOTH OUT INTERMITTENT RENEWABLE SOURCES
Batteries store electricity, charging and discharging electricity for consumption at controllable times. Electrical storage helps even out renewable energy loads.
Charge and discharge electricity on demand
Batteries charge and discharge electricity for consumption at controllable times. These can be used for residential and commercial applications. Lithium ion batteries are the most common type of reusable electrical storage, but other types include nickel cadmium, valadian flow-through, and fuel cells.
In general, all electrical storage devices operate by having an element flow from one electrode to the other. This subsequently causes an electron to move in the opposite direction. This flow of electrons is electricity that is either produced or consumed by the device. For a lithium ion battery, the electrolyte carries lithium ions from anode to cathode, creating free electrons in the anode, discharging electricity. The reverse flow charges the battery.
CONTROLLABLE AND DISPATCHABLE RESOURCE
Batteries are often accompanied by a four-quadrant inverter, which is capable of charging or discharging real and reactive power. This gives a lot of control and opportunities for the operator, see the Smart Grid technology for more information.
GENERATION SOURCE AGNOSTIC
Batteries are capable of storing electrical energy from many types of generation. Their inverter is often capable of regulating its voltage and frequency, which allows it to be in sync with the grid and sources of generation such as solar.
A commercial battery has high capital and installation costs. Another cost consideration is the roundtrip efficiency and sustained capacity of the battery. Batteries can lose their overall capacity over time and become less efficient, which need to be considered when purchasing or acquiring warranty.
PERMITTING AND CONTRACTING PROCESSES
As batteries are just entering the distribution network, local distribution companies are not extremely familiar nor comfortable with their installations. There may be a technological and process learning curve before batteries are well understood and operated in the distribution system. More pilot projects will improve the general understanding and interoperability of batteries.
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Attention: Alex Versluis, Senior Vice President, Property Management and Development