National Grid utilises new platform to dispatch ancillary services with battery storage

National Grid has used a new web-based platform to dispatch ancillary services using battery storage in the first example of the new system being implemented across its reserve products.

First revealed in December 2017 as part of the transmission system operator’s Product Roadmap For Frequency Response and Reserve, the Ancillary Services Dispatch Platform (ASDP) is intended to allow National Grid greater access to new technology types, enhancing flexibility across energy sources……

Full article here.

Could methane solve the seasonal storage problem?

A French research project has provisionally concluded using methane in a closed-loop power-to-gas-to-power (P2G2P) process could be a “credible solution” for seasonal storage from 2030.

The FluidSTORY project is looking into the viability of an electrolysis-methanation-oxyfuel (EMO) cycle for P2G2P, using underground storage for methane, carbon dioxide and oxygen.

EMO aims to overcome an important challenge with conventional power-to-methane: the fact that carbon dioxide supplies, say from carbon capture and storage, may be insufficient for methanation.

To deal with this, the carbon dioxide used in EMO is stored underground, in salt caverns, and cycled in a closed loop, so it can be reused endlessly.

There are other differences between EMO and the standard power-to-methane process, where hydrogen is transformed into methane, using biological or catalyst-based methanation, with the addition of carbon monoxide or dioxide.

Full article here.

Next Contracts for Difference auction confirmed by May 2019 as solar remains locked out

The government has confirmed plans to hold new Contracts for Difference (CfD) auctions for offshore and remote island wind projects, with the first to be held in May 2019.

But with no word on auction rounds or alternatives for established renewables, it looks as if utility-scale solar remains locked out of the process despite a growing chorus of recommendations to the otherwise……

Full article here.

Gravity – Potential Solution for Energy Storage?

Lithium-ion batteries are appear to be the battery of choice when it comes to most things, from smart phones to electric cars. However when moving to larger scale electrical energy storage, the cost becomes a very limiting factor, this is in part due to the expense of raw materials. Therefore research is being conducted into using gravity as a way of providing electricity during peak periods.

Essentially, a large mass is dropped at a time when there is a high demand for electricity, powering turbines for example, and then lifted at a time when there is not. The benefit of these types of systems are in the potential lower cost to power production ratio, compared to that of typical lithium-ion batteries.

Source article – Grantham Institute

Source article – the energyst

Cheap material could radically improve battery charging speed, say scientists

A newly identified group of materials could help recharge batteries faster, raising the possibility of smartphones that charge fully in minutes and accelerating the adoption of major clean technologies like electric cars and solar energy, say researchers.

The speed at which a battery can be charged depends partly upon the rate at which positively charged particles, called lithium ions, can move towards a negatively charged electrode where they are then stored. A limiting factor in making “super” batteries that charge rapidly is the speed at which these lithium ions migrate, usually through ceramic materials……

Full source article here.

New EV Batteries Must Include Vital Changes

For many years batteries have been self-destructive, either slowly or explosively, as a direct cause of the reactions they are designed to create: chemicals interacting to produce heat and current. Disposing of that heat is only one challenge to battery management. In autonomous vehicles (AVs), more sensors, operating at differing voltages and speeds, add not only heat but a widely varying load on the battery as the vehicle maneuvers without a driver.

New batteries that use materials and perform chemical reactions still in research will need even stronger, more precise battery management technology, according to an article that also notes the vast differences in power and efficiency between batteries and fossil fuels. The author said that regulations cannot solely be relied upon to enforce safety rules for battery management, which must become more accurate and reliable as batteries become more powerful.

Even the most well-made battery units are unpredictable for life and speed of decline in performance; a battery that degrades long before its volatility is gone is potentially explosive. Autonomous vehicles present an opportunity and challenge to these designers: batteries must be protected from errors and cyber attacks through wireless networks, which demands more powerful security for these networks. Battery controllers, like others in the vehicle, will report to the internal system and outside monitors through wired and wireless contacts.

Read the rest of the article here.

Vanadium Flow Battery Energy Storage

Vanadium flow and vanadium-lithium energy storage projects are being launched by Cellcube and RedT respectively. They aim to provide baseload energy, stabilise the grid and shift energy production to meet demand. It is believed they will be a lightweight solution with an extended service life compared to current available technologies.

Source articles here and here.

EVgo Announces Grid-Tied Public Fast Charging System With Second-Life Batteries

EVgo is America’s largest public fast charging network and working with BMW, Princeton Power Systems and Kisensum they have been able to create a second-life for BMW i3 car batteries.

They store energy generated during peak solar hours and then use this to fast-charge EVgo customers electric vehicles during peak periods. EVgo plans to develop more energy storage facilities across their network, believing it is a key technology for affordable DC fast chargin.

Full article here.