Energy Storage Applications
Storage can be used anywhere energy is consumed. The reason storage is applicable in so many situations is that energy usage is variable: with peaks and troughs in demand, restrictions, and outright absence. The traditional grid scenario of large power stations located in the centre of the grid relies on squillions of miles of high voltage cables and pylons to spread the network up hill and down dale to our homes and factories. This network (if you’re lucky enough to live in a country where one exists) has a maximum capacity and takes time and money to expand. Needless to say: our changing world, growing population and increasing energy demand is changing far faster than the grid can and so there are bottlenecks. Bottlenecks which Energy Storage Systems can reduce and often overcome completely.
Energy storage on grid has two basic parts: Firstly: demand side management, which allows you to manage your energy consumption to avoid using energy at expensive times. Secondly, storage of excess energy generation from your solar panels or wind turbine to use as needed, instead of letting it flow back to the grid.
Off Grid Power
Off grid in this context means temporary power for the Construction Sector, for Events and Festivals or disaster relief. Most construction sites start with no access to power so the contractors use diesel generators. Most festivals take place away from the grid or just place too many demands on the grid so require off grid generators. These generators are almost always oversized and inefficient as they are sized for the peak demand, which may only happen two or three times a week. The rest of the time they are running below their optimum level, Energy Storage Systems (ESS) can cater for the base load in the evening and at weekends allowing the generator to be switched off entirely. ESS can also deal with the occasional high peaks, thus reducing the need for such a big generator in the first place, two wins.
Hybrid combining PV, Wind and Diesel Engines
Much like temporary power applications, where the traditional solution is diesel generators, the use of ESS in combination with renewables such as PV or wind means a once powerless community can have access to cheap clean electricity. Often the diesel generator is unviable because users can’t easily or cost effectively get fuel. Instead, with Energy Storage Systems, diesel generators can be relegated to the role of emergency backup only.
Mission Critical Systems
ESS can be applied like traditional UPS (uninterruptible power supply), except it is smarter, more capable, more connected and so ultimately much more effective. Where guaranteed power is required for applications such as; security systems, banking systems, ATMs, business critical services, circulation pumps, and computer servers that have to be running 24/7 – ESS provides a cost effective solution.
Avoiding Dirty Power
ESS is also suitable for use in critical areas, where traditional power generation is expensive or polluting, or there are health and safety concerns. This is especially true when diesel generators are the current solution.