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ITM Power, National Grid and AMEC assess UK power-to-gas energy storage

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 09:47 -- Anonymous
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Storage in power-to-gas network could reduce energy losses
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ITM Power, a UK-based hydrogen energy developer, has begun a commercial contract with the National Grid and AMEC to assess deploying a power to gas energy storage technology in the UK.

ITM is working with the engineering consultancy firm to consult on the feasibility of using storage to reduce energy losses in the gas network. AMEC is a supplier to National Grid and will be acting as a third party cost assessor.

The project evaluates the costs and benefits of deploying the hydrogen storage technology to specific sites in the gas network to increase the efficiency of the gas system.

Award winning US storage projects

Fri, 09/13/2013 - 17:06 -- Anonymous
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Santa Rita Jail Smart Grid project’s energy storage management system supplied by S&C Electric Company
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Four projects involving a multiplicity of companies won commercial achievement awards at the Energy Storage North America (ESNA) conference in San Jose. Notrees Wind Energy Storage, SCPPA Thermal Energy Storage Programme, Santa Rita Jail Smart Grid, and Grid on Wheels each won for their innovation at utility scale.

The first project to win was the Notrees Wind Energy Storage Project, located in Goldsmith, TX. It performs frequency regulation, renewables capacity firming and electricity shifting with a 36MW, 24MWh advanced lead-acid storage system. Xtreme Power, Duke Energy and the DOE won an utility-scale awards for this project.

The second award went to Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) Thermal Energy Storage Programme located in Glendora, CA. It uses thermal energy installed at 200 customer facilities, totaling 2.5MW, 15MWh of rated capacity to supply energy time shifting, T&D deferral and renewable energy time shifting to the grid. SCPPA and Ice Energy also won a utility scale award for this project.

Next up was the Santa Rita Jail Smart Grid, in Dublin, CA, which is the country's largest CERTS-based microgrid (Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions) with renewable generation and large-scale energy storage. The microgrid remains operational even in the event of a regional power outage to maintain reliability and security at Alameda County's Santa Rita Jail. The companies involved were Alameda County, APT, BYD, CEC, Chevron Energy Solutions, DOE, Encorp and S&C Electric.

The final project to win was Grid on Wheels, of Newark, DE. It is the first case of EV batteries, chargers, and charging infrastructure to participate in, and generate revenue from, open ancillary services markets, including frequency regulation. The companies involved, BMW, EV Grid, NRG, and University of Delaware, won the award for being the most innovative mobility project in North America.

Entrants came from a range of applications that generate revenue by providing market services for the grid, such as frequency regulation, load shifting or spinning reserve. They were marked for: services provided to the grid, financing options, ownership model and technology strengths.

Morgan Advanced Materials sheds light on GE energy storage battery component

Tue, 09/03/2013 - 13:13 -- Anonymous
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Morgan Advanced Chemicals, battery collar, Durathon
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British ceramics firm Morgan Advanced Materials has revealed it is supplying a range of critical components and technology solutions for GE Energy Storage’s Durathon batteries.

Durathon sodium nickel chloride modules are designed for UPS applications for back-up power to the grid, as well as the telecommunications and transportation sectors. Each cell within the battery has to be hermetically sealed to guard against chemical leakage and then be connected to other cells in a module which is thermally insulated to ensure the temperature of its external surfaces remains within 10°C to 15°C of the ambient temperature.

Morgan supplies GE with ceramic collars to prevent chemical leakage to maintain performance and service life of the battery. For the collars, Morgan deploys Sintox FA, its propietory aluminium oxide ceramic.

The collars have a metallised layer, which is used to bond them to the metal components within the battery. The metallising is specially formulated to create a strong hermetic bonding combination with Sintox FA, which is chemically resistant to the corrosive environment within the cell structure.

Yannick Galais, commercial manager at Morgan Advanced Materials, said: “Our application engineers and technical team have worked very closely with GE to provide a customised, specific solution to enable the battery to perform effectively in a temperature range between 260°C to 300°.

“This low temperature range allows GE to offer a cost-effective solution compared with other technologies operating at higher temperatures.  Our Sintox FA material was specified for the battery collars due to its excellent bond strength and resistance to chemical attack, particularly important where continuity of service is absolutely critical, such as in hospitals and data centres.”

Tim Probert - New Editor

Tue, 08/13/2013 - 12:07 -- Anonymous

New Editor Tim Probert will be arriving to take the helm of BEST magazine from September. With many years experience reporting in the energy field, including as Editor of Critical Power magazine and online, Tim is an ideal candidate to take over at BEST as Gerry Woolf takes the full time role of Publisher. Tim will bring new insight to the magazine and a refreshed angle from industry events, of which Gerry has become a veteran.

Siemens ESS for black starting power plant

Fri, 08/02/2013 - 18:36 -- Anonymous
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Siemens is to supply a battery storage system to Vulkan Energiewirtschaft Oderbrücke GmbH to provide black start capabilities for a gas turbine at a power plant in Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany.

Siemens Low and Medium Voltage Division is supplying a Siestorage lithium-ion battery system that has been designed for Vulkan to provide 2.8 MVA and a capacity of 720 kWh.

The Eisenhüttenstadt blast furnace gas-fired power plant supplies a steel mill with re-start capabilities for the gas turbine after a power outage. The motor draws current from the battery storage system to ensure reliable current. The gas turbine starting motor is 400kW so the 720kWh ESS can accommodate the black starting.

Additionally, in the case of a power outage, the plant provides back-up heat and electricity to the steel mill.

This will be the second Siemens Siestorage in operation, the first being a 500kWh system in Italy that provides frequency and voltage stability to photovoltaic plants. 

Samsung and Xtreme Power team up for smart grid project

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Anonymous
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Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power are installing a 1MW/1MWh lithium-manganese oxide energy storage system for a demonstrative smart grid project in Texas. The system, to be installed at the Reese Technology Centre in Lubbock, is partly funded by the Department of Energy.

The project aims to promote utility scale energy storage with wind energy. The battery system will be utilised to regulate power generated from local wind turbines that suffer from intermittent loss of generation.

Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology together with Xtreme Power’s Xtreme Active Control Technology (XACT), which gives millisecond response time, will enable the wind generated power to be fed into the national grid.

This is the first project Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power have worked on together to provide energy storage solutions for renewable integration and grid support. The companies have formed the alliance to reach renewable energy goals and promote a cleaner electric grid.

Cummins to target Europe rental market with launch of new gensets

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Anonymous
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Cummins is targeting the European rental market with the launch of four generator sets in the 150 to 300 kVA range.


According to International Rental News, the rental-specific sets, which have been created by a new Cummins design team led by former A-Plant power rentals director Richard Mellard, are sized at 150, 200, 250 and 300 kVA, with the smaller two using Cummins QSB7 engine and the two larger models equipped with the QSL9 power unit

The sets will be made available in markets including Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia. The reports said Cummins would further expand their rental range, with launches of sub-150 kVA units by the end of 2013 or the start of 2014, and larger units following in 2014/15.

The gensets come equipped with Cummins’ PowerCommand controllers, although Cummins plans to offer third-party controllers for rental companies who want commonality across their fleets. The 150 kVA unit can be used in temperatures up to 500C without any derating and the 200/250/300 sets up to 400C with no derating.

Liquid molten salt for Emerson and SolarReserve energy storage project

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Anonymous
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Emerson Network Power and SolarReserve are collaborating to produce and store solar energy in liquid molten salt at the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada. It will be the first project of its kind to harness energy from the sun and store it in this way. The 110-MW project is due to be online by the end of 2013.

Nevada solar park

SolarReserve’s system of 10,500 mirrors focus the sun’s energy to heat molten salt that flows through a central receiver, which sits atop a 540-foot solar power tower. The molten salt then flows up the tower where it circulates through the receiver and is heated by the sun’s energy. It then flows to another storage tank where steam is produced, using thermal energy, which powers a turbine to generate electricity. Excess thermal energy will be stored in the molten salt.

Emerson’s Ovation technology will directly control the circuit and heating process of the molten salt system, the water/steam cycle and auxiliary processes. The control system will also provide supervisory control of the mirrors and interface with the turbine control system. ?

Enough energy is expected to be generated to power 75,000 homes regardless of whether or not the sun is shining.

A123 Update

Wed, 10/31/2012 - 17:02 -- Anonymous
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A123 is in deals with Wanxiang Group Corporation for a US$50 million emergency loan to fund its bankruptcy case.

After filing for bankruptcy earlier in October, A123 was to be lent money by Johnson Controls Inc as the ‘debtor in possession’ but now the Chinese auto parts maker will replace JCI with a lower interest rate on the loan. This is the initial offer for a bidding war that is sure to gain momentum as the two firms strive to gain possession of assets from the lithium-ion battery maker.

JCI still intends to bid for A123’s automotive assets but felt the value of the company would be further damaged by a lengthy bidding war with Wanxiang Corp.

Bankruptcy for A123

Wed, 10/17/2012 - 18:02 -- Anonymous
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A123 Systems has filed for bankruptcy following a turbulent year. The Massachusetts-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer that employs 2 500 has been struggling to keep its head above water following disappointing sales of electric vehicles and a costly recall back in March 2012.

Johnson Controls Incorporated will buy the automotive business assets from A123 in a deal worth US$125 million. This will provide the finance for the company during bankruptcy. The factory in Michigan is to remain open for the time being.

This latest news puts halt to the discussions for a rescue buy-out by Wanxiang Group Corporation in August. The US$465 million deal would have meant the Chinese corporation held an 80% share in A123 and four of the nine board seats. However certain conditions, including A123's liquidity falling below operational levels, were not met so only $22.5 million of the loan amount has been funded. These complications prompted the deal with Johnson Controls. The talks had sparked political debate because A123 had received a substantial amount of public funding from the Obama administration to boost the advanced battery industry in the USA and there was unrest about the company then falling to non-American ownership.  

A123 Systems has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 16 October 2012 due to its mounting financial problems. There will be a bankruptcy auction for assets. Johnson Controls has provided A123 with US$72.5 million in debtor-in-possession financing to fund the bankruptcy case.

The Michigan-based battery maker has suffered because the EV market has failed to take off as quickly as hoped, only accounting for 3% of US car sales last year. For the first half of 2012 it reported losses of US$ 208 million, this vulnerable position led to the talks with Wanxiang Corp.

The mounting financial problems came despite a cash injection of US$249 million in the form of federal grants from the Obama administration in 2009. 

The bankruptcy will add fuel to the US presidential debate as another example of an unsuccessful ‘green’ investment by the Obama administration. Following EnerDel, A123 is the second of the 30 battery and electric drive companies that received government funding to go bankrupt. Excess of US$1.2 billion has been provided for battery makers, including A123 and Johnson Controls, over the past three years to boost the hybrid and electric vehicle market. Of the money A123 received in federal grants, US$132 million has been spent on building a factory in Michigan.

A123 has suffered losses of US$857 million since the company began and was at risk of being delisted from the stock market because of consistently low stock value.


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