How Battery Systems can be used to save money

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  • Time of issue:2021-06-07
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(Summary description)Energy management and battery technology have advanced dramatically over the past couple of decades, read more to find out how consumers are starting to benefit from these advances in technology.

How Battery Systems can be used to save money

(Summary description)Energy management and battery technology have advanced dramatically over the past couple of decades, read more to find out how consumers are starting to benefit from these advances in technology.

  • Categories:Industry News
  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2021-06-07
  • Views:0

Energy management and battery technology have advanced dramatically over the past couple of decades, and now these advances are starting to pay off for consumers. Energy management is the science that determine how much energy you need, and a battery is designed to give you that energy. Energy storage is basically a way to store that energy so that you never run low on it. So how does energy storage help consumers to save money?


In the early 1900's electrical energy storage was the only true means of storing large amounts of energy. The first systems required underground tanks which were full of water and had to be constantly kept above ground. Modern systems are more efficient and don't require such elaborate setups, but they still use one of the same principles - storing energy in batteries. These batteries will store power when the device is not being used, and release it when it is.


Types of Energy Storage


There are several different types of energy storage, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Lithium-ion batteries have become popular because they are safe and efficient. They also have a high discharge rate, which means that they hold their charge for a long period of time.


One of the most efficient is a solid oxide fuel cell, or an RO fuel cell. These use activated carbon to trap the energy created by the burning of fossil fuels, and store that energy in silica beads. When you're using the energy storage device, you simply add fuel to the cells and they will catch it. They run on the power of stored energy, rather than being tied to the energy that you need for your device to run.


Microgrid energy storage


Microgrids are small grids that are designed to work in an islanded fashion, with no connection to other electricity networks. Where a substantial portion of microgrid electricity comes from variable renewable generation, it is important to have a source of backup power for when solar or wind drops.


This backup has historically been provided by diesel gensets or other thermal units, but batteries offer a cleaner and—over the long term—cheaper option.


Island grid optimization


Like microgrids, island grids frequently have no connections to other networks and require thermal units to provide round-the-clock energy. Furthermore, the cost of shipping fossil fuels to remote islands can drive up electricity costs significantly.


With batteries, however, islands can make much better use of available renewable energy resources, reducing system costs without compromising grid stability. Furthermore, batteries can be scaled in a more modular way than thermal units, optimizing the capital required to meet island energy needs.


Power enhancement in shipping


Marine vessels are overwhelmingly powered with bunker fuel and power accounts for a significant proportion of shipping costs, with demands on thermal units becoming particularly acute when ships are maneuvering. Increasingly, though, the sector is being tasked with cutting its carbon footprint.


Because of this, an emerging trend among vessel owners is to equip ships with battery systems that can provide auxiliary power when needed, helping to reduce fuel costs and emissions. The containerized format of large battery systems makes then ideal for stowing on vessels.


Energy arbitrage


Energy Arbitrage is a way for nuclear power to be produced economically, by tapping into an abundant resource, namely the natural gas, coal or oil, and then dividing the cost between the producers of the fuel, and those who provide the service, such as gas and electricity providers.


In markets where there is significant intraday variation in energy pricing, this can be a potentially important source of profits from battery storage systems.


It should be noted that in most markets the profits from energy arbitrage alone are still not sufficient to guarantee a reasonable return on investment for battery systems, although they can be an important component of a revenue stacking strategy. The gains will likely rise in decarbonized grids, however.


Peaker replacement


Similar to transmission and distribution infrastructure deferral, batteries can be used to help utilities avoid the need for peaking power at times of high energy demand. This helps to reduce costs in two ways. First, the utility avoids the fuel costs associated with the regular use of peaking plants.


Second, utilities are increasingly using battery systems to avoid the capital cost of having to add new peaker plants to the generation system. A recent study, for example, found that Long Island in New York could profit from replacing fossil-fueled peakers with batteries.


Frequency regulation


For grids to run smoothly, alternating current has to stick to a more or less fixed frequency—60 Hz in the Americas and 50 Hz in Europe and Asia. When electricity comes from thermal plants, the frequency is set by the rotating mass of turbines.


In grids where wind and solar are the dominant generation sources, however, frequency can be much harder to maintain. One of the most effective carbon-free solutions to the problem is to use batteries to regulate frequency with millisecond-long discharges. 


Reserve energy


Grids rarely run at full capacity. Grid operators usually keep a few generators idling, in reserve, to take over if a thermal plant fails. Keeping plants running ‘just in case’ is expensive, though. It wastes fuel, creates emissions and requires additional capital and maintenance costs.


All of this cost can be avoided using batteries instead, since battery systems can be configured to kick in automatically whenever there is a loss of power to the grid—and can respond within milliseconds. State of the art battery storage technology can be used to store excess energy and sell it later when demand picks up.


The truth is that when you use energy storage devices, you can save money in several different ways. You can offset the cost of your energy source. You can lower your energy bills by having the devices and batteries last longer. The last benefit is that you will be helping to prevent global warming, something that everyone wants to do.


Get in touch with us to find out more about our container battery solutions and energy storage systems. Contact us now.

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