Why are battery energy storage solutions an important part of the future smart grid?

Why are battery energy storage solutions an important part of the future smart grid?

The consequences of a smarter electrical grid with a two-way digital communication of technologies, is vulnerability of a blackout or disruption in electricity. Energy stored in a battery solution gives a reliable deliverance of electricity for the smart grid and makes new unstable and deeply needed sources of alternative energy accessible.

Lost or unstable production

In the future, the increasing amount of photovoltaic and wind energy introduces some potential problems. This energy is dispatchable and cannot be turned on and off. The produced energy must either be consumed locally or fed into the grid when generated. When the percentage of this type of energy production increases, some issues arise related to energy balance and power-generation stability.

When the production is higher than the consumption, it may potentially be lost. Until now, this has not been much of a problem, due the low-scale use. This becomes far more important as we now look upon a comprehensive use of alternative energy sources. In addition, unstable weather leads to curtailment. 

This is a purposeful reduction in renewable electricity output below the levels that could otherwise have been produced.

A challenge without the shock absorber

One of the most complicated challenges of a renewable power grid is how to replace the inertial stability provided by the spinning generators that the modern grid is built to serve.

The kinetic energy of the massive rotating machines in a traditional grid works like a shock absorber to keep grid frequency from dropping too fast when demand for electricity increases. 

Batteries can provide this kind of frequency stabilisation when used as a fast frequency response (FFR). 

Avoid the peaks in consumption

The way we use electric energy has changed during the last decade. Now we use several hundreds of kilowatts more than the powerplants were originally intended and built for.

The main supply is developed to manage the peaks in our consumption, leading to a high price for the consumer at peak-consumption times. 

When using a battery energy storage solution and using the electricity more sustainably, you can handle peaks, and energy will be cheaper.

What the smart grid does

Innovation, like the smart grid, is another big step towards creating a sustainable world.

The digital technology that allows for two-way communication between the utility and its customers, and the sensing along the transmission lines is what makes the grid smart.

The benefits associated with the smart grid includes more efficient transmission of electricity and quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances. It also reduces operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers. 

Making the smart grid even smarter

The ever-evolving technology is depending on a reliable source of electricity. A series of failures related to computer and internet interruption can therefore be the result of a blackout in electricity. 

With a battery system, you might not even notice that you are in the middle of an interruption as the system automatically switches to another source.

The upcoming changes to the grid and power production will reduce the need for building new and expensive power transmission lines, even when the electric power production increases. This possibility is further enhanced by the introduction and realization of virtual power plants that aggregates the capacities of heterogeneous distributed energy resources to enhance power generation.

A smarter grid will add resiliency to our electric power system and make it better prepared to address emergencies such as severe storms, earthquakes, large solar flares, and even terrorist attacks.

Because of its two-way interactive capacity, the smart grid in combination with virtual power plants, will allow for automatic rerouting when equipment fails or outages occur. 

This will minimize outages and minimize the effects when they do happen. When a power outage occurs, smart grid technologies will detect and isolate the outages, containing them before they become large-scale blackouts.

A new level of consumer participation

The smart grid gives you the information and tools you need to make choices about your energy use, similarly to managing activities such as personal banking from your home computer. And whenever there is an interruption in the electricity supply – the battery energy storage solution takes over and saves the day!

The goal is to have the right amount of energy available at the right time. Battery storage of energy is one part of the answer. 

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