Unique Battery Storage System To Be Built in Aachen
The E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen, the energy supplier E.ON SE, the battery manufacturers Exide Technologies GmbH, beta motion GmbH, and SMA Solar Technology AG are completing a large-scale 5 MW modular battery storage system in Aachen this year. The project receives a total of 6.5 million Euros in funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
The project, titled Modular Multi-Megawatt Multi-Technology Medium-Voltage Battery Storage, M5BAT for short, is unique for its modular structure, combining different battery technologies in an optimal way. It consists of lithium-ion batteries to meet short-term demand, high-temperature batteries to supply power for several hours, and lead-acid batteries for short and medium discharge times.
Due to its power range and high level of modularity, the battery storage system will be unprecedented, opening up a wide range of applications. In the first stage, the project will focus on the integration of renewable energy sources, testing of a decentralized supply of control power to stabilize grid operation, and electricity price arbitrage.
As Leonhard Birnbaum, member of the E.ON Board of Management , explains: “Due to the conversion to renewable energy sources in Germany, smart grids and large-scale energy storage technologies are getting ever more important. As part of its technology development and innovation activities, over the last years, E.ON has been investing in a wide range of future technologies. Battery storage systems are particularly interesting because, unlike compressed-air or pump storage power stations, they neither require special geographical conditions nor long planning cycles.”
E.ON is responsible for planning and construction of the battery storage facility and for developing and testing marketing strategies for future products for the energy market.
The Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics at RWTH Aachen University, IAEW for short, will provide research support for the project.
The E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University will operate the system, be responsible for grid integration, and provide scientific support.
The manufacturers Exide Technologies GmbH, beta-motion GmbH, and SMA Solar Technology AG will supply technical components and conduct operational testing.
The project will deploy Exide Technologies’ innovative VRLA gel and CSM copper plate technologies, which deliver high cyclic application capacity and high-current discharge. Beta-motion GmbH’s high-output lithium ion batteries will be used for efficient load management. SMA’s highly flexible battery inverters give the system its scalability and modularity.
Project Management Jülich, PTJ for short, will coordinate the use of public funds on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014; the utility-scale storage system is planned to enter service in 2015.