M5BAT Modular Battery Storage System Now in Operation in Aachen

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After a year of construction the M5BAT modular battery storage system began operations today in Aachen.


Professor Dirk Uwe Sauer, who was responsible for the overall project and operation of M5BAT and works at the RWTH Aachen Institute for Power Generation and Storage Systems, PGS, spoke on the importance of the project to energy research:"Right from the start more than 25,000 battery cells will intesively and individually monitored in six strings with varying lithium ion battery technologies and four different lead-acid battery strings. This will provide us with valuable information about ageing, reliability, and lifetime. Simultaneously, we wish to use intelligent battery management to demonstrate how the entire operation can be optimally operated with a hybrid system of different technologies."

The energy storage system is located near a transformer station and RWTH's research institutions. The fully automatic operation is monitored with the help of a telecontrol station from energy trading's Uniper SE in Düsselforf and remotely controlled for energy trade. The battery storage system will be implemented for research purposes, such as to perform primary control.

Combination of Various Battery Technologies

Eckhardt Rümmler, chair of Uniper and responsible for new technologies among other responsibilities, emphasized the role of the systems in the future: "With M5BAT we are testing the usage possibilities of a combination of different battery technologies in the real grid and on the market. The storage system is alread integrated into Uniper's operative trade business and will provide important, near-term insights into the development of business models based on peripheral storage systems. Energy storage systems are an important component of a successful energy transition. They contribute to greater flexibility in energy systems and system stability. They are also essential for supplying electricity with low amounts of CO2 based on renewable energies."

What's special about M5BAT is the five different battery technologies that are implemented. Professor Rik W. De Doncker, director of the Sustainable Energy Cluster at RWTH spoke about the chances of M5BAT operation: "Beginning operations of the M5BAT battery storage system is a mileston in our storage activities at RWTH Aachen. The start of the operations allows us to expect interesting new findings on the economic and technical properties of storage devices. We want to use these research results to sustainably improve the profitability and the market introduction of battery storage devices."

Project Partners

  • E.ON Energy Research Center
  • Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics at RWTH, IAEW
  • Energy supplier Uniper SE
  • Battery distributor Exide Technologies GmbH and its division GNB Industrial Power
  • Inverter manufacturer SMA Solar Technology AG

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