22. Energy Storage System for High Penetration of Renewables and Decreased Use of Fossil Fuels
Statement:
High penetration of renewables often creates grid issues, high costs, and even environmental issues. Renewable facilities may be located in remote areas within a weak grid, requiring new transmission through sensitive areas. They may be located in highly populated areas where distribution assets are already near full capacity. The energy generated must be consumed instantaneously, so during periods of high wind, high solar insolation, or unforecasted generation, the energy from renewables must be curtailed. Typically, renewables cannot be 'dispatched' to meet the current energy demanded, so a high degree of conventional generation overcapacity is required. Flexibility comes at a high cost, requiring transmission and distribution with capacities often exceeding twice their average loading, and requiring fossil fuel based generators such as natural gas peakers. An alternative is needed to fulfill the vision of ubiquitous use of renewables and an efficient and reliable grid.
Summary:
EnerVault is pursuing grid-scale, megawatt-hour, stationary battery storage systems that are safe, reliable and cost effective. The system can perform the functions of a conventional natural gas peaker plant in a smaller area, emitting no pollutants, and sited within industrial load centers. EnerVault's systems are unique in that they become more cost effective when used for larger energy levels, which makes a variety of applications cost effective; including decreasing peak energy costs of a manufacturing facility and making wind or solar energy dispatch-able . At small production volumes, current costs are already competitive to similar conventional energy storage systems available today, but with increased production, EnerVault will be able to reduce costs 70 to 80% in less than 3 years. Unlike other storage systems, the electrolytes used in EnerVault's systems never wear out, so the systems have the capability of over 20 years of life as required for utility applications. As the electrolytes comprise over 90% of the system’s mass and can be directly re-used, EnerVault’s systems are highly sustainable from a lifecycle standpoint. EnerVault is based on its invention of the patented Engineered Cascade™ architecture. Redox flow battery technology was developed in the 1970's and 1980's by NASA, but since that time, almost all development focus has been on incremental improvements to components of the core technology: reducing the costs and improving the reliability and lifetime of ionic membranes, extending the operating temperature range of the electrolytes, and scaling the size of the systems. EnerVault is the first company to fundamentally address the performance of redox flow batteries by allowing flexibility in the cell design and chemistries, which enables a magnitude improvement in performance; the elimination of expensive, unreliable ionic membranes; and the ability to use readily available, environmentally benign, low cost electrolytes. The benefits of EnerVault's technology are significant: - Enabling: To enable a high amount of renewable energy, dispatch-ability is required. Contrary to the intent of using solar and wind, more under-utilized and polluting natural gas peakers will be required unless a low cost, reliable, and large energy storage system is available. - Size and Duration: Conventional energy storage systems (lithium ion and lead-acid) do not scale cost effectively to megawatts with multiple hours of duration. EnerVault's system can easily be configured for desired power and duration. - Safety: Conventional energy storage systems require expensive hazard mitigation systems. Due to the potential vulnerabilities, these systems, like natural gas peakers, must be sited remotely from the optimal locations within population centers and industrial sites. EnerVault's system is emissions-free; uses environmentally benign, non volatile chemistry; and as it is 90% water, is not prone to thermal runaway. In addition, the electrolytes are stored externally to the electrochemical stacks thus decoupling power and energy to create a high degree of safety as only the electrolyte contained in the stacks can release energy. This limits the risk of unintended energy release to a small fraction of the system's total energy. Moreover, fire hazards are reduced by the self-extinguishing nature of the aqueous electrolyte. EnerVault's systems can safely be located next to factories, near box-stores, or in residential areas. - Reliability: Conventional energy storage technology has a limited useful life, lasting 3-5 years, not the over 20 years needed for utility applications. Because the electrolytes in a redox flow battery do not experience phase changes, they never wear out, and are therefore a perpetual asset for the system owner. - Scalable: The cost of EnerVault's system drops dramatically with both product scale (the more energy, the cheaper) and with manufacturing scale assuring its increasing benefit for an increasing number of utility applications. EnerVault's electrolytes and cells are based on a very large supply base, readily available, and low cost commodities. - Cost Effective: The inherent attributes of EnerVault's Engineered Cascade™ architecture enable a fundamentally lower cost, reliable, and safer system than conventional redox flow batteries, cell based batteries, and natural gas peakers.
Why it should be recognized:
EnerVault's is a Silicon Valley company, using innovation to further US invented technologies to deliver grid scale energy storage system that enable a greener, sustainable, and more fuel efficient world. EnerVault's Engineered Cascade™ architecture enables grid-scale megawatt-hour battery storage systems that are safe, reliable and cost effective. EnerVault's backers include global companies Total, Mitsui, Tokyo Electron, & 3M that are expanding existing renewable product solutions. EnerVault advances NASA technology from the '80s to the levels needed on the grid, enabling stable operating conditions over decades of use. The system can perform the functions of a conventional natural gas peaker plant in a smaller area, emitting no pollutants, and sited within industrial load centers. EnerVault's systems are unique in that they become more cost effective when used for larger energy levels, which makes a variety of applications cost effective; including decreasing peak energy costs of a manufacturing facility and making wind or solar energy dispatch-able . At initial production volumes, current costs are already competitive to similar conventional energy storage systems available today, but with increased production, EnerVault will be able to reduce costs 70 to 80% in less than 3 years. Unlike other storage systems, the electrolytes used in EnerVault's systems never wear out, so the systems have the capability of over 20 years of life as required for utility applications.
1 comment:
On Feb 23, 2013 marianna.grossman said: Grid scale storage is key to wider use of renewables and deployment of interconnected smart micro-grids. This is potentially game-changing technology.
Submitted: Jan 07, 2013
Author: Bret Adams
Categories:
  • Energy (Resources)
  • Invention & Innovation (Human Systems)
  • Utilities (Regional)
  • Energy Capture, Transport, Storage (Planetary System)
URL: http://enervault.com/