ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation

 
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
February 2018

ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS

     Business models beyond frequency regulation
   Redox flow vs. lithium-ion | Flexible sector coupling

  Special edition in
  collaboration with
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
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ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
Contents

                                                                                               Photo: Younicos

                                                                                                                                                            Photo: Anesco
6   Storage highlights                                                                                           27   Masked surprises
    An expert jury assembled by pv magazine picks the top 10 innovations that will                                    Energy storage experts unravel
    be on show at Energy Storage Europe.                                                                              three of the major themes affecting
                                                                                                                      the landscape of energy storage.

                                                              Contents
Introduction                                        Technology

  Introduction: Editorial Director
2	                                                    Don’t worry, but keep asking:
                                                    18	
    Michael Fuhs and Executive Team                       Amid soaring demand, the ­
    Manager at Energy Storage Europe                     industry has questions for the
    Bastian Mingers introduce this pv                    ­lithium-ion supply chain.
    magazine special.
                                                       Redox flow breakthrough: Can
                                                    21	
Highlights                                               this battery technology compete
                                                         with lithium-ion, or carve out its
  Debrief: Four key questions facing
4	                                                      own niche in the large-scale
    the storage industry.                                storage sector?

  Storage highlights: At Energy
6	                                                 Business models
    S­ torage Europe, 24 exhibitors
     ­submitted their innovations to                    Driving long-term growth: Julian
                                                     24	
      our expert jury. See who made the                  Jansen of IHS Markit discusses the
      top 10.                                            growth and potential of co-locating
                                                         solar with storage.
   A new concept: Flexible sector
16	
    c­ oupling is becoming a buzzword               Roundtable
     in 2018. pv magazine looks at two
     innovative projects incorporating                 Roundtable discussion: ­Prominent
                                                    27	
     this model.                                         energy storage experts brought
                                                         together by pv magazine discuss the
                                                         latest industry developments.

                                                    Service

                                                    32   Publisher information

pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe | 02 / 2018                                                                                                           1
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
Introduction

         Flexible sector
                coupling
         Fuhs: We are happy that in cooperation        right now. They were also all surprised       Mingers: And what was most convinc-
         with Energy Storage Europe we can pres-       by how the combination of storage with        ing for you?
         ent this energy storage special edition.      utility-scale photovoltaic systems devel-
         For us at pv magazine it is a step to even    oped over the past year.                      Fuhs: The evaluation criteria show that
         more detailed coverage of energy storage                                                    there are different winners depending on
         and related topics on all of our platforms.   Mingers: That is also a very interesting      the approach, and how varied interests
                                                       development for me. In any case, our          can be. The trade fair visitors will also be
         Mingers: And for us, the new issue fits       team is very excited about seeing what        very diversified. We looked in detail at
         perfectly with the strategy that we pur-      will prevail in the coming years, and how     this issue, both at products that at first
         sue with all trade fairs. Not only do we      the models can be combined, especially        glance look very standard, such as ­storage
         see ourselves as a pure organizer, but        in the utility-scale segment. This segment
         we always try to promote the develop-         has always played an important role for
         ment of the industry. And of course, that     our exhibitors because they show many
         includes sound reporting. For the stor-       solutions that are currently being used to
         age industry, I hope the market’s devel-      store large amounts of energy.
         opment will align with Bloomberg New
         Energy Finance’s forecasts, and that by       Fuhs: In the special edition we have
         2030 the global market will have doubled      included, among other things, top new
         six times.                                    technologies submitted by exhibitors
                                                       at Energy Storage Europe, evaluated by
         Fuhs: The outlook is good, and we are         five well-known experts. The experts did
         seeing how new business models evolve.        not take a uniform approach to assess-
         We ran a roundtable with analysts and         ing these technologies. Some made the           Bastian Mingers
         industry experts, discussing among other      uniqueness of the innovation the guid-          Executive Team Manager
         things the business models that can con-      ing criterion. Others, whether a company        Energy Storage Europe

         tribute to this tremendous growth.            has presented a clear business model in
         Large-scale storage for frequency regu-       its submission. Others still have priori-
         lation will not be sufficient to drive this   tized the company’s prospects based on
         kind of growth. All participants agreed       their market power, whether it comes
         that there is a lot going on with business    from having a good track record or a par-
         models beyond frequency regulation            ticularly strong financial footing.

2                                                                                     02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
Introduction

a key driver
containers, and at innovations which still          Mingers: I am fascinated by the speed         play a major role in the conference pro-
appear further away from the market,                with which sector coupling is currently       gram. Flexible sector coupling acts as a
such as redox flow batteries. You have to           developing, while at the same time being      fundamental driver for the deployment
go deeply into the details, then you will           the subject of much controversy. One con-     of energy storage.
find the differences between the offerings          trovery for example is the actual speed
and concepts. I found that very interest-           with which sector coupling is brought         Fuhs: At least if the sector coupling is
ing. The top 10 submissions will now be             forward. Until recently, everyone has         combined with renewable generation.
candidates for our pv magazine Award,               done their own thing: those who develop       Here you also see the complexity of the
which we will give at the end of the year.          power-to-gas or those that develop            technological solutions being deployed.
                                                    electric mobility, for example. Then          In the magazine, we report on two
                                                    there were those who felt energy stor-        interesting projects in the field, which
                                                    age was more important than expand-           open up completely new perspectives.
                                                    ing grid infrastructure and vice versa.       Speaking of flexible sector cou-
                                                    Fortunately, this has changed. For exam-      pling, it has been more of a confer-
                                                    ple, at Energy Storage exhibitions and        ence theme so far, and now you empha-
                                                    conferences various stakeholders now          size its importance in the exhibition.
                                                    meet to bring these strings together. In      In general, the importance of the exhi-
                                                    addition, the energy transition in the        bition compared to the early years of
                                                    heating sector can play an increasingly       Energy Storage Europe seems to have
                                                    important role, and thus also thermal         increased. Is that so?
                                                    storage.
                                                                                                  Mingers: The Energy Storage Europe
 Michael Fuhs                                       Fuhs: What impact do you see on the           Conference is, so to speak, the link
 Editorial Director pv magazine                     individual storage technologies?              between the fundamental work of sci-
                                                                                                  entific innovation and the market-ready
                                                    Mingers: The complexity of the different      products that will be exhibited at the
                                                    storage technologies is strengthened by       trade fair. This is the classic evolution of
                                                    the fact that the industry is now inten-      a conference toward a trade fair. The con-
                                                    sively involved in sector coupling, which     ference is the foundation, the fair brings
                                                    is simply great to see. This leads to flex-   the leading experts, suppliers, and users
                                                    ible sector interconnection, which will       together.

pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe | 02 / 2018                                                                                3
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
Highlights

    Debrief: 4 key questions
    Storage trends: In the run-up to Energy Storage Europe, pv magazine asked industry experts the key storage topics
    they were most interested in. Their responses were reflective of their own perspective and position throughout the
    value chain, but nevertheless a theme emerged, with recurring questions arising over and over again. These were
    those questions …

          1. Which business models for medium             and storage industry is moving in an                 Storage successfully participated in
          and large-scale beyond frequency reg-           exciting direction.                               a capacity auction in the U.K. winning
          ulation are evolving?                              The market for C&I storage is espe-            0.5 GW for delivery in 2020/21. In Califor-
          Perhaps the greatest surprise to emerge         cially large and dynamic in the U.S.              nia, this business model already appears
          last year was the combination of large          Such bullishness and optimism cannot              successful. According to Goldie-Scot,
          utility-scale solar power plants and stor-      necessarily be applied yet to other coun-         roughly 280 MWh capacity was com-
          age systems. All of the experts included        tries, because much depends on the tar-           missioned in December 2016 and January
          on the pv magazine panel were surprised         iff structure.                                    2017 to respond to the potential shortage
          by the alacrity at which this co-loca-             Storage peaker plants are more typical         of gas caused by the devastating leak and
          tion business model grew (see p. 24 for         in the U.S. or the U.K. than in continental       subsequent shutdown of the Aliso Can-
          a deeper analysis and p. 27 for the panel       Europe. A gas peaker plant typically has          yon gas storage plant. One reason for reg-
          discussion). One story above all appeared       a single digit capacity factor, i.e. it is run-   ulators to pursue storage is that it can be
          to shake the industry, and that was the         ning for a short time only during a year –        used to help hit their renewable energy
          prices communicated in the solar + stor-        when the load in the grid is particularly         targets by shifting renewable generation
          age bids for tenders at Xcel’s project in       high. Some markets, such as the U.K.,             to later in the day, says Goldie-Scot.
          Colorado, USA. The median price struck          have capacity auctions where they specif-            In 2016, the analyst came to the con-
          was $0.036/kWh. However, this num-              ically take bids for capacity, says Logan         clusion that globally approximately
          ber should not be overstated because the        Goldie-Scot, analyst at Bloomberg New             390 GWh/170 GW purpose-built battery
          bids are at a very early stage, and it is not   Energy Finance (BNEF) in San Francisco.           peaker plants could be feasibly commis-
          yet known just how much storage capac-          Other markets are energy only, where it           sioned. A very interesting take on this is
          ity the bidders have provided. Such bids        is assumed that for a certain time of year        to ask whether behind-the-meter-storage
          should be seen more as a basis for nego-        during the greatest peaks in demand,              can take a slice of the cake. If incentivized
          tiation, rather than binding offers. Never-     energy prices will be just high enough to         to do so, this would save some $100 bil-
          theless, our experts agree that this result     justify keeping a power plant operational         lion in capex, primarily because behind-
          is an excellent indication that the solar       to meet those peaks.                              the-meter-storage is being built for other
                                                                                                            purposes and often paid for by consum-
                                                                                            Photo: Neoen    ers eager to reduce their electricity bills.
                                                                                                            “Aggregation payments would not neces-
                                                                                                            sarily have to cover the total cost of the
                                                                                                            system, but could instead be partial and
                                                                                                            additive,” Goldie Scot suggests.
                                                                                                               One of the big questions during the
                                                                                                            panel discussion was why do the most
                                                                                                            effective business models differ from
                                                                                                            region to region? It could be because
                                                                                                            grids are developed differently and gen-
                                                                                                            eration and load profiles are different.
                                                                                                            It could also be simply down to a dif-
                                                                                                            ferent political approach. Ravi Mang-
                                                                                                            hani, Director of Energy Storage at GTM
                                                                                                            Research, says, “The important fact is
                                                                                                            that the energy transition is beyond just
                                                                                                            centralized infrastructure.” One way to
                                                                                                            deal with the energy transition is to use
                                                                                                            it to develop new business models that
                                                                                                            also serve the power system, which the
          Australia’s 100 MW/129 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve facility was delivered                         panel sees more in the U.S. and U.K. than
          by Tesla and shows how business models beyond frequency regulation grow.                          in continental Europe. But there is also

4                                                                                            02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
Highlights

facing the storage industry

movement in Germany, for example with                 Taken together, considerations on raw       a promising methanation concept, and
applications of larger storage systems in           material and technological development        Nel Hydrogen with the combination of
the distribution network (p. 12).                   can be concluded as follows: “The decade      solar power plants and hydrogen produc-
                                                    to 2025 is the decade of lithium-ion,” so     tion. However, few can accurately predict
2. What does the raw material supply for            said Matthias Leuthold from RES during        how much the energy industry will rely
lithium-ion batteries on the one hand               the panel discussion.                         on methane or hydrogen in the future.
and the technical development of other                                                            For most experts it is clear: This topic will
storage technologies on the other hand              3. What are the key innovations that          become relevant in large scale only from
mean for the choice of technology?                  will affect the market for medium and         about 2030 onwards. The technologies,
There is no clear answer to this ques-              large storage systems?                        though, have to be developed right now.
tion, which is probably why it is asked so          Large storage container solutions are cer-
often and so widely. Pure cobalt resources          tainly vital here. Two companies submit-      4. What is the prospective for European
could last for 500 years, and lithium for           ted their solutions to the highlights fea-    cell production?
440 years. However, it is accepted that             ture (p. 7). It is worth considering how      Industry voices all say that they want a
such a viewpoint is simplified because the          the technical specifications play a role,     high volume production of battery cells
impact of resource availability depends             including the control speed, which,           in Europe. But the development land-
on the price at which these reserves can            for example, highlights SMA as a USP          scape is still tough. Germany-based con-
be mined. On the other hand, it is also             because synchronous generators can only       sortium TerraE plans to build a 6 giga-
known from coal, gas, and oil production            be completely replaced when the reaction      watt-hour factory soon, with considerably
that progress is immense and the price at           time of the storage system to grid char-      more capacity out to a 2027 time frame.
least does not rise – resource availabil-           acteristics is extremely fast. On the other   However, so far only €17 million in funds
ity regularly exceeds what was forecast.            hand, of course, the positioning of the       have been communicated, which is a rel-
Recycling is also gathering speed. Cobalt           company is important for the impact of        atively anemic amount that is unlikely to
can be recovered to over 90%. Lithium,              a product. Fluence, which brings together     drive any great technological leaps. The
however, is barely recycled currently, but          AES and Siemens, is very well posi-           2027 goal is, cautiously speaking, unam-
there are developments in the pipeline              tioned, according to BNEF. AES owns           bitious in such a highly dynamic market.
and a 70% recycling rate seems possible.            many distribution utilities globally and      In the U.K. rather more generous sums
We have therefore titled the article on the         is a large independent power producer.        are being spent. Some €300 million will
subject as: “Do not worry, but keep ask-            This allows Siemens to benefit from the       be distributed to leading universities
ing” (p. 18).                                       operational experience of its new partner.    to boost R&D efforts and help acceler-
   “Don’t worry” also applies to the devel-         Another powerful storage application is       ate commercialization and cell indus-
opment of new technologies. A recent                the combination of battery storage with       try problem-solving. However, while
calculation by Apricum shows that redox             gas turbines submitted by Siemens, You-       laudable, both programs target research
flow can compete with lithium-ion tech-             nicos, and Bosch. These solve the prob-       institutions, with little immediate cash
nologies for storage durations of more              lem brought by lithium-ion batteries,         earmarked for production. Northvolt,
than three to four hours (p. 23). At least          namely that the capacity is costly. Then      a Swedish startup that wants to build a
as an alternative, this technology is dis-          again, it no longer pays to run gas tur-      32 gigawatt-hour production by 2023, is
posable, even if there are challenges in            bines continuously.                           setting its sights higher: to €4 billion to be
securing financing. Nevertheless, large                There are also interesting develop-        exact. Volkswagen Scania and ABB have
projects are already being planned, such            ments where companies are pursu-              already invested relatively modest sums,
as huge storage in salt caverns in North-           ing entirely new approaches. Much still       and it is not yet known whether the com-
ern Germany. It will take some time for             remains to be seen how effective these        pany has raised more than tens of mil-
the developments to accelerate, and it will         will prove. For example, Max Bögl com-        lions of euros. In conclusion, there are
also depend on the development of lith-             bines wind power and pumped hydro             plenty of recent developments, but it is
ium costs. Even with lithium-ion batter-            storage. Schmid combines electric             still necessary for commercial entities to
ies, progress has not paused, and develop-          charging stations with redox flow stor-       actually take action, and investment, into
ments in the coming years will also allow           age systems. Electrochaea participates        their own hands.
for batteries with reduced cobalt.                  in the power-to-gas technologies with                                Ian Clover, Michael Fuhs

pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe | 02 / 2018                                                                                    5
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
Highlights

    Energy storage                                                           Highlights Jury
    highlights
         Ranking: At the Energy Storage Europe trade fair in Düs-
         seldorf, 24 exhibitors submitted proposals that our high-                               Logan Goldie Scot heads up the Energy
         light jury ranked in the following categories: relevance to                            Storage insight team at Bloomberg New
                                                                                              Energy Finance. He leads the company’s analysis
         industry, USP, market impact, contribution to energy tran-                       on the global energy storage markets, providing
         sition, and innovation. Here, we present the top 10, as cho-          insights on technology, markets, policies and regulation, and
         sen by our experts.                                                   the competitive landscape.

         T    he submissions of exhibitors at Energy Storage Europe
              for the first pv magazine highlights feature in 2018 are
         drawn from a collection of very different approaches. So it is
         not surprising that the five jurors judged things differently. In
         the end, every juror had their own top candidate: SMA, Flu-
         ence, Max Bögl, Younicos, and electrochaea were all selected                           Tobias Federico is the Founder and
         in the top position of one juror respectively. After averaging                         Managing Director of consulting institute
                                                                                              Energy Brainpool. He is a proven expert on the
         the votes, all of them finished among the top 10, except for Flu-                energy market, and on price forecasts in Germany.
         ence. The two main arguments that the judges used to evalu-           He actively monitors the introduction of new technologies such
         ate are simple: One part was focused on the foreseeable suc-          as blockchain.
         cess of the product, concept, or project as well as the market
         position of the company. Other members of the jury placed
         higher emphasis on innovation, potential for disruption, and
         the chance to change the market in a sustainable way.
            That such a chance will materialize is not always a given.
         Among the submissions are, for example, the wind turbine
         of Max Bögl with a water reservoir built into the foundation                           Dirk Uwe Sauer is Professor of
         that is part of a hydro storage power plant; and Jena Batteries,                      Electrochemical Energy Conversion and
                                                                                             Storage Systems Engineering at RWTH Aachen
         with a redox flow battery utilizing organic electrolytes that are               University, and one of Germany’s foremost experts
         environmentally sound, and possibly cheaper than conven-              on energy storage issues.
         tional electrolytes based on vanadium. Both concepts have yet
         to prove their competitiveness. There are also some submis-
         sions where the USP is not immediately clear, but some jurors
         nevertheless expect to be successful: For example the storage
         containers from SMA and Fluence. The jurors also highlighted
         the extent to which a submission served an important market
         segment, such as Younicos’s combination of a battery with a                             Julian Jansen is a Senior Market Analyst at
         used gas turbine. Incidentally, Siemens and Bosch also sub-                            IHS Markit Technology. He focuses on battery
                                                                                              storage market activity and industry trends, as
         mitted similar combinations.                                                     well as analyzing key value drivers and emerging
            In this highlights feature, we present in detail those submis-     business models driving storage deployment. Additionally,
         sions that made it into the top 10 (10th place is shared, and all     Julian provides high level consultancy and strategic advice for
                                                                               bespoke projects.
         other entries are listed on page 14). Those that did not make
         the top 10 are certainly worth a mention and visit at the trade
         fair: Aside from Fluence, for example, Schmid was also highly
         rated. The company from southern Germany has developed
         a carport with several electric filling stations and integrated
         redox flow storage. If many cars refuel at the same time, the
         storage buffers the load so that the grid does not need to be                          Stephan Schnez is Senior Scientist in
         reinforced so much. This is flexible sector coupling, and one of                      Corporate Research at ABB in Switzerland.
                                                                                             As a physicist, he works in the field of energy
         the most important current developments (see p. 16).                            storage and systems. He also regularly assists
            The top 10 submissions will automatically be candidates for        ABB management and technology ventures with questions
         the pv magazine award 2018. This will be awarded at the end           regarding the assessment of potential future technologies.
         of the year along with the submissions we will be looking at
         throughout the year, and will be evaluated overall on various
         highlight categories.

6                                                                              02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
THE WORLD OF ENERGY STORAGE:
Düsseldorf, Deutschland   Peking, China         Pasadena, CA, USA
March 13–15, 2018         March 27–29, 2018     November 06–08, 2018

Tokio, Japan              Neu-Delhi, Indien
October 2018              January, 2019

                                          www.worldenergystorage.com
ENERGY STORAGE HIGHLIGHTS - Special edition in collaboration with Business models beyond frequency regulation
Highlights

           1                Younicos

                            Combined gas and battery grid services power plant

                                                                                                                                           Photo: Younicos

         Y    ounicos managed to interest and
              convince the jurors with its simple
         concept. Their rankings ranged from first
                                                         provide a range of balancing services and
                                                         is predestined to effectively stack multi-
                                                         ple values,” says Jansen.
                                                                                                        combination, says juror Tobias Federico.
                                                                                                           However, as with most business mod-
                                                                                                        els, there is also competition. As the mar-
         to 16th, and so for the average overall juror      There are many small-scale, partly          ket for primary balancing power is rel-
         rankings and proposals, this led to the         older gas turbines in operation – 250          atively limited, the option of achieving
         top position in this highlights feature.        with under 15 MW of power in Germany           the conditions for the secondary balanc-
         Younicos submitted a project in which           alone. Their long-term operation is often      ing power market is interesting, notes
         the company, together with the Tech-            no longer worthwhile. One reason is that       another member of the jury. With this
         nische Werke Ludwigshafen, developed            they can only offer balancing power if         business model, however, the combined
         a combined balancing power plant, cou-          they are up and running, otherwise their       gas and battery storage power plant is
         pling a 4 MW gas turbine with a 9 MW            reaction time is too slow.                     competing with intelligent demand-side
         battery with a capacity of 6.5 MWh. The            At the same time, the demand for            management.
         intention is to provide both primary and        balancing power is rising as part of the          One of the categories for the highlight
         secondary control power, and to get pre-        energy transition. For battery storage         ranking is its relevance for the energy
         qualification from the network operator         to be able to offer this alone it must be      transition. For the combined gas and
         for both installations as one technical         equipped with a lot of storage capacity.       battery plant, this is the case because it
         unit. The plant is still under construc-        The charm of the solution presented is         reduces the so-called must-run capacity
         tion. The left side of the building in the      that within this technical unit the gas        of conventional power plants. How rele-
         photo above is intended for the battery,        turbine does not have to run continu-          vant the topic is can also be seen by the
         the right for the gas turbine.                  ously, but the battery initially takes over,   fact that Siemens and Bosch have also
            The combination will serve an often-         and the gas turbine only intervenes when       submitted highlights that deal with the
         overlooked market segment with signif-          the duration of the control power exceeds      connection of battery storage systems
         icant scaling potential, says juror Julian      the capacity of the battery.                   with conventional generators.
         Jansen. “Younicos has successfully shown           It is therefore an interesting “second
         how to do a hybrid solution which can           life” project for gas turbines in the given          Hall 8b / D02

8                                                                                        02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
Highlights

  2                  E3/DC

                     Multi-string three-phase battery inverter technology
                                                                                                                                 Photos: E3/DC

                                                    H      ighly rated by several of the jurors,
                                                           E3/DC made it into second place
                                                    overall. If you look at the individual
                                                                                                   used in the 12 kW battery systems of the
                                                                                                   company.
                                                                                                      The challenge for the innovative state-
                                                    highlight categories, the manufacturer of      of-charge-control is that no lithium bat-
                                                    small and medium-sized storage systems         tery system can have an accurate state of
                                                    scored particularly high for innovation.       charge measurement without being dis-
                                                       The company, already well known for         charged and charged from time to time,
                                                    its residential storage system, has submit-    states the company. If you measure the
                                                    ted a new technology for a DC-DC con-          state of charge in this way, the battery
                                                    verter for battery storage systems, with       may be empty in an emergency. The solu-
                                                    which users can better control the state       tion is to operate two battery modules
                                                    of charge. This is especially important for    asymmetrically. As one is discharged,
                                                    emergency power systems.                       the other holds a defined state of energy.
                                                       In addition, the power electronics have        The comments in the jury on the prod-
                                                    a high discharge capacity with efficiency      uct are varied. One juror sees technical
                                                    of up to 98%, even if you connect 48 volt      innovation, but is not sure about the
                                                    battery modules. This allows a C-rate          business relevance. Another is not sure
                                                    of 1 and a maximum output current of           about the USP, but places emphasis on
                                                    120 amps. According to E3/DC, the trick        the strong contribution to the energy
                                                    is a new topology with galvanic isolation      transition.
                                                    and an ultra-high frequency allowing for
                                                    small components. The inverter will be              Hall 8b / E22

pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe | 02 / 2018                                                                                9
Highlights

        3                SMA

                         Large-scale storage solution

                                                                                                                                          Photo: SMA

      I  n 2017, SMA introduced its large-
         scale turnkey solution Medium Volt-
      age Power Station to the global market,
                                                        While the jurors generally doubt that
                                                     the solution is as unique as the com-
                                                     pany claims, most acknowledge other
                                                                                                    the shelf” (see photo above). PV penetra-
                                                                                                    tion now can now reach 100% during the
                                                                                                    day, says the company.
      and now the company reports it has con-        strengths of the product. One juror               Volker Wachenfeld of SMA is con-
      cluded contracts with a total capacity of      emphasizes it’s importance in grid con-        vinced of the uniqueness of the product.
      400 MW. One container has an output            nected installations to reduce the share of    “We supplied island-ready battery invert-
      power of 5.5 MW.                               conventional power plants, which today         ers, PV inverters, batteries, medium volt-
        Unique to this solution is that the          guarantee the frequency stability with         age connection, the power management
      Sunny Central Storage with grid forming        their rotating masses. Another empha-          system with the interface to the genera-
      capacities acts just like a rotating mass in   sizes the pure size, i.e. the 5.5 MW power     tors, and the SCADA”, he explains.
      a power grid, writes the company in its        output of these devices, the long track           He goes on, “We regulate the load bal-
      submission to pv magazine highlights.          record of SMA in this field, and the con-      ancing, create a seamless transfer at die-
      There is a distribution of responsibility      tribution of the company to bring down         sel shutdown, provide instantaneous
      between Grid Controller and Sunny Cen-         costs.                                         reserve, and primary and secondary con-
      tral Storage.                                     “Out of all the entries SMA has prob-       trol power.”
        Energy flows and general operational         ably submitted the most commercially              Typical systems for primary control
      tasks that take place within a few hun-        advanced offer, rather than a technical        power need several hundred milliseconds
      dred milliseconds to seconds or even           innovation”, says juror Julian Jansen of       to send the command to the responding
      hours are carried out on the Grid Con-         IHS. “Building on their strength in the        units. “We can initiate a reaction within
      troller, while functions regarding grid        power conversion system market, SMA            the time of a half wave,” he says, which
      stability that need reaction within milli-     has used the experience to build a turn-       corresponds to about 10 ms. This reac-
      seconds or less are located in Sunny Cen-      key solution which can target multiple         tion time has to be adjusted according to
      tral Storage, directly avoiding any com-       applications and seamlessly integrates         the characteristics of the individual grid
      munication to fulfill these tasks.             into existing infrastructure.”                 in order to guarantee the security of the
        The technology mimics the function of           SMA has deployed the system in places       supply, also when load in the grid changes
      rotating mass in the grid to load and sub-     such as the island St. Eustachius in Neth-     quickly.
      sequent frequency changes. When load           erlands Antilles. The first step was a fuel
      increases, rotating masses are deceler-        saving system. In 2017 it was comple-
      ated, but their inertia dampens the effect     mented with the new inverter and bat-
      until the generator power is increased.        tery system, which is now available “off             Hall 8b / B22

10                                                                                   02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
Highlights

 4                   Fraunhofer ISE

                     Power electronics for battery inverters

                              Photo: Fraunhofer ISE
                                                      battery inverter. According to Stephan        and at the same time allows the volume
                                                      Liese, Head of Group Distributed Gener-       to be kept small. The electronics for 1 MW
                                                      ation and Storage, the key factor enabling    output power fit into a standard 19 inch
                                                      this high efficiency is the high frequency    switch cabinet.
                                                      with which the transformer is operated           The jury found the submission very
                                                      and which is even modulated. Accord-          interesting from a technological point of
                                                      ing to Liese, efficiency levels of between    view. “Currently, inverters in stationary
                                                      90 and 95% are customary in the mar-          applications cause around twice as much
                                                      ket for comparable applications. In addi-     loss as the lithium-ion batteries them-
                                                      tion to the increased efficiency, the high    selves,” writes one juror. “Therefore, effi-
                                                      frequency also helps to reduce the size of    ciencies are of such high relevance.” He

A     ccording to Fraunhofer ISE, the
      Cell-Booster and the power elec-
tronics for the project “Netefficient” per-
                                                      the housing.
                                                         For the Netefficient project, which aims
                                                      to increase the share of renewable ener-
                                                                                                    also sees Fraunhofer ISE’s ability to bring
                                                                                                    the technology to market together with
                                                                                                    industrial partners. Two jurors are miss-
mit high efficiencies on the one hand,                gies on the North Sea island of Borkum,       ing that they have not found a concept for
and small construction volumes on the                 the institute has built a 1 MW battery        the market launch. One of the jurors asks
other. The cell booster converts the typ-             inverter.                                     whether the large number of components
ical 48 volt output of a low voltage bat-                This is characterized by the use of sil-   would lead to higher costs.
tery with an efficiency of 97% to 700 volts,          icon carbide MOSFET switches, which
as required for example by a three-phase              leads to high efficiencies of up to 98.5%           Hall 8b / B39

  5                  Electrochaea

                     Scalable Methanation plant
                                                                                                     Photo left: Electrochaea , photo right : Prof. Andreas Klingl

Y     ou would be forgiven for not know-
      ing of methanothermobacter therm-
autotrophicus – a small green bacterium
– but it is the basis of this energy storage
highlight. Electrochaea uses it to convert
hydrogen to methane. With this submis-
sion it reaches first position in the cate-
gories innovation and contribution to the
energy transition, which together lead to
fifth position overall.
   The company uses a variant of the bac-
terium, named archeva (see right photo),
as a biocatalyst, which is exclusively
licensed from the University of Chicago.
It developed the technology to a state that
it can be used in large methanation facil-            should be stored directly. Biomethane has     not convinced that power-to-gas tech-
ities and the first demonstration plant is            the advantage that it can be used with-       nologies will become relevant in large-
running near Copenhagen with 1 MW                     out limitation or expensive investment        scale in the near future, but only after
electrical power (see left photo). The effi-          in the existing natural gas grid. There-      2030. Low temperature processes and
ciency of the methanation exceeded 80%,               fore, Electrochaea sees Power-To-Hydro-       fast reaction times might be helpful for
writes Electrochaea in its submission.                gen as a supplier technology for metha-       the implementation of the technology,
The plant has demonstrated, according                 nation, rather than a direct competitor.      which might be an advantage compared
to the company, that the technology can                 “Power-to-gas will become one of the        to other methanation concepts, and the
be “quickly” scaled to the 100 MW range.              crucial aspects in the energy transition,”    use of microorganisms may be a major
   One of the questions is whether it                 says Tobias Federico. “It is necessary to     innovation in this sector.
is necessary to convert the hydrogen                  build it in large scale.” Other members of
to methane, or whether the hydrogen                   the jury also see the innovation, but are           Hall 8b / D12

pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe | 02 / 2018                                                                                                    11
Highlights

       6                Smart Power

                        Large-scale storage business model in the distribution grid

      G     erman EPC Smart Power is working
            on a promising solution for making
      large-scale storage systems usable in the
                                                                                                                           Photo: Google, GeoBasis-DE/BKG

      distribution grid despite regulatory hur-
      dles. According to the numbers given by
      the company, this approach can totally
      make sense. The utility Stadtwerke Trost-
      berg Energieversorgung is charged €113/
      kW peak load at the transformer station
      to the 110 kV grid. By peak shaving in the
      distribution grid in the order of 11%, this
      payment can be reduced.
         For this purpose, Smart Power is
      installing a 1.5 MWh/1.2 MW storage
      system on behalf of a retail company. An        services to the operating retail company,      streams, so it is not possible to establish a
      annual revenue stream of about €59,000 is       which is its customer.                         USP with such business models.
      expected from the peak shaving use case,          The theoretical upper bound for the             Also how well this business model
      and an additional €89,000 will be gen-          revenue stream can be calculated as fol-       complies with German regulation is still
      erated from being active on the primary         lows: €113 × 1,200 kW × 80% = €108,000.        to be proven. There is an intensive ongo-
      control market.                                 The real peak load reduction is roughly        ing discussion about what is possible and
         The tricky point, however, is compen-        half of this upper bound value. To achieve     what should be possible. Only by under-
      sation. The utility compensates 80% of          this revenue peak shaving is necessary         taking such projects can one move for-
      the amount it saves from the peak shav-         only for some weeks of the year. And           ward and develop the details. The com-
      ing activity, and 20% will be used to           by pooling several storage systems, the        pany emphasizes that the installation is
      reduce grid surcharge on the electric-          losses from peak shaving for the pri-          not simply a demonstration project, and
      ity bills for consumers in the region. The      mary control power revenue stream can          that it is planned to be profitable without
      utility itself cannot draw direct finan-        be reduced to a single digit percentage.       any subsidies.
      cial benefits from this project because           The jury appreciates the effort to make
      of German regulations. The cooperation          use of the possibilities storage offers for
      is partly driven by idealism, and partly        the distribution networks. However, they
      because the trading division of the util-       say, many other companies already are, or
      ity is in favor of it, as it can offer good     soon will be aiming for multiple ­revenue            Hall 8b / E13

        7               Abo Wind

                        Storage in rural distribution networks stabilized the grid

                                    Photo: Abo Wind
                                                      grid is characterized, writes Abo Wind,        and fewer blackouts. Typically, the max-
                                                      by “large distribution networks at 33 kV       imum load in Tunduma is about 7 MW
                                                      supplying thousands of small transform-        in the evening. With the projected PV
                                                      ers.” The overhead lines are working at        and battery size, which during the day is
                                                      maximum capacity, leading to high losses       charged with about 5 MWh, the maxi-
                                                      and a drop in voltage of almost 20%. Abo       mum load can be reduced to about 6 MW.
                                                      Wind has evaluated how the grid can be           The company writes that there have
                                                      stabilized using solar and storage. Now        been studies for similar projects, how-
                                                      it is in the development stage of a proj-      ever, they haven’t heard of any as far
                                                      ect to realize this potential. The instal-     advanced. “Not conceptually new, but
                                                      lation will stabilize the voltage level in     a straightforward use of batteries with
                                                      the 33 kV radial distribution networks         ‘smart’ power electronics and control,”

      T   unduma, a small Tanzanian town
          at the border with Zambia, is con-
      nected to a 220 kV transmission grid. The
                                                      between 95% and 105%. This will allow
                                                      more consumers to be connected and
                                                      SMEs to profit from better grid quality
                                                                                                     comments one member of the jury.

                                                                                                           Hall 8b / D39

12                                                                                    02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
Highlights

 8                Wemag

                  10 MW-storage plant with black start capability

N     orthern German utility Wemag
      made headlines several years ago
with what was then the largest battery
                                                                                                                  Photo: Wemag

storage power plant in the country. In
2014, 5 MW went online for market-
ing in the primary control energy mar-
ket. In 2017, this battery storage power
value was extended to 14 MW and made
black start capable. Now it has a capacity
of 15 MWh, and provides control capac-
ity comparable to that of a 100 MW gas
turbine. The company emphasizes that
the extension was not subsidized, but for
the black start ability, a state subsidy of
€180,000 was paid. Wemag now wants to
offer its expertise in construction, oper-
ation, and marketing to other interested
parties. Tobias Federico says, “These are
innovative projects, due to the fact that
they have taken the financial first mover
advantage.” However, the jurors note that     innovative. They also talk about how the     storage capacity.
primary control power plants and black        primary reserve power market is evolving
start capability are no longer particularly   in the face of the huge buildup in battery       Hall 8b / C01

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Highlights

        9                Fronius

                         Adjustable water heater with further functionality

                                                          Photos: Fronius                              the setting, the device heats up to over
                                                                                                       60 °C for Legionella (pathogenic bacte-
                                                                                                       ria) prevention in the time intervals set,
                                                                                                       even if there is no excess of solar power.
                                                                                                       With appropriate dimensioning of the
                                                                                                       solar system, conventional heating can be
                                                                                                       completely switched off during warmer
                                                                                                       months, so that the hot water is obtained
                                                                                                       only by the heating rod, writes the com-
                                                                                                       pany in its submission.
                                                                                                          The response from members of the
                                                     ­ ecessary function – heating the hot
                                                     n                                                 jury was as follows: It is a relatively
                                                     water boiler – it also includes more fea-         straightforward product, and while it
                                                     tures than usual: It includes comprehen-          does not require any major innovation,

       A      solution that allows homeowners to
              use excess solar power via a heating
       element does not seem like big news at
                                                     sive monitoring, can be networked via
                                                     WiFi, LAN, or RS 485, works in combi-
                                                     nation with other heating elements, and
                                                                                                       the described functionality and mar-
                                                                                                       ket position of the company is convinc-
                                                                                                       ing. One juror notes: “Integrated home
       first glance. Such devices have been avail-   above all is steplessly controlled. The sin-      energy supply systems, in particular with
       able for some years, controlling residen-     gle-phase device has a power of between 0         the integration of heating systems with
       tial rooftop solar so that no current flows   and 3 kW, the three-phase device between          PV, will play a central role. Therefore, the
       into the grid, but surplus is used to warm    0 and 9 kW, and both comply with the              product is definitely going in an impor-
       up the hot water boiler with a heating rod.   guidelines for electromagnetic compati-           tant direction.”
          According to Fronius, the special          bility. Minimum and maximum temper-
       feature of the device is that beside the      atures can be defined, and depending on                 Hall 8b / C18

     Highlights rank 12 to 24 and more
       12   Schmid Energy Systems: Charging station with PV and redox flow battery                       Hall 8b / B24
       13   NEL Hydrogen Electrolyser: Large-scale hydrogen production from PV power plants                         Hall 8b / B11
       14   Commeo: Energy storage            Hall , 8b / D01
       15   Siemens: Siestart hybrid gas turbine and battery                Hall 8b / D40
       16   Fluence: SunFlex Energy Storage technology platform                  Hall 8b / D40
           Home Power Solutions: Picea is a combination of battery and power-to-gas energy storage, heating support, and
       17  
            indoor ventilation for residential        Hall 8b / D08
       18   Fenecon: Voltage balancing solution for storage systems                 Hall 8b / G02
       19   Solarwatt: MyReserve Matrix for commercial application                  Hall 8b / G23
       20   Robert Bosch: Combining a power plant with a battery                   Hall 8b / E39
       21   Autarsys: State of the art energy storage system for refugee camp in Northern Iraq                      Hall 8b / G05
       22   Hoppecke Batterien: Scalable hybrid energy storage system combines lead and lithium                              Hall 8b / E16
       23   NES: Storage system with particularly high charging and discharging power                      Hall 8b / G04
       24   Nilar: NiMH batteries also for high voltage            Hall 8b / D27

       Not participating in the first round of the pv magazine highlight ranking, but also at Energy Storage Europe
       Tesvolt: Battery storage system storing electricity for €0.09/kWh               Hall 8b / E01
       Stäubli Electrical Connectors: Modular energy system Power-Blox PBX200                        Hall 8b / A31
       Kaco New Energy: Bidirectional battery inverter blueplanet gridsave 50.0 TL3-S                     Hall 8b / B03

14                                                                                      02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
10

                                                                                                     Advertisement
                     Max Bögl

                     The water battery
                                                                                   Photo: Max Bögl

M      ax Bögl has built wind turbines
       with embedded tanks for a water
                                                       The water battery ranked in the top five
                                                    with three jurors, while two ranked it in
                                                                                                                     POWER-BLOX

reservoir. The wind turbines are located            the lower half. Those who are convinced                          Plug and Power off-
on a hill about 80 km from Stuttgart. The           value the innovation and potential. “It is
lower reservoir is down in the valley.
  One reason to build hydro storage co-
                                                    a very interesting approach with a highly
                                                    innovative character,” says Tobias Fed-
                                                                                                                     grid storage solution
located with wind is, according to Max              erico. Scalability, however, “might not be
Bögl, that spatial demand for the upper             so easy.” The project must show that it is                       Power-Blox is revolutionizing the off-grid
reservoirs is only marginally larger than           competitive – even with lithium-ion.                             energy market by opening up new ways
that for wind turbines. Capex for the stor-                                                                          and means for independent power gener-
age part is €300 to €400/kWh.                             Hall 8b / E31
                                                                                                                     ation.

                                                                                                                     The innovative principle not only allows for

10
                                                                                                                     simple expansion of capacity and perfor-
                     Jena Batteries                                                                                  mance, but also applies intelligent swarm
                                                                                                                     technology when connecting several units
                     Organic redox flow battery                                                                      up to the Kilowatt range.

J   ena Batteries is developing a redox             place, one could use cheaper materi-                             Each Power-Blox unit can be charged
    flow battery that uses organic elec-            als, since it does not have to withstand                         by photovoltaic modules, wind or other
trolytes instead of vanadium-containing             aggressive acids. The first pilot plant                          generators. Thanks to its design and us-
electrolytes. It is more environmentally            with a 10 kW/40 kWh battery will now                             er-friendliness, it is perfectly suitable for
friendly, because it is free of heavy metals        be installed.                                                    areas of application where flexibility and
and hazardous acids, the company says.                As with the other company with which
                                                                                                                     ease of use are essential
In addition, there is no fire risk.                 Jena Batteries shares 10th place, the jurors’
   One of the big questions facing redox            assessments differ greatly. For two jurors,
flow technology is how it can be cheap              the company is among the top five sub-                           www.staubli-alternative-energies.com
enough to compete with lithium-ion bat-             missions. It is especially strong in the
teries (see p. 23). As far as price is con-         categories innovation and USP. “This is
cerned, the company does not yet pro-               a truly novel innovation, which given
vide any information. However, unlike               the expected resource constraints for
vanadium redox flow batteries, the price            the existing battery supply chain could
is independent of commodity markets                 help alleviate the long-term challenges to
and depends more on scaling, writes the             deploy energy storage as part of a trans-
company.                                            forming energy system,” opines Julian
   Also for the stack, which sits between           Jansen.
the two tanks of a redox flow battery and
in which the energy conversion takes                      Hall 8b / E03

pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe | 02 / 2018                                                    Staubli is a trademark of Stäubli International AG, registered in Switzerland and other
                                                                                                                     countries. © Stäubli 2016 | Photocredits: Shutterstock 123732148, Stäubli
Technology

 A new concept gains traction
 Flexible sector coupling: To date, the energy transition has unfolded primarily in the electricity sector. This
 limitation should be overcome by sector coupling, which is basically electrification of the mobility and heat sectors.
 But this alone does not offer a complete solution. Sector coupling must be flexible. To this end, a Berlin-based
 startup is developing a colossal steel storage tank, and battery storage facilities are being built in Canada along a
 highway.

                                                                                 Photo: Lumenion   off for longer periods, they have to be
                                                                                                   designed larger so that they generate
                                                                                                   the same amount of heat during shorter
                                                                                                   operating periods.

                                                                                                   A steel colossus rises in Berlin
                                                                                                   On a street called Bottroper Weg in the
                                                                                                   Wedding district of the German cap-
                                                                                                   ital, it will soon be possible to see how
                                                                                                   the Lumenion concept makes sector cou-
                                                                                                   pling more flexible. The startup plans to
                                                                                                   build the first demonstration of its high
                                                                                                   temperature steel storage tank before
                                                                                                   the end of this year, in a residential area
                                                                                                   with around 1,000 apartments. It will be
                                                                                                   charged with 720 kW of electrical power
                                                                                                   and store 5 MWh of energy. It will be con-
                                                                                                   nected to a large district heating network
                                                                                                   and can discharge 100 kilowatts of heat.
                                                                                                   If required, it can also deliver electrical
                                                                                                   energy discharged through a turbine.
                                                                                                      Some 15 kilometers away, Lumen-
                                                                                                   ion has been working for the past year
                                                                                                   to bring the steel storage tank from con-
        View of the Berlin office of Lumenion, located in an old industrial building.              cept to reality. The heating fins, which
                                                                                                   give the laboratory its characteristic
                                                                                                   smell, are designed to heat the structural
        It is early morning, and already the           Flexible sector coupling aims not only      steel. The art is getting the energy into
        smell of heated steel wafts through the     to overcome a particular technical diffi-      the steel in a short time without the fins
        room. Heating surfaces made of stain-       culty, but also to tackle an economic one.     getting too hot.
        less steel are connected to heavy cables.   Think of cogeneration plants, which are
        In the future, ever-increasing amounts      generally heat-controlled. This means          A heat storage tank that also
        of electricity produced by photovoltaic     that they do not start feeding power to        produces electricity
        and wind power plants will make these       the grid until they receive a signal from      When used as CHP storage, some 75% of
        heating fins glow. They are at the heart    the heating sector that more energy is         the stored energy flows into the heating
        of Lumenion’s storage concept. The Ber-     needed. From the electricity sector’s per-     sector, either as process heat between 300
        lin-based startup is transforming sector    spective, that’s not very flexible.            and 500°C for industrial and commercial
        coupling into “flexible” sector coupling.      It is also a matter of design whether or    use, or as district heat and low tempera-
           This term is becoming a new buzz-        not a combined heat and power (CHP)            ture process heat between 80 and 120°C.
        word, as a glance at the conference         plant can be run more in line with the         Thanks to the storage tank’s high tem-
        agenda of Energy Storage Europe in          needs of the electricity market. Such          perature, up to 30% of the stored energy
        Düsseldorf reveals. In three sessions,      plants are often designed to run for           can be reconverted to electricity through
        experts at the conference will spell out    many hours of operation, usually 4,000         a steam turbine if power is needed to sta-
        in minute detail what this means for the    to 6,000 hours per year to produce suf-        bilize the grid, which generates another
        individual sectors.                         ficient heat. If they are to be switched       revenue stream.

16                                                                                  02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
Technology

   To see the advantage of the develop-             value chain does not have to be built up;      charge their electric cars simultaneously
ment, one has to consider the alterna-              it is already on the market – unlike pho-      at each of the so-called FAST charge
tive. Flexibility can also be achieved with         tovoltaics and lithium-ion batteries, for      stations via level 3 chargers with 480 V
battery storage prior to the conversion of          instance,” says Hiersemenzel.                  charging in about 20 minutes.
electricity into heat. But in such appli-                                                             To prevent excessive load on the grid,
cations battery storage cannot be oper-             Considering the grid and storage               the power comes from large lithium-ion
ated economically, as costs are currently           function                                       batteries. The standard size of these bat-
more than €200/kWh. In the medium                   The project idea has fallen on fertile         teries will be 250 kilowatt hours. “This
term, battery-based systems will still be           ground. Current discussions on grid sta-       depends on the projected demand at the
well in excess of €100/kWh. They have to            bility and negative electricity prices indi-   respective sites, but the battery capac-
go through several useful cycles per day            cate that the electricity system is already    ity is modularly expandable,” says Bryan
to finance themselves.                              running up against its limits. “The prob-      Urban, the North American head of
   The big advantage of the steel colossus
is that Lumenion aims to achieve storage
costs of €25/kWh, about one tenth of the
cost of storing electricity in a battery. The
                                                              “From the electricity sector’s
company says that the low costs enable a
lower number of cycles and a relatively
                                                           perspective, that’s not very flexible”
long storage period of two days. Assum-
ing 20 years of operation and 180 cycles
per year, the stored kilowatt hour at the           lems of distributed storage often drop         Leclanché. At Energy Storage Europe,
target price would cost less than €0.01.            out of the system analysis, or the issues      battery manufacturer Schmid will be pre-
Reconverted to power at 30% efficiency,             of network and storage are mixed,” says        senting a redox flow storage device cou-
the energy storage cost would be €0.023,            Andreas Hauer, head of energy storage at       pled to a charging station, which it has
and over 40 years it would be equivalent            the Centre for Applied Energy Research         also submitted to pv magazine Energy
to €0.015, accounting for the stored heat.          (ZAE) in Bavaria, and Chair of Energy          Storage Highlights (see p. 7).
   “However, the storage tank is not                Storage Europe. Storage shifts power over         According to Urban, the estimated
designed for seasonal applications,”                time, networks shift power locally. These      CA$17.3 million (US$14 million) project
says Lumenion cofounder and techni-                 functionalities sector coupling alone can-     has now successfully completed its dem-
cal director Andrew Zwinkels, “but for              not take over.                                 onstration phase and is currently in tran-
a maximum discharge time of 48 hours.                  With their innovative concepts, com-        sition to the early stage of production as
This is compared with a charging time               panies such as Lumenion are pushing            well as site identification and approval.
of 10 hours. It is precisely this asymme-           the boundaries between sectors. Their          This fall, the first charging stations along
try of the storage tank – it decouples a            coupling concepts work even better if          the highway will be set up, and by spring
high charging capacity from a lower dis-            the transition is directly combined with       2019 the entire route, with stations about
charging capacity – that makes the sys-             a storage system, says Hauer. For these        every 100 kilometers, is scheduled for
tem innovative. This lets us absorb big             applications the energy supply has to be       completion.                     Daniel Seeger
surges in wind and solar without expen-             shifted to meet the demand: “In indus-
sive power electronics; we only need                trial applications in particular, there is a                                         Photo: pv magazine
those to deliver the power.”                        strict demand at certain times.”
   Zwinkels envisages a wide range of                  Hauer says that the economic value
applications for the tank-connected com-            of electricity increases for power-to-gas
bined heat and power plant: for organic             or power-to-liquid applications in the
farmers, in industrial parks, in commer-            mobility sector. In electric cars, the form
cial areas, or as a district storage facility.      of energy remains the same despite the
There are already plans for what comes              change in sector. The planned expansion
after the demonstration in Berlin. “In              of the charging infrastructure along the
northern Germany, where wind power                  Trans-Canada Highway illustrates how
sometimes produces huge surpluses,                  additional storage at the sector boundary
talks on another project have already               is also sensible for e-mobility.
come a long way,” says Philip Hierse-
menzel, who was reluctant to elaborate.             Flexible e-mobility
Hiersemenzel is Lumenion’s spokesper-               In the middle of last year, eCamion of
son, and the connection is no accident.             Toronto partnered with two Swiss com-
   He is also press spokesperson for You-           panies, Leclanché and SGEM, and the
nicos, one of many renewable energy                 Canadian government to launch a project        Andrew Zwinkels, Technical Director
companies founded by Alexander Voigt.               for the construction of 34 quick charg-        and cofounder of Lumenion behind
Voigt also happens to be the Founder                ing stations along the approximately           one of his heating fins in the
and CEO of Lumenion. “The nice thing                3,000 kilometers of the country’s Trans-       laboratory. He evaluated the long-
about our system is that the necessary              Canada Highway. Three drivers can              term stability.

pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe | 02 / 2018                                                                                             17
Technology

       W      hat’s inside? A question seldom
              heard in modern society hooked
       on a use-and-discard cycle. Things are
                                                      Buried treasure
                                                      As one of the critical raw materials for
                                                      lithium-ion batteries, cobalt has attracted
                                                                                                      uct of copper and nickel, and therefore is
                                                                                                      linked to the production of these com-
                                                                                                      modities, and “2016 showed how produc-
       taken for granted; wake-up calls go            much attention, having ended last year as       tion cutbacks of nickel and copper miners
       unanswered. But, perturbed by the raw          a hot trading commodity.                        and refiners in Australia (Yabulu Nickel
       material price spikes, the storage indus-         There are various cobalt demand sce-         Refinery), Brazil (Niquelandia Nickel
       try recently had many more questions to        narios at the moment, which range from          Refinery), and the DRC (Kamoto and Til-
       ask. The immediate answer is: Keep calm,       about 180,000 to 260,000 metric tons of         wezembe mines of Katanga Mining Ltd.)
       but for a short while it might get rocky.      total demand per annum by 2025. More            directly affected cobalt output,” explains
         Last year, the price of cobalt soared by     than 40% of global production is already        Al Barazi. “Steep price increases, such as
       more than 120%. But the arguments of           used as cathode material for the produc-        the one observed in 2017, are the result.”
       James Frith, Energy Storage Analyst at         tion of lithium-ion batteries. “According       Moreover, he estimates that when cop-
       Bloomberg New Energy Finance, indicate         to our assumptions, cobalt demand for           per and nickel producers operate under
       that the overall situation is not that dra-    electric vehicles could reach only 56,000       healthy market conditions, cobalt supply
       matic. First, for the cost of a battery pack   to 88,000 metric tons by 2025 if the share      will meet future demand.
       this makes only a slight difference. “A        of EVs increases to 12 – 18% of global             Meanwhile, mining companies are
       50% rise in the cost of cobalt, from today’s   vehicle production,” says Siyamend Al           announcing increases in cobalt output to
       $91,000 per metric ton on the Shanghai         Barazi, a geologist at the German Min-          cater to the market. Seeking to cement its
       market, would only increase the cost of a      eral Resources Agency (DERA).                   number one position on the global mar-
       battery pack by 9%,” explains Frith. And          That is why, beyond market ups and           ket, Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore
       that does not necessarily mean that sys-       downs, geologists see no threat of a severe     announced in December last year plans

     Don’t worry, but keep asking
 As both energy storage makers and car manufacturers keep close track of the prices of key raw materials for lithium-
 ion batteries, the question of their availability is thrust into the limelight. Meanwhile, the recycling industry is
 gearing up to provide alternative supply chains.

       tems are really becoming more expen-           cobalt shortage in terms of the metal’s         to double its cobalt output over the next
       sive. “This price increase is likely to be     availability. According to the U.S. Geo-        three years, following supply negotia-
       absorbed by savings in other areas, so on      logical Survey’s (USGS’s) Mineral Com-          tions with Tesla, Apple, and Volkswagen.
       the whole battery pack prices are likely       modity Summary issued in January 2017,          Also, junior mining companies are eager
       to continue falling in 2018.” Second, the      world reserves were estimated at 7 mil-         to get their slice of the cake.
       price increase is not just based on sup-       lion metric tons. If one counts cobalt in          Another raw material that keeps inves-
       ply bottlenecks. Adding to the shortage,       manganese nodules and crusts on the             tors on their toes is lithium, which the
       investors scrambled to hoard physical          floor of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific      European Commission does not even
       supplies, betting prices would increase        Oceans, then according to the USGS esti-        characterize as critical. In 2017, the
       further. “The rise in the price of cobalt in   mates, there is an additional 123 million       USGS estimated that worldwide lithium
       2017 was exacerbated by stockpiling by         metric tons of resources. However, deep-        reserves were 14 million metric tons,
       funds such as Cobalt 27 and Pala Invest-       sea mining for now remains out of the           whereas production stood at 35,000 met-
       ments,” adds Frith.                            industry’s depth.                               ric tons. “Based on the current known
          So far, there is no indication of a long-                                                   lithium reserves and production, there is
       term shortage, and no major impact on          The by-product mechanism                        enough lithium for the next 440 years,”
       prices. Nevertheless, the topic of mate-       Clearly, it is not only the availability, but   says Al Barazi, adding that this is not a
       rial availability is suddenly here. In the     also the mining economics that count.           fixed number and can vary according to
       run-up to the Energy Storage Europe            “The real problem is not the availability       annual consumption and further explo-
       show, experts quizzed for this publica-        of resources, but the cost of extracting        ration of lithium deposits.
       tion highlighted the questions of raw          them,” Frith underlines.                           In addition to being more avail-
       material availability and sustainability         With the exception of only one deposit        able, lithium is also cheaper to extract.
       of their production and use.                   in Morocco, cobalt is mined as a by-prod-       Nonetheless, its price has not remained

18                                                                                     02 / 2018 | pv magazine in cooperation with Energy Storage Europe
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