Risk management for variable energy sources

ITP Renewables specialise in battery performance testing and analysis, as well as implementing photovoltaic (PV)/battery projects and programs.

For 35 years we have been specifying battery energy storage to optimise the design of remote PV diesel hybrid mini-grids all around the world. Recently with rapidly falling battery prices, we have extended this expertise to on-grid applications, typically using lithium-ion battery technologies.

Energy storage is becoming increasingly popular because solar PV does not produce electricity when it is needed at night, and both wind and PV can drop out at a moment’s notice. With the increasing use of these variable generation sources, the challenge for network operators and individual customers is to find a reliable storage solution.

Energy storage works at two levels to minimise the risk of power disruption. In the event of a sudden loss of power, energy storage can stabilise voltage and frequency until thermal generators come online. On a larger scale it can also be used to capture excess generation from renewable sources and shift this output to periods of high demand, to secure higher value from the electricity market.

We are conducting a lithium-ion battery trial, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The project is analysing the performance of eighteen leading batteries, comparing major lithium-ion battery brands to existing and advanced lead-acid battery technologies, as well as a novel zinc-bromide flow battery and an aqueous hybrid ion battery.

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