Saturday, November 29, 2014

When batteries beat traditional power

Battery storage is usually seen as being a handy adjunct to help renewable energy square up to traditional power plants. But on frequency regulation, at least, it seems batteries may actually be better than the generation sources they are helping to supplant.

That, at least, is the consensus emerging from early operating experience at Europe’s largest commercial battery power plant, the 5MWh lithium-ion facility that WEMAG has commissioned from Younicos in Schwerin, Germany.

“Whereas coal-fired and other thermal plants typically take up to 30 seconds to adjust production up or down, and then just hit the neighbourhood of where they are supposed to be, batteries react within milliseconds,” explains Philip Hiersemenzel of Younicos.

The fact that batteries might beat traditional power plants for frequency regulation has long been touted as a big selling point for battery storage and has already helped sell projects in the US.

Now the performance of WEMAG’s installation is strengthening that business case.

As well as being able to respond to frequency shifts more quickly and accurately, says Hiersemenzel: “The second reason batteries are better suited is that they don’t require CO2 emissions to adjust the frequency.”

No must-run capacity

Furthermore, he says, batteries do not create any ‘must-run’ capacity. In other words, they don’t need to remain operational when not being used for frequency regulation, reducing overall power generation.

This can have a significant impact on carbon emissions. Younicos says most thermal power plants need to run at around 70% of total capacity just in order to provide decent frequency regulation, and in German coal-fired plants the level is about 90%.

“This creates an overall must-run capacity of 25GW in Germany alone,” Hiersemenzel states; “25GW of coal and nuclear power must be fed into the grid at all times.”

Natural gas plants are more flexible and can provide frequency response while running at as little as 40% of capacity. “But they’re also more expensive than coal,” says Hiersemenzel.

“Since we’re already competitive against the marginal cost of a completely written-down coal plant, imagine how competitive we are against a new gas plant.”

At the WEMAG plant’s grid-connecting ceremony a fortnight ago, Younicos’s chief technology officer Clemens Triebel pointed out that the facility was essentially providing the same level of frequency control as a 50MW conventional turbine.

Avoiding economic impact

“Coal-fired power plants can only use a fraction of their output for control power,” he said. “This blocks space in the grid, increasingly forcing wind and solar generation to be taken offline. Our battery park avoids this economic impact.”

The WEMAG battery plant features Samsung SDI lithium-ion cells and serves a grid area where 80% of power already comes from wind and solar generation.

It was backed by EUR€1.3m from the German Environment Ministry’s innovation programme and will compete on the primary frequency regulation market, Younicos says.

Younicos expects this capability alone will provide a positive return on investment for the plant. But the facility is also due to earn its keep in other ways. One is by replacing WEMAG’s current ‘black-start’ generators.

“Like all regional grid operators, WEMAG keeps diesel gensets solely for the purpose of black-starting the grid after a power cut,” says Hiersemenzel.

“Such cuts typically happen not so much because of electrical problems in the grid, or even renewable generation, but for much more profane reasons: a car hitting a power line, say.”

Using batteries instead of gensets

When this happens, the grid operator has to coax its power stations back online using smaller genset units. Only WEMAG should now be able to rely on its battery plant instead, and save the expense of maintaining gensets.

The facility, which has been praised by the German Vice-Chancellor and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Minister-President Erwin Sellering, could also be used for other auxiliary services, such as voltage control.

In fact, for another Younicos project, the 6MW, 10MWh Smarter Network Storage plant being built for UK Power Networks in Leighton Buzzard, UK, batteries will be used for at least six different functions, including peak shaving, and possibly all at once.

Trying to squeeze that much functionality out of a single battery plant will probably cut the lifetime of the batteries, Hiersemenzel points out.

But it is the operator’s choice whether to try to stretch the lifespan of their investment or get the most value possible out of it over a shorter period.

For now, what the WEMAG plant and other early grid-connected battery facilities are showing is that energy storage is no longer about making renewable-laden grids as good as traditional ones; it is about making them better.

Written by Jason Deign

Source: Energy Storage Report

Zerocarbonworld Free EVSE install by Damien Maguire

Damien Maguire received this EVSE / Charging Equipment from ZeroCarbonWorld (Charity by Kevin Sharpe) 6 moonths ago and just installed it

Damien: "Install and run through of my new home charge point kindly supplied by Zero Carbon World in the UK"

EVTV Friday Show - November 14, 2014

- Electric Jeep CJ-5 with Siemens Motor and GEVCU
- New controller to bring CHAdeMO to DIY/custom electric vehicles
- CANTS - a CAN bus temperature sensor
- Milspec 24v LiFePo4 battery replaces $10,461 nicad battery

First solar bike lane in NL

Jeep CJ5 consumption test

Talking about the CODA which was a very well conceived EV, but with a casual looking 90's sedan body ... too bad

Its is now coming back under the name Mullen

Jack makes a replacement LiFeP0 battery pack with the new CALN CAM72FI cell to replace this older generation pack

Heating pads did over heat :( and are withdrawn from the store for now

A CAN capable temperature sensor

The Portuguese JLD505 arrives and could integrate this temperature sensors in the next version

Friday, November 28, 2014

3 Years in our #Nissan #LEAF today already !

3 Years in our #Nissan #LEAF today already !

Bon Anniversaire :)

This picture was taken when the car was #charging before delivery #EV 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Enphase AC Battery Technical Details - What's in the box & How does itwork ?

Enphase announced "a revolution" in the Energy Storage world with its new AC Battery coming mid 2015, a very exciting announcement ...

But what's in it exactly ? Let's take a look at the spec sheet provided by Enphase and try to identify its components


Specs tell us:

- Capacity: 1.2kWh  of storage in LiFePO4 batteries
- Power: 275 / 550 W
- Weight: 40lbs

That's not much, but enough to start guessing; I think :

Through GreenTech Media, Enphase unveiled their LiFePO4 cells source: A Japanese maker which should be actually cheaper than the Chinese (!) and have been providing residential storage systems (UPS): Eliiy Power Co., Ltd

Japanese Eliiy Power 50Ah LiFePO4 cell

- Capacity: the Battery pack could be composed of 7 50Ah LiFePO4 cells wired in series because 7 x 50Ah x 3.32V = 1,162Wh, which can be considered 1.2kWh, and would give a pack voltage of 7 x 3.32 = 23.24V in the range of the Enphase M250 operating voltage below

- New S275 Micro Inverter : This New Special Bi-Directional Grid Tie Inverter, Enphase's 5th generation inverter, is capable of 25W more at 275W; Here it will be charging (from AC) and discharging (into AC) the pack at 275W and this 550W probably means that 2 S275 inverters could be running in one AC Battery units to double power ouput (?)

- Weight: The rather small unit is light enough to be mounted on any wall, since it is actually lighter than some existing inverters and this could be more important than you think because people do not want to waste space in their garage or basement as seen already with Tesla / SolarCity backup only storage systems installed in California (even if this could be mounted anywhere in the house or apartment)

The AC Battery can be added any existing Solar installation, not only Enphase based ones of course; That means that the Bi-Directional Inverter is using AC only, and from what we can see on the drawing below, the Enphase Storage Solution would require Load Controllers (on the every outlet ...) like seen in the SMA Smart Manager Solution

The AC Battery units will communicate with the Enphase Energy Management System (EMS) Control called Enphase Envoy-S using power line (PLC), like it is with the existing M* Grid Tie Inverters of the brand, via their Engage AC Cables, but we also see a WiFi sign near the Load Controllers meaning they will use this to report appliances Power Use to the EMS through a new Envoy Communication Gateway (the Envoy-S that is)

This Envoy-S would know how much Power is in use at home, how much is Generated by the PV array, calculate the difference and tell the AC Battery to Charge or Discharge, to keep the Home Net Usage equal or close to 0W, by Storing surplus PV Power or Using Power from the AC Battery units, to help the PV array power appliances at home during the day and at night when the sun is down
I also think it will be capable of powering on and off these AC outlets through WiFi, triggering loads when surplus PV Power can be used directly by appliances instead of being stored in the AC Battery units

Simply mounted on the wall, these AC Battery units can be added one by one and provide more Storage Capacity and also more Power Output to cover your Home loads, in the end more savings because lower Energy bills from your utility company :)

We do not know the retail price of one unit yet, but I guess it could be around 1,000 USD (?), based on the price of the cells and existing Enphase inverters

For Report, Follow up and Analysis, the Enphase Enlighten Portal will be used, like it is already for a regular Enphase Micro Inverter install; You will be able to see how much Power is beeing stored into each AC Battery unit, how much is drawn from it, its State of Charge and all kinds of interesting graphs from any smartphone, tablet or PC, which is pretty cool :)

So, I think Enphase will indeed deliver a great solution, because it will be scalable, able to integrate to any existing PV install, using a very efficient proven inverter to Charge and Discharge the BAttery Pack, and safe because based on the LiFePO4 Lithium-ion chemistry

I guess it should be a hit !!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

EVTV Friday Show - November 7, 2014

- Announcing the Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention - EVCCON Europe 2015
- Testing the CALB CAM72FI cell for Fast Charging
- Powerful PTC heat for the BMW 320i

New Chevy Volt explained

Jack is testing the new CALB CAM72FI in his Battery Lab, and yes they can take Fast Charge without any problem

Ed Clausen re-uses part of his BMW heating system and had powerful PTC elements

News from Amsterdam : the Jeep passed thee road inspection

and the new New Electric shop is under construction and almost finished, with an access to water from behind !

Anne is projecting to cross the Channel between France and England end of March or beginning of April 2015 depending on the weather conditions :)

and also introduces the European EV event taking place close to Bath, UK with Kevin Sharpe from

Jack & Brian will make to crossing and be there for this first EVCCON Europe taking place end of March !

"First Cheese & Grain Center on you right" lol !

Some new LED light bulbs to make your EV use leww power and light up the road ahead ...

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Please Share this Post if you Liked it ! Thanks !
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