Comprehensive energy storage platform3 July 2018
In March GE launched an energy storage platform designated Reservoir. This is said to be a comprehensive storage solution that includes a suite of customised storage options to help customers address new challenges in a rapidly transforming power grid. Essentially it is a large (4 MWh) containerised battery pack with controls and built in connectability to a range of GE generation and software suites.
The platform, based on its large battery unit is, with its controls, intended to enable users to increase renewables integration, improve financial performance, enhance grid operations, reduce energy costs and enable more distributed, local generation
The 1.2 MW, 4 MWh ‘Reservoir Storage Unit’ is the fundamental building block of the Reservoir platform. It is a modular solution that integrates GE’s Battery Blade design (module stack design) with key technologies from the company’s portfolio to achieve a high level of energy density, footprint and lifetime performance. The proprietary Blade Protection Unit (BPU) actively balances the safety, life, and production of each battery blade. GE says this extends battery life by up to 15 % and reduces fault currents by up to five times.
GE describes its new platform as a flexible, compact energy storage solution for AC or DC coupled systems. It ‘combines GE’s advanced technologies and expertise in plant controls, power electronics, battery management systems and electrical balance of plant’.
The platform, which already has a 20 MW, 80 MWh pre-launch commitment, builds upon recent successes. Last year, GE introduced the world’s first hybrid-electric gas turbine: it was the first-to-market with advanced applications for hybrid electric-gas turbines, wind hybrids and “Black Start” capabilities.
“The energy landscape is undergoing an unprecedented paradigm shift, as the growth of renewables, decentralisation of power and digitization create both new challenges and opportunities in how power is generated, transmitted and distributed,” commented Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power.
Eric Gebhardt, vp and Strategic Technology Officer of GE Power, said, “GE’s Reservoir platform enables cost-effective distribution, storage, and utilisation of cleaner, more reliable power where and when it is needed most. It can fit into most any setting, from centralised grid systems to the most remote villages and communities. The Reservoir also allows energy providers new degrees of flexibility for more intelligently managing and getting the most out of all their power assets.”
The modular system has multiple installation and cabling options including pad or pier and is designed to minimise operation and maintenance expenses over the life of the project with an all-weather design and high-efficiency cooling system. It is factory built and tested to reduce project installation time and costs.
The platform employs GE’s Predix and Edge control technologies to provide data-driven insights that help energy operators enhance their systems. These digital technologies ‘make use of GE’s extensive technical and industry domain knowledge across the energy ecosystem from generation to consumption’.
Put together, says GE, its system ‘delivers the most comprehensive energy storage platform to help meet the energy industry’s rapidly changing needs’.
The ability to offer highly customised solutions through the platform ‘offers customers unprecedented levels of flexibility, resilience and operational efficiency in hybrid generation, grid operation and energy management.’
It also enables other diverse applications that include managing higher levels of renewable power, grid stabilisation, peak demand management and controlling energy flow. By enabling better asset utilisation and overall system management, customers can also realise new revenue opportunities and cost savings.
New large energy storage for the UK
GE and Arenko Group have announced a strategic alliance to build grid scale energy storage systems in the UK. The first unit will be an investment by Arenko, a 41MW battery energy storage system supplied by GE, which is providing a fully integrated battery storage solution that it says is capable of responding quicker and more effectively than traditional energy technologies to meet the real time demand of consumers. The system is designed to help manage increasing renewable energy production and meet consumers’ changing energy demands as well as help create a more secure energy network into the future.
The project is one of the largest in the UK and globally. It is sited at a key strategic location in the Midlands and will commence operations this year. Once operational it will integrate GE and Arenko’s control technologies and will be commercially operated though Arenko’s software to digitally deploy energy and access multiple services and system needs. The battery system’s reliability and performance will be underpinned and protected by GE’s long-term support.
The project should relieve pressure on the UK energy system and provide flexibility at times when it is most needed to deliver a more balanced, secure energy system and contribute to reducing the cost of energy to the UK consumer. The focus is on building long term commercial sustainable battery storage systems which are not reliant on subsidies and incentives.
Mirko Molinari, Global Commercial & Marketing executive, Energy Storage at GE Power commented: “Energy storage will help balance supply and demand close to real time, avoiding frequency drifts and supporting the mid-term response to grid imbalances. The flexibility it offers smooths the fluctuating nature of renewable energy, provides quick reserves when needed, stores excess energy generation and much more. Energy storage will enable a more efficient system for a more reliable supply of electricity to consumers.”