Electric energy storage systems to enhance grid reliability

A report by Frost and Sullivan indicates electric energy storage systems are crucial in enhancing the usage of renewable energy sources. However, further technological developments are needed for this to be fully realized.

01/13/2012


Electric energy storage systems are crucial for the further development and transformation of a range of sectors including renewable energy, automotive, grid stabilization, Smart Grid, back-up power and portable devices. Big scale, reliable and durable electric energy storage technologies will enhance the usage and commercial attractiveness of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

Frost and Sullivan’s Storage Technologies: Market Penetration and Roadmapping research finds that electric energy storage systems are inscribed in the development strategies of intermittent renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) developers, grid operators and utility companies.

Other electric energy storage technologies include flywheels and compressed air energy storage (CAES) systems. Advanced adiabatic CAES systems are anticipated to play an important role in enabling the safe connection of big wind farms to the main electric grid in an economically viable way.

Before electric energy storage technology can be adopted on a mass scale, certain technical problems need to be resolved. For instance, investors and developers are already focused on developing new chemistry that will optimize battery durability and energy density. This, together with efforts to reduce the time needed for battery recharging, is likely to encourage widespread adoption of battery technology by the automotive and electric grid industries.

Another important problem is the initial cost of storage technologies. Further research and development needs to focus on increasing energy/power density and reducing initial costs through ramped up production. This will render electric energy storage systems more attractive across applications.

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, www.csemag.com 



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