We continue our review of energy accumulation systems global market. We devoted the first part of the review to undoubted market leaders, while second part will tell about companies, which main activity is focused on software and process optimization of accumulation, storage, distribution and use of electricity. In addition, we mentioned some companies, that not just develop storage systems with their own technologies, but also already have some finished projects. These technologies may be far from perfection, but their real value will be seen in some time.
S&C Electric has more than 100 years of experience in planning and building of engineering communications, creation and protection of control system for electric networks. Today S&C Electric is one of few leaders in innovative software decisions, intended to increase network reliability, productivity and efficiency.
The company is specialized on development and introduction of solutions both for commercial and industrial objects and private dwellings, and also standalone systems of energy supply. For example, a S&C Electric united 4 electric micronetworks in Texas into single network, combining different sources of electric power generation (solar energy included), and also several systems of electricity storage. In addition, the company developed one of the largest systems of electricity storage in Great Britain. Another 7 МW project is Half Moon Ventures in Minster city, Ohio.
Hybrid ionic accumulator, developed by Aquion company, uses natrium-ion water solution (based on ocean water) and has an ambition to become the most ecologically clean and safe battery at the market. Among other accumulators with liquid electrolyte, Aquion technology is targeted at long-term storage of electric power.
The company successfully provided project financing on early stages of the technology development. Aquion engineers made following calculations: after beginning of mass production of hybrid accumulators, their cost should be about 160 dollars per 1 kW/h. But it’s a little bit early to take such statements as real fact. Aquion mobilized almost 200 million dollars as investments, but succeeded to complete only few commercial projects based on hybrid accumulators. All these projects were implemented on markets, where electricity tariffs are initially very high - for example, in Puerto Rico. To provide Aqueous Hybrid Ion battery technology with some good commercial prospects, vendor company needs some very hard work into expenses reduction.
Company ViZN is an another producer, which focuses its interest on large capacity accumulators with liquid electrolyte. Nowadays accumulators with electric power generation based on chemical reaction of iron and zinc, are avialable in different configurations. They are used as a reserve source in home powers systems, for electric power accumulation and redistribution networks, and also for creation of autonomous power networks - for example, for remote deposits development in mining industry. Technology perspectives can be illustrated by the fact, that recently ViZN won a tender on creation of the system of currents stabilization in Ontario (Canada) with 2МW/6MW total power.
Specialists however mention, that new technology of zinc-iron flow battery still needs confirmation of its commercial attractiveness. At considerable cutback on its production costs, batteries of this type can takeover considerable market share of long-term accumulators (3+ hours). In addition, ferrous-zinc accumulators with their non-acid environment have the best indexes of system lifecycle and productivity in comparasion to other accumulators with liquid electrolyte. Thus the strategic task of ViZN is to make hard-headed investments, concentrated on expenses reduction due to production technology improvement and production volumes increase.
Multi-field RES project company became one of founders in building of a large-scale electric depository with 88 MW of total power; another one, much more powerful (200 MW), is now at planning phase.
Vendor company has developed its own RESolve control system, that allows to integrate all electric power storage devices with different sources of current generation (solar batteries, wind generators etc.) into unified system. The RESolve system determines optimal office hours that allows both to minimize risks automatically and to make correct redistribution of generated energy with maximal profit via wholesale energy selling to the general grid. Nowadays RES realized about 10 own projects. In addition, Resolve software platform is used in several outsource projects.
German-American Younicos company is one of leading suppliers of software for the systems of energy storage and system integration. The company traces its origins back to research laboratory, so it implements into very strong positions in German industry of solar and and wind power geneartion. Younicos developed the great number of software solutions and utilities for many large-scale projects in Germany. Lately company promotes its own equipment for energy accumulation under Y.Cube brand.
Main Y.Cube feature is module system that can be connected to different sources of electricity generation. Module construction design allows to create systems with total power from 200 kW up to 10 MW (for the long-term storage of electric power), and even more powerful systems up to 20 MW (for short-term electricity storage). Thus software allows to adjust easily main controls of the system.
AMS software allows to optimize management of available resources. Using innovative technologies of load management and due to integration of different sources of electric power and control of power traffic, AMS guarantees its customers trouble-free energy supply even during peak loads. The company already implemented one large-scale project in California as 3,5 MW power storage system for a water filtering plant, nowadays AMS works at even more complex object with 50 MW. AMS uses Tesla Powerpacks for construction of energy storage system.
The Australian Enphase company is often mentioned as a Tesla competitor foremost due to their active promotion of conceptually different principle of energy storage, namely batteries of alternating current or AC batteries. By the end of 2015 the company presented its own module battery for the home energy storage systems with 1,2 kW/h capacity at the market price about 838 AUD per 1 kW/hour. The battery is already adapted to existing solar power station configurations and can be installed in a customer’s house during 1,5 hours. The company gives 10-year warranty on lithium iron phosphate accumulators. Nowadays Enphase takes orders on systems installations in Australia and New Zeland, but by the end of current year plans to enter USA market and to start work in Europe in 2017.
Partnership of Japanese Nissan motor-car company with Eaton engineering giant (the latter company already has large experience in development of popular Nissan LEAF electrocars), aims on creation of industrial systems of energy accumulation and storage. Today companies realize xStorage, which is pilot project on creation of backup power supply system for a private house in Great Britain.