Batteries are key to stationary energy storage. Deriving the maximum profit from them, with minimal risk, is the overarching goal of most energy operators. However, batteries are complex systems and need expert management. This is where battery analytics can help.
A total of 25 GWh is already installed in battery storage globally. This amount is predicted to reach up to 900 GWh by 2030. In theory, batteries provide an excellent solution to the challenges of the energy transition, in numerous use cases both front-of-the meter and behind-the-meter.
In practice, there are many considerations: beside the enduringly high purchasing cost of batteries, there is also their complexity and individual aging behavior. This presents several issues: three of which are multi-use applications, warranty management and the oversizing of batteries. With battery analytics, these can all be addressed, making battery storage a very attractive technology.
Fig. 1: Overview of Stationary Storages
Low profitability and long amortization durations – multi-use applications are the key
High purchasing costs and fluctuating, unpredictable energy prices, compounded in the last few years by sinking prices on the PFR market, add to the challenges of low profitability and lengthy amortization durations. Despite the knowledge that multi-use applications can help, the complex aging behavior of batteries makes the optimization and selection of the most profitable operating strategy via different potential uses difficult. Many operators, therefore, shy away from multi-use applications – without even being aware of the cost of battery aging. A continual use of the TWAICE Operating Strategy Planner can generate value for the customer in a wide variety of ways:
- Considering battery aging when planning operating strategies helps the operator to better decide between different strategies and timetables. This way, they can choose the optimal operating strategy for their business case, balancing the expected profits and battery lifetimes.
- An estimation of the aging costs per cycle and energy quantity can be incorporated into market optimization and price planning for various operating types. Lucrative operating modes, such as intraday trading or PCR, can be increased.
- Furthermore, the operator is secure in the knowledge that the storage can be used throughout the planned duration for the strategy they have selected. The risk of a premature storage outage is thereby minimized.
More efficient warranty management using battery analytics
Integrators face the challenge of combining multiple subcontractors’ guarantees into a system warranty for the end consumer. This not only takes place in the form of a conventional product guarantee (the storage system is not working any more) but also primarily in the form of a performance warranty (the storage system delivers a specific performance over a specified period, e.g., the system capacity is at 80% SOH after ten years of run time). In the event of damage, the operator can access all necessary data with just a click of a button, thereby limiting the damage, minimizing risk, and saving money. Storage operators also have the option of setting alerts that prevent the system from operating outside the warranty conditions or avoid inappropriate approaches. For example, this helps avoid elevated temperatures, especially lots of cycles, but also specific depths of discharge.
As a supplier of predictive battery analytics, TWAICE can provide objective help, building a basis of trust for partnerships – for example, with Munich Re for insurance policies and TÜV for residual value estimations.
Oversizing of batteries and laborious development – optimize storages with simulation models
There is optimization potential in the development phase, not only in operation. Every battery engineer knows what oversizing is. To make sure that batteries deliver the agreed performance over the entire runtime, they are made larger than is necessary to allow for the expected aging and/or accompanying yet unpredictable loss of capacity. Combined with time intensive development, oversizing can lead to a battery design that is much costlier than it should be. Battery simulation models, such as those in the TWAICE battery model library, present the ideal way to design the optimum battery for specified load profile, performance capability and storage capacity. This can sink capital costs significantly. Battery analytics and stress factor analyses can be deployed to monitor and observe batteries that are already in use. Conclusions drawn from the analyses help operators to design the next generation of batteries in an even more effective way.
Fig. 2: The battery storage’s salient assets and functions at a glance
The future of the energy sector is now unimaginable without batteries. They are complex, yes, but do not have to pose opaque risks. With the help of holistic battery analytics, players along the entire value chain – operators, owners, and project developers of battery storages – can meet their challenges and develop optimum batteries, operate, and generate the maximum potential from these storage units.
If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.