With the rapid development of human society, the conversion and application of renewable energy have become increasingly important. Consequently, battery storage systems have emerged as a key technology. They can help us reduce carbon emissions and achieve a more environmentally friendly, efficient, and reliable energy supply. This article primarily explores the definition, principles, and significance of this technology.

Battery Energy Storage System Definition

We commonly refer to battery energy storage systems as BESS. It is a renewable energy solution that can convert and store wind and solar energy into electrical energy for use by consumers when needed. The basic components of a BESS include:

Battery Cells: These are the core components responsible for energy storage in a BESS, typically composed of multiple individual battery units.

Management Systems: Including the Battery Management System (BMS) and Energy Management System (EMS), which monitor the state of the battery and ensure its safe operation.

Power Conversion System (PCS): This is responsible for the conversion between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), ensuring the battery’s compatibility with the electrical grid or load.

Auxiliary Equipment: Such as cooling systems, safety protection devices, connectors, etc., to support the stable operation of the system.

How Do Battery Energy Storage Systems Work?

The operation of a battery energy storage system (BESS) is divided into two stages: charging and discharging.

During the charging phase, the alternating current (AC) electricity transmitted from the grid or renewable energy sources is converted into direct current (DC) by the Power Conversion System (PCS). As it passes through the battery cells, an electrochemical reaction occurs, which converts the DC electricity into chemical energy for storage.

In the discharging phase, the stored chemical energy is converted back into DC electricity through an electrochemical reaction, and then converted into AC electricity with the help of the PCS. This releases the stored energy to meet the needs of the electrical grid or load.

In summary, a BESS charges and discharges through electrochemical reactions. It stores energy when there is a surplus of electricity and releases energy when there is a demand.

Battery Energy Storage System Advantages And Disadvantages

Loyal users of battery energy storage systems are found all over the world, contributing significantly to the field of renewable energy. We can judge its importance from the benefits it provides.

Why Is Energy Storage Important?

Rapid Response

Battery energy storage can also act as an uninterrupted power supply, proving extremely useful in scenarios that require high response speeds. This is because it can almost instantly provide energy at the moment of a power cutoff.

Reducing Carbon Emissions

BESS uses renewable energy sources to generate electricity, not only reducing the use of fossil fuels but also decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Backup Power Source

The energy stored in a BESS can serve as a backup power source for homes, businesses, hospitals, data centers, and other critical facilities. In the event of power outages or grid instability, the energy storage system can release electrical power to continue supplying the equipment, helping to increase your home’s energy independence and reduce reliance on the grid.

Lower Energy Costs

The energy storage system stores energy when electricity prices are low. During peak usage periods when electricity prices are higher, it can release energy. In some regions, you can even sell your excess stored electricity back to the grid. This not only reduces your electricity expenses but can also accelerate the return on investment and generate profits.

Disadvantage Of BESS

Relatively High Initial Costs

Although costs have been continuously decreasing and there are long-term benefits, the initial investment for battery energy storage systems is still somewhat high.

Regional Variability

In some areas, the large-scale deployment of battery energy storage systems is not feasible due to issues with climate, legal regulations, supply chain, etc.

Types Of Battery Energy Storage Systems

Based on the different types of battery cells used, we can categorize battery energy storage systems into the following types:

Lithium-Ion Battery Storage Systems

The systems use lithium-ion or lithium iron phosphate batteries as the storage medium. They are popular among users and markets because they have a high energy density, long cycle life, and can charge and discharge efficiently with minimal maintenance:

High energy density, meaning a smaller overall size and weight, but capable of providing more power.

Long cycle life, with lithium iron phosphate technology offering several times the lifespan of other battery types.

Low self-discharge rate, allowing electricity to be stored for extended periods with minimal loss.

Lithium-ion battery storage systems are widely used in electric transportation vehicles, home and commercial energy storage, grid services, as well as off-grid and microgrid scenarios.

Lead-Acid Battery Storage Systems

The cells used in these systems are lead-acid batteries. This is a traditional but mature technology with lower costs; however, it has a lower energy density, shorter lifespan, and requires regular maintenance. Compared to lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries need to be replaced more frequently. They are often used in applications that require high power, such as starting motorcycles and automobiles.

Sodium-Sulfur Battery Storage Systems

Storage systems that use sodium-sulfur batteries as the storage medium need to operate at high temperatures and have higher safety and maintenance requirements. They are better suited for large-scale applications and have a narrower range of use.

Flow Battery Storage Systems

A common type is the vanadium redox flow battery. These systems store a large amount of energy, have longer lifespans, high scalability, and support independent adjustment of power and capacity. However, their systems are relatively complex, and the installation and maintenance costs are higher.

What Is The Battery Energy Storage System Used For?

Yes, battery energy storage systems can be applied in a variety of different scenarios. Based on these use cases, we can further classify them into different categories.

Residential Energy Storage Systems

For home power supply, smaller systems are often used in conjunction with solar photovoltaic panels, with capacities typically at 5kWh, 10kWh, 15kWh, or 20kWh. They can serve as emergency backup power sources, providing reliable electricity for households while also taking advantage of electricity price differences to save on expenses.

Commercial Energy Storage Systems

Energy storage systems for commercial buildings such as businesses, municipal facilities, and multi-unit residential properties are larger in scale, with capacities ranging from 30kWh to 2000kWh. Using energy storage systems can also improve their energy efficiency and save on electricity costs. A reliable uninterruptible power supply can prevent irrecoverable losses for commercial facilities.

Industrial Energy Storage Systems

Energy storage systems for industrial use can provide stable backup power while also controlling electricity costs.

Grid-Scale Energy Storage Systems

Battery storage systems that can store megawatt-level power are suitable for utilities like the electric grid. By integrating renewable energy, they can regulate grid demand and achieve load balancing in the area, not only improving stability but also saving on maintenance costs.

Microgrid Energy Storage Systems

In remote areas or those with independent small-scale electricity grids, energy stored by storage systems can enhance stability and reliability.

Top Battery Energy Storage Systems Manufacturers

Tesla

Tesla’s headquarters are located in the United States, and the company primarily designs, manufactures, and sells fixed battery energy storage devices, solar panels, and related products and services ranging from home to grid-scale. Among these, the Powerwall is widely used for residential and commercial purposes.

LG Chem

Headquartered in South Korea, LG Chem offers various types of lithium-ion batteries and holds an important position in the electric vehicle and energy storage markets.

Delong Top

Established in 2012 and headquartered in Shenzhen, China, with a factory in Dongguan covering an area of 6,000 square meters, Delong has its own R&D team. Its main products include deep cycle batteries, energy storage batteries, power batteries, high voltage batteries, sodium-ion batteries, and portable power sources. Delong has consistently provided efficient and reliable power solutions for the home, commercial, and industrial sectors.

FAQ

What Is The Difference Between A Battery And A BESS?

Batteries directly provide electrical energy to devices and can be divided into two types: single-use and rechargeable. There can be a significant size difference between different types of batteries, such as AAA batteries compared to electric vehicle battery packs. Additionally, a battery can be a single electrochemical cell or a simple assembly of multiple cells.

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are more complex and relatively larger in size. Their components include batteries, control systems, power conversion systems, and thermal management systems. BESS are typically used for large-scale applications such as homes, commercial and industrial facilities, or the electrical grid.

What Is The Difference Between Power Battery And Energy Storage Battery?

There are significant differences between the two in terms of design, specifications, and application scenarios.

Power batteries are more focused on high-power output over short periods, designed to rapidly release energy to provide propulsion for devices such as electric vehicles, electric bicycles, electric motorcycles, drones, and more.

Energy storage batteries are designed with an inclination towards the ability to store and release electrical energy over longer periods, requiring sustained energy output. They are commonly found in cost-effective scenarios such as residential, commercial, and industrial settings, as well as the electrical grid.

What Is Hybrid Energy Storage System?

Hybrid energy storage systems combine two or more different types of energy storage technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries, flow batteries, and compressed air energy storage. The advantage of this lies in enhancing the overall performance of the system, extending its lifecycle, and increasing reliability to improve the system’s economic efficiency. Currently, hybrid energy storage systems are often used for power regulation in scenarios such as remote areas, microgrids, and large-scale commercial and industrial settings.

What Is Used To Measure The Total Battery Energy Storage Capacity?

We typically use two parameters to measure the total capacity of a battery energy storage system: energy capacity (kWh) and power capacity (kW), such as 10kWh and 5kW. This is because energy (kWh) is equal to power (kW) multiplied by time (h). A 10kWh storage system can provide 1kW of power for continuous operation for 10 hours, or 5kW of power for 2 hours.

What Is The Best Battery For Energy Storage?

Different application scenarios and needs have varying performance requirements for energy storage systems. When making decisions, we often need to consider multiple factors such as energy density, power, cycle life, cost, charging speed, efficiency, etc. Among the mainstream energy storage systems mentioned above, lithium-ion batteries are more widely used due to their high energy density and fast charging capabilities.

Battery Energy Storage System Size

The energy capacity and power capacity of a BESS affect its physical size and weight. The higher the energy capacity, the greater the number of batteries and volume needed, which correspondingly increases the size. The higher the power capacity, the more batteries are required to provide sufficient current, which also results in an increase in the system’s size. Additionally, the type of battery, system design, and application requirements will also have an impact on the size of the system.

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Conclusion

Battery energy storage systems are both complex and simple, bringing numerous conveniences to people. Understanding relevant knowledge helps us to select, use, and maintain them.