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IoT World Forum 2016
IoT World Forum 2016

Worldwide unique large-scale modular battery storage system being built in Aachen

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A unique large-scale modular battery storage system with a power range of five megawatts, will be built in Aachen this year. The project named “Modular Multi-Megawatt Multi-Technology Medium-Voltage Battery Storage” or M5BAT will receive €6.5 million in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

M5BAT will be a joint collaboration, which will involve the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University, energy utility E.ON SE, battery manufacturer Exide Technologies GmbH’s GNB® Industrial Power division, battery manufacturer beta-motion GmbH, and inverter manufacturer SMA Solar Technology AG.

What makes M5BAT distinctive is its modularity, which enables it to optimally combine a variety of battery technologies. It uses high-output lithium ion batteries for short-duration discharge, high-temperature batteries for medium-duration discharge, and lead-acid batteries for short- and medium-duration discharge.

The M5BAT’s power range and high degree of modularity will make it to a worldwide unique battery storage system and open up a broad range of applications. Initially, the project will focus on the following applications: renewables integration, testing of distributed regulating energy provision to promote grid stability, and power price arbitrage.

“The growth of renewables in Germany is making smart grids and large-scale energy storage technologies increasingly more important,” said Leonard Birnbaum, member of the E.ON Board of Management responsible for technology issues. “Since a number of years, E.ON, through its Technology and Innovation (T&I) activities, has been investing in a broad spectrum of technologies of the future. Battery storage systems are particularly interesting because, unlike compressed-air storage or pumped-storage hydro, they aren’t subject to narrow geographic constraints and don’t require long planning cycles.”

E.ON is responsible for planning and construction of the battery storage facility and for developing and testing marketing strategies for future storage products for the energy marketplace. The Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics (IAEW) at RWTH Aachen University will provide research support. The E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University will operate the system, integrate it into the grid, and provide scientific support. The manufacturers—Exide Technologies GmbH, beta-motion GmbH, and SMA Solar Technology AG—will supply the technical components and conduct operational testing.

This project will deploy Exide Technologies’ innovative VRLA gel and CSM copper plate technology, which delivers high cyclic application capacity and high-current discharge. Beta-motion GmbH’s high-output lithium ion batteries will be used for efficient load management. SMA’s highly flexible battery inverters give the system its scalability and modularity. Project Management Jülich (PTJ) will coordinate the public funding on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. Plans call for construction to begin in the fall of 2014 and for the utility-scale storage system to enter service in 2015.

SOURCE: E.ON