Large-scale batteries have an increasing role to play in smoothing out the integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy into power grids, according to battery-maker Saft.
The company is displaying a number of its latest battery innovations at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference in Hamburg.
One of its technologies, the Synerion high-energy lithium-ion module, was developed to provide smart energy storage for residential/community PV schemes aimed at consumers who wish to operate independently of utility supplies. The Synerion systems are designed to “time-shift” power generated during peak production times — during the middle of the day for solar energy, for example — to peak demand times, which are mainly during the evening.
According to Saft, this approach enhances the value of PV systems, as a larger proportion of the electricity produced can be consumed locally, with only surplus energy fed back into the grid.
Another Saft battery development, the Intensium Max, is a containerized megawatt-scale lithium-ion energy storage solution designed to make renewable generation more predictable and grid-compatible. According to Saft, the battery can smooth intermittent generation and reduce ramp rates, as well as help to manage power flows within medium-voltage grids. The result is that solar energy can become a more predictable and manageable contributor to the overall energy mix.
Saft also makes a Smart VHT nickel-metal hydride module designed specifically to meet the needs of small off-grid PV systems. The module enable direct integration of smart electronics — such as seamless charge/discharge management, battery condition logging and accurate state-of-health indicator — which removes the need for separate PV controllers.