Detroit Edison, Sandia Laboratory Join US DOE to develop, test battery storage system

Detroit Edison is working with the US DOE and Sandia National Laboratory to test a prototype for a transportable Advanced Battery Energy Storage System (ABESS).

Detroit Edison, the principal operating subsidiary of DTE Energy, is working with the US Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratory to test a prototype for a transportable Advanced Battery Energy Storage System (ABESS).

The device has the potential to improve reliability for customers and meet increasing demand for high-quality, low-cost electricity.

‘Utilities will need to consider opportunities to modify their distributed resources as well as their transmission and distribution systems,’ said Ron A. May, vice president, Energy Delivery and Service. ‘The DOE has recognised the potential for utility energy storage and supports programs to develop advanced battery systems.’

Detroit Edison will provide the electric utility distribution circuit to test the ABESS as a load levelling and power quality device. In operation, the battery system will be discharged during the day and charged at night. The ABESS consists of a 200 kW/ 400 kWh zinc-bromine battery manufactured by ZBB Technologies in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and a power conditioning system manufactured by Inverpower Controls Ltd. in Burlington, Ontario.

When connected to an electric power circuit known to have daily seasonal customer peak demand, ABESS reduces peaks in the electrical load by adding energy to the circuit at predetermined times. When the peak use period passes, the system will be recharged using energy from the power grid when energy cost is lower. The power conditioning system (PCS), which contains a power inverter, changes AC to DC and vice versa while controlling the charge and discharge of the battery along with providing voltage stability.

The zinc-bromine flow battery is an emerging technology that has attractive advantages for utility energy storage applications. The major advantages are that it has three to four times the energy storage capacity compared to lead acid batteries and requires less space. In addition, can be completely discharged without damage and it’s almost entirely constructed of plastic. The best application for these batteries is a two- to six-hour discharge with an appropriately designed PCS.

A unique aspect of the prototype is its mobility. The ABESS team designed the entire system to be housed on a 40-by-8-foot trailer, so it is possible for one battery system to be used in multiple areas.

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