Energy storage project aims for cheaper and better quality power

With rising electricity prices one of the
biggest issues facing households, Griffith University (Australia) research into
energy storage and supply holds the promise of cheaper, better quality power
for the low voltage (LV) electricity distribution network.
According to the research from Griffith’s School of Engineering
and published in the journal Applied
Energy, a forecast-based, three-phase battery energy storage scheduling and
operation system provides benefits such as reduced peak demand, more efficient
load balancing and better management of supply from solar photovoltaics (PV).
From left are: Griffith University’s Associate Professor
Rodney Stewart, researcher Mr. Chris Bennett and Professor Jun Wei Lu. Credit:
Griffith University

Mr Chris Bennett, working under the supervision of Associate Professor Rodney
Stewart and Professor Jun Wei Lu, has developed and applied an intelligent
scheduling system to a South-East Queensland-based LV distribution network servicing
128 residential customers.
low voltage network is a typical suburb of a few hundred homes where there is a
single area transformer and recently there has been a substantial increase in
the number of homes with installed residential solar PV in these
settings,” says Mr Bennett.
peak demand in residential networks typically occurs in the evenings in summer
and both late morning and evening in winter. But because solar PV generation is
dependent on incoming solar radiation, peak generation occurs during the middle
of the day, typically when demand in the residential distribution network is
“This means there is an
incongruity between when energy is generated and when it is required, which can
lead to power supply and quality issues. “However, with a battery energy storage (BES)
system comprising Lithium Ion battery banks coupled with smart power control
systems, such as STATCOMS, and featuring embedded intelligent forecasting
software, we can better manage the LV network.” Associate Professor
Stewart says the recent significant uptake of solar PV has in some locations
created issues in the LV network, including surplus power being pushed up the
grid, unbalanced phases and poor power quality. “Our solution tackles
these immediate issues while also setting the foundation for a future smart
grid,” he says.
“The two main advantages of
intelligent BES in the LV network are that we can mitigate power quality issues
attributed to fluctuations in generation from renewable energy sources such as
PV, and we can store surplus energy gathered during the middle of the day and
distribute it when it is needed in the evening peak period. “If such a
system was implemented across an entire city it would reduce wholesale peak
generation charges, alleviate costly upgrades to the grid, reduce the average
time of outages and improve power quality for customers.”

Associate Professor Stewart and Mr
Bennett agree that distributed energy resources and smart power control electronics can
revolutionise the grid and reduce the price of electricity for customers. 
Griffith University Via.


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