Is The Best Analogy For The Energy Storage Business--Eeek!--Hard Drives?

Michael Kanellos for Forbes:  The optimism in the energy storage industry is based on soaring demand, rapid technological advances, expanding capacity and, for some, what will likely be a scary competitive environment. First, the good news. Lithium ion battery packs over the last ten years have declined faster than the cost of solar, said John Carrington, CEO of Stem, which makes behind-the-meter storage systems for hotels and other commercial customers looking to shave peak power costs, during a hallway meeting at Finance West sponsored by the American Council of Renewable Energy this week. Solar panels have declined by 50% or more in the last five years. Batteries have declined by 80% in three years, he said. Battery packs hit the under $300 per kilowatt hour mark last December, Carrington added. By 2020, battery pack prices could drop to $190 per kilowatt hour. (In 2007, lithium ion battery packs in the wholesale markets sold for around $1,000 per kilowatt hour.)   Cont'd...

Batteries That Make Use of Solar Power, Even in the Dark

Stanley Reed for the NY Times:  A new cash crop has sprung up on Nicholas Beatty’s enchanting farm near here. Rows of gray solar panels range over about 25 acres, turning sunlight into electricity, as dog-size muntjac deer hop by. The panels themselves, trouble-free money earners that feed into the electric grid, are no longer unusual on farms in Britain or other countries. What’s new in Mr. Beatty’s field is a hulking 40-foot-long shipping container. Stacked inside, in what look like drawers, are about 200 lithium-ion cells that make up a battery large enough to store a substantial portion of the electricity the solar farm puts out. The battery and its software give Mr. Beatty an advantage over other solar panel farmers. Power prices in Britain and elsewhere rise and fall, sometimes strikingly, during the day and over the year, depending on the supply and demand.   Cont'd...

Repurposing Electric Vehicle Batteries

EV batteries still have storage capacity, typically at 80 percent, after they're removed from their vehicles and can be reclaimed for a "second life" as stationary power sources.

The Aquion Energy Saltwater Storage Battery

This system is working good in a 4000 sq ft shop & house combo, but could use more storage for peace of mind & will likely upgrade next year.

Flow Batteries in Cars?

Flow battery technology is immature. There is everything to play for and although pumping liquids from reservoirs does not sound compact or reliable in a car but who knows? Watch this space.

Tesla, Apple and Uber Push Lithium Prices Even Higher

The lithium ion battery market is forecast to expand to $46.2 billion through 2023, which represents an 11% average annual growth rate.

Solutions for E-Mobility Demands

There are two standards governing EV charging. In the U.S. there is the SAE J1772 standard, while in Europe and China the IEC61851 standard is used.

Small Power, Big Grid: Part 2 - DERs AND REGIONAL LOAD FORECASTING

The Emerging Relationship between Distributed Energy Resources and the Transmission System.

Is 2016 The Turning Point For Energy Storage?

Michael McDonald for OilPrice.com:  In the future, when investors look back at the year that represented the turning point for clean energy, 2016 may be it. The industry overall is growing at a breath-taking pace, but perhaps not for the reason that some investors think. Energy storage rather than solar power and wind power are the real factors that are driving a revolution across the electrical power industry. Energy storage changes the equation, not only in the renewables space, but in the conventional utility space as well. The concepts of spin/non-spin reserve costs, peaker prices, and a variety of other conventional concerns for utilities, lose meaning in the context of efficient and cost-effective energy storage. While energy storage was available previously, it’s only today that costs are coming down substantially. Tesla’s economies of scale on battery storage are well-known, but small start-ups like Orison are finding ways to lower costs in innovative ways as well. The graphic below from a recent EPRI presentation highlights the role that multiple layers of costs savings can play in creating economical battery storage.   Cont'd...

Using Y Connectors in String Inverter Systems: Part I

In Part I of this blog post Eric Every, Yaskawa - Solectria Senior Applications Engineer, explores cases in which PV system designers should use Y-connectors, what the code implications may be, how they may be used with internal inverter combiners.

Siemens unveils new hot rocks energy storage system

Jocelyn Timperley for BusinessGreen:  A new energy storage technology currently under development by Siemens is set to see excess wind energy converted to heat rocks, allowing the energy to be stored using an insulated cover. The system consists of a fan that uses an electrically-heated air flow to heat the stones to high temperatures, with the thermal energy then converted back to electricity when needed using a steam turbine. The simple principle of the set-up promises to deliver a low-cost way of storing energy, Siemens said, with the only limit to the concept being the space required for the rock-filled insulated container.  Cont'd...

Small Power, Big Grid: Part 1

This series will focus on these questions in the area of transmission planning (regional load forecasting and solutions to identified grid needs), wholesale market design, and facilitation of utility business model reform.

New solar panel integrates battery storage, inverter, and smart software into a single unit

Derek Markham for TreeHugger:  This startup is reinventing the solar panel, and aims to cut the cost of integrating clean power and energy storage to homes by half. Home solar has the potential to reduce, and even eliminate, electricity costs for many people, but even with the rapid advancements we're seeing in solar technology, there are still weak points that can be addressed and overcome, such as energy storage and 'smart' home integration. But a newcomer to the residential solar scene believes it has the answer, in the form of a standalone solar and battery unit which can be used singly or connected in an array, and which may be able to lower the overall costs considerably. SunCulture's SolPad solar device integrates solid state batteries directly into the solar panels themselves, offering its users the ability to not only generate their own clean electricity, but to also store if for use after dark or during peak demand times, when electricity costs are higher. The SolPad units also incorporate an inverter, which converts the electricity from the DC generated and stored by the device to the AC required by most household appliances, and includes "intelligent software" that communicates with both the users and with their home's systems, allowing for granular control over which rooms or devices will receive the solar power.   Cont'd... Full Press Release:

The Future of Bio-Inspired Batteries

A major advantage that bio-inspired batteries have as compared to other batteries is their ability to allow an instant recharge.

Tesla Wins Large Contract with Utility for Energy Storage

Jon LeSage for HybridCars:   Tesla’s energy storage division just won a very large contract with a major California utility to stabilize power outages. While the acquisition cost hasn’t been announced, Tesla Energy will supply 20 megawatts of energy storage to Southern California Edison – enough to power about 2,500 homes for a full day. It’s part of SCE’s efforts to prevent blackouts by fossil-fuel electricity generation with lithium-ion batteries. Investment in Tesla’s product, called Powerpacks, is thought to be worth tens of millions of dollars, and is expected to be operational by the end of this year. The deal ties into Tesla’s plans to broaden its base beyond manufacturing and selling electric cars, similar to its recent investment in SolarCity. It also signifies advancements being made in energy storage, which is reaching a much faster pace – months instead of years, according to an analyst.  Cont'd...

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Energy Storage & Distribution - Featured Product

Flex-Core - Flexible Split-Core Current Transformer

Flex-Core - Flexible Split-Core Current Transformer

The FCL model split-core current transformers have multiple benefits, including a flexible twisting motion for ease of application. Installing a split-core CT means there is no need to disconnect your primary conductor(s) which reduces downtime. Many customizations are available including extended secondary lead wire lengths, various outputs including 5A, 1A, 1VAC, and 0.333VAC, and custom rubber inserts to help center the CT and maintain accuracy. The FCL models can be used in applications up to 720VAC and have an operating frequency from 50Hz to 400Hz.