Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and SMA Solar Technology (SMA) have opened two separate utility-scale solar plants with lithium-ion battery storage in Germany.
KIT inaugurated together with its partners SolarWatt (SW) and Kostal Solar Electric (KSE) a 1MW PV plant coupled with a 100kWh lithium-ion battery storage system at its research centre in Karlsruhe. The project focuses on demonstrating and researching energy storage and grid control. The PV modules were supplied from SW and the inverters from KSE.
Research team manager Olaf Wollersheim said: “This new research infrastructure allows us to study, on a relevant scale, the interplay of the latest generations of solar modules, power converters and lithium-ion batteries.”
SMA launched a 3.2MW PV plant in German federal state Hesse. The plant is connected with the company’s new PV utility power system, including inverters with an integrated lithium-ion battery, medium voltage block and grid control technology. The company primarily aims to research the application of its 1,000V DC technology as well as to develop a solution for distributing power across various sites.
“The opened test plant will help us to test our utility-scale PV system solutions close to research and development under real conditions and demonstrate it to our customers. As a result, we’ll save time and money,” said Jürgen Reinert, SMA managing director technical development. SMA demonstrated its utility power system for the first time at this year’s Intersolar in Munich.
KIT’s PV plant is set to cover 2% of the research centre’s annually electricity demand, which is a yearly saving of €200,000 ($270,600) with an expected system operation of 20 years. KIT invested €1.5m in the test facility.