A project deploying five lithium-ion residential energy storage systems in Greece is further proof that even a lead-acid battery brand with more than 130 years of history must move with the times.
German firm Varta proved that even a brand with a rich history in the lead-acid market is willing to adapt with the deployment last month of its ‘Pulse’ lithium–ion ESSs as part of the European project WiseGRID.
Varta’s lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide batteries will be used in a virtual power plant to deliver grid frequency services on the Cyclades island of Kythnos in the Aegean Sea.
The system will monitor and respond to fluctuations in the island’s grid frequency and voltage, which can deviate between 42.5 to 57.5 hertz— a bigger range than on the mainland where the optimal frequency is 50Hz.
The systems— the first Varta ESSs deployed in Greece— were installed in Kythnos town hall, the island’s community centre, a medical centre and in two yacht harbours.
The systems are configured using software that delivers information to a central control system (StaaS-VPP).
“Together we have found a configuration with which the storage systems function stably,” said Bengt Stahlschmidt (pictured), general manager Energy Storage Systems at Varta Storage.
“You could call it an ‘island grid configuration with extended frequency tolerance’.”
“Above all, software poses one of the biggest challenges in bringing together local generators and storage systems in a virtual power plant. Optimal operation of the local distribution energy storage systems must be guaranteed by intelligent forecast and control algorithms.”
The WiseGRID scheme includes pilot projects in Spain, Italy, Belgium and Greece and aims to develop intelligent grids, increase renewable energy penetration and accelerate electromobility in Europe.
The 56-year-old Stahlschmidt joined Varta at the end of June in the created position within the company’s Power & Energy division. He is responsible for the development, production and sales of home and commercial storage systems.
He has previously worked at flow battery firm RedT Energy, and German residential storage firm Gildemeister as head of global sales.