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MTU Onsite gas gensets compliant with medium-voltage directive

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:54 -- Laura Varriale
MTU Onsite Energy

MTU Onsite Energy (MTU) has received certification for its series 4000 gas gensets to be compliant with Germany's medium-voltage directive.

The certification issued by Germany’s Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry enables the gas generators to feed generated power into the public grid.

The series 4000 has a power output from 750kW to 2,600kW. According to MTU, the gensets achieve up to 44.3% electrical efficiency.

“Being armed with this certificate puts us in a very strong position on the market for gas gensets,” said Jörg Mielke, head of sales in Germany at MTU. MTU modified the gensets to meet the certification requirements.

Germany’s Renewable Energy Act and the Combined Heat and Power Act has led to an explosion in distributed power generation. MTU aims to provide static and dynamic grid support with the supply of reactive power or automatic reduction output as well as with its combined heat and power and biogas plants.

Skeleton Technologies raises $5.2m for ultracap production

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 14:30 -- Laura Varriale
Skeleton ultracaps

Skeleton Technologies has completed round-A financing of €3.9m in total ($5.2m) for its production of ultracapacitors.

The financing will be used by the German-Estonian firm for production scale-up, production development, sales and marketing.

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FuelCells receives $6.6m German government

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:19 -- Laura Varriale
FuelCell Energy

FuelCell Energy Solutions (FCEL) and partner Fraunhofer Institute have received €4.9m ($6.6m) in funding from the German government for stationary fuel cell research.

The three-year research and development project is aimed at enhancing FCEL’s fuel cell technology by increasing the power output of the fuel stack as well as extending operating life and lowering the costs. The research will take place at FCEL’s facility in Ottobrunn and Frauenhofer’s facility in Dresden, Germany.

The awards were given by German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

"With the support of various government organizations, strategic partners and private industry, product, performance and system enhancements continue on our proprietary fuel cell technology and are now being performed on three continents. This validates the global interest in our power and hydrogen generation solutions that enhance the resiliency of power distribution in an ultra-clean and affordable manner, " said Chip Bottone, president and chief executive officer of FCEL.

FCLE’s fuel cell stationary power plants utilise carbonate fuel cell technology and provide continuous baseload power located where the power is used, including both on-site applications and electric grid support.

SK Innovation provides 1MW li-ion battery storage for German microgrid project

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:56 -- Laura Varriale
Contract signing, Frauenhofer and SK Innovation

South Korean battery maker SK Innovation has secured a deal to supply a 1MW lithium-ion battery storage system for a microgrid pilot project, led by Frauenhofer-Institut, in Magdeburg, Germany.

The 1MW battery has a capacity of 0.5MWh. It is SK’s first export of its energy storage system (ESS) since the company entered business in 2010.

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KIT: “Alarming” safety issues with German PV storage systems

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 15:59 -- Laura Varriale
tested storage system at KIT

Lithium-ion storage systems for PV installations built in Germany show serious safety deficits, according to German-based research centre Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Safety issues range from lack of safety certifications, badly installed field-effect transistors (FET) to loose materials in the system. Several batteries generated smoke, exploded or caught fire during test runs.

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Germany PV energy storage potential "underdeveloped"

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 15:51 -- Laura Varriale
Intersolar 2014

Opportunities to retrofit solar PV systems with energy storage systems are highly underdeveloped in Germany, battery industry experts agreed at a panel discussion at Intersolar 2014 in Munich.

Sales of local PV systems are declining in Germany. An energy storage subsidy programme by the German government has not received the expected resonance from consumers, the panel members agreed. Matthias Vetter, Head of Department PV Off-Grid Solutions and Battery System Technology at Fraunhofer ISE, said the government should rethink its subsidy programme.

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Germany prepares for biggest Battery Day yet

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 12:02 -- Ruth Williams
Battery Day is 24-26 March

Germany has pledged to make itself a hub of excellence for battery production and is hosting the biggest yet Battery Day in Münster to showcase the progress being made.

Digatron Power Electronics, the test and formation equipment manufacturer headquartered in Aachen, has been instrumental in co-organising the event. The company will be showcasing a host of new equipment including a 1024 channel bi-directional cell formation system, new Regenerative Series (RE Series) Multiple Cell Tester, a 48V battery module (courtesy of ads-tec), and the 48V vehicle boardnet tester.

Battery Day 2014 and Battery Power take place on the 24th - 26th March in Münster, Germany.

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Germany plan to boost hydrogen refuelling network to 400 stations

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 21:21 -- Editor

A consortium comprising Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total have agreed a plan for the construction of a nationwide hydrogen refuelling network for fuel cell-powered vehicles in Germany.

Known as the ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative, the six firms aim to expand the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany to 400 by 2023 at a cost of €350m ($473m).

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Slow start for Germany's PV incentive scheme

Fri, 09/13/2013 - 14:57 -- Ruth Williams
PV is hoped to help Energiewende in Germany


The German government’s scheme to offer subsidy payments to households who purchase a combined energy storage with PV system has got off to a weak start. Of the €25M available to householders, only €3.3M has been claimed. A further €25M is due to be available next year under the same scheme.

The government incentive scheme is intended to encourage the uptake of energy storage systems by offering non-repayable loans that cover up to 30% of the cost of a system.

Although the market is expected to blossom as part of the energiewende, the slow up take suggests householders are reluctant to install the systems.

In a recent report, Lux Research said the coupling of PV with energy storage will be beneficial to the storage companies, but have less impact upon the solar market. However, solar companies that choose to develop products that combine the two could earn a portion of the anticipated US$2.8 billion market in the next five years.

Ground broken at Europe’s biggest battery park

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 12:51 -- Ruth Williams
Caspar Baumgart, Thomas Paetzold, Erwin ring Selle, Jürgen Becker, Angelika Gramkow, Clemens Triebel (left) at the groundbreaking ceremony

Construction has begun on the site to house Europe’s largest commercial battery park. German utility company WEMAG and Berlin-based renewables expert, Younicos, have begun working on the site that is due to be online in September 2014.

The site in Schwerin, northern Germany, will house a 5MWh battery to offset short-term power fluctuations from renewable energy sources to assist with stabilising grid frequency. Samsung SDI is supplying the lithium-ion cells with an assurance of 20 years performance guaranteed.

This is part of a Germany-wide effort to increase the use of renewable energy to lessen the dependence on fossil fuel and nuclear-generated electricity.

See the full report in the Summer issue of BEST magazine (issue 41) to read more about the Younicos and WEMAG project. 


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