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Li-ion and ultracapacitors to solve Ireland’s energy concerns

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 14:57 -- Paul Crompton
Li-ion and ultracapacitors to solve Ireland’s energy concerns

A 150kWh energy storage system using ultracapacitors and lithium-ion batteries to support grid stability in both residential and industrial settings has been deployed in Ireland.

The Tallaght Smart Grid Testbed uses a combination of Li-ion batteries, a Microgrid stabaliser and Maxwell Technologies’ ultracapacitors for active power support in the grid's distributed network.

The demonstration uses existing Maxwell modules containing 2.7V, 3000F cells to supply 50kW for 20 seconds.

The ultracapacitors will perform fast functions such as frequency response, while the batteries are used for peak shifting and operating reserve.

The system works in combination with German renewable energy systems developer and distributer Freqcon's Microgrid Stabilizer.

The batteries of the Stabilizer have a storage capacity of 150kWh and will addresses the electricity intermittency challenges that accompany high renewable energy penetration.

The Testbed, run by the South Dublin County Council and the Micro Electricity Generation Association (MEGA), will test how energy storage can minimise electricity distribution issues and grid instability.

It is one of many similar projects in Ireland as the country works toward its goal of 40 percent renewable energy generation by 2020.

With multiple sources of renewable energy generation, Ireland’s grid network has to cope with voltage and frequency issues before distributing the electricity to end users.

Dudley Stewart, secretary general of MEGA, said: "Smart grid projects are a priority in Ireland, and, depending on the local set-up, the grid challenges can vary greatly.

"Freqcon's Microgrid Stabilizer can be customized for individual projects, and the combination of batteries and Maxwell ultracapacitors is a promising solution.”

Dr. Franz Fink, president and CEO of Maxwell, said, "As the European Union, China, the United States and other countries around the world work toward their renewable energy consumption and generation targets, ensuring optimal renewable energy production will be critical.

“With a reduced number of fossil-fuel-based synchronous generators in operation, grid stability is becoming a challenge, and we expect ultracapacitors will play an important role in addressing this issue."

Unlike batteries, which produce and store energy by chemical reaction, ultracapacitors store energy in an electric field.

This electrostatic energy storage mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in fractions of a second, perform normally over a broad temperature range (-40 degrees Celsius to +65 degrees Celsius), operate reliably through a million or more charge/discharge cycles and resist shock and vibration. 

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Mainstream to test 2MW energy storage at Irish wind farm

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:21 -- Laura Varriale
Mainstream wind farm Ireland

Mainstream Renewable Power (MRP) is to test 2MW of energy storage at a 10MW wind farm in Ireland.

MRP will assess the commercial availability of integrating wind generation with flywheels, synchronous condensers and batteries as well as operating the system in the Irish Single Electricity Market. The Irish state agency Enterprise Ireland will assist the “Wind-Storage Hybrid Study”.

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US-Irish alliance for compressed air energy storage across Europe

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 09:46 -- Ruth Williams

Irish renewable energy firm, Gaelectric, has joined forces with Dresser-Rand, a US engineering group to implement compressed air energy storage (CAES) projects across Europe – starting in Northern Ireland.

The initial project will be the most advanced European CAES in Europe comprising 268MW twin power train storage and electricity generation facility that is due for commissioning in 2017. The project is expected to require £300m (US$477m) investment.

Dresser-Rand will project manage as well as overseeing scheduling and technical support services to include front end engineering and design in 2014 at the Larne, County Antrim site.

The compressed air system stores energy in the form of compressed air in caverns created within geological salt layers located typically at depths of between 450m and 850m beneath the Earth’s surface.

Energy is stored by compressing air during periods of low energy demand utilising compressor technology located at ground level. This stored energy is then available for use in subsequent periods of higher energy demand when it can be released and applied in generating power using significantly lower amounts of natural gas to generate peak time electricity.

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