Among the fastest growing technologies in the sustainable energy industry are battery energy storage systems. As the reliance on fossil fuels and often unreliable utility providers has decreased, energy storage systems have become more widely accepted. The battery energy storage system is the ideal way to utilize renewable energy sources, such as solar power. In the third quarter of 2020, 476 megawatts of storage was deployed, an increase of 240% over the previous quarter, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest WattLogic Storage Monitor report.
There are different types of battery used in energy storage battery. New types of battery are constantly being introduced into the market for use in battery storage systems.
Battery energy storage systems use the following types of battery:
- Lead-acid battery
- Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery
- Sodium-sulfur battery
- Redox flow battery
Battery made from lead-acid have been used in energy storage systems for decades and are the most widely used rechargeable battery in the world. As the most common vehicle battery, lead-acid battery may be familiar to you. While they have a shorter lifespan than other battery options, they are the least expensive.
There is a well-established recycling system for lead-acid battery, and they are the most widely recycled battery. Lead-acid battery are extremely eco-friendly; over 90% of their material is recycled, and the average lead battery contains more than 80% recycled materials, according to the Energy Storage Association.
Despite high technology and manufacturing readiness levels, the cycle life of lead-acid battery is less than three years at one cycle per day, according to the Department of Energy report.
Alternatively, the Energy Storage Association reports that lead-acid battery have a life expectancy of 15 years when used intensively after 5000 cycles to 70% depth-of-discharge. As a cheaper and recyclable battery option, lead-acid battery are a good choice for a battery energy storage system. The active components of these chemistries are also nonflammable, which makes them safer than some other chemistries.
In energy storage systems, lithium-ion battery are the most common type of battery. Globally, 90% of grid battery storage is made up of lithium-ion battery. The most common type of battery that you are likely to be familiar with is a lithium-ion battery. Cell phones and laptops use lithium-ion battery.
The lithium-ion battery is lightweight, but it will likely be more expensive than other options.
During the U.S. Energy Department’s 2019 Energy Storage Technology and Cost Characterization Report, lithium-ion battery are the best option for a 4-hour energy storage system in terms of cost, performance, calendar and cycle life, and technology maturity.
In order to operate, sodium-sulfur battery must be kept hot, between 572 and 662 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be an issue, especially at work. Approximately 90% of the round trips are efficient.
The sulfur in sodium-sulfur battery is positive, while the sodium is negative. Since sodium is abundant in the earth’s crust, sodium-based battery are more sustainable than lithium-ion battery.
Japan and Abu Dhabi are currently using this technology, according to the Energy Storage Association.
Redox flow battery
During charge and discharge, liquid electrolyte solutions flow through an electrochemical battery of electrochemical cells, storing energy through chemical and oxidation reactions.
Redox flow battery minimize environmental risk and improve response time to demand, according to the book “Advanced Membrane Science and Technology for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Applications.” The electrolyte system in a redox flow battery is circulated from a reservoir tank rather than being enclosed between electrodes and limited to the volume of the secondary battery in a typical battery.
A discharge occurs when an electron is released from the negative side of the battery and accepted by the positive side through a reduction reaction.
The Department of Energy reports that rapid improvements in cost, performance, life, technology readiness levels, and manufacturing readiness levels are expected, but round trip efficiency is low for redox flow battery.
According to the Energy Storage Association (ESA), RFB battery are best suited to large projects requiring power between tens of kilowatts and tens of megawatts. Electrochemical stacks offer power ratings in the tens to hundreds of kilowatt range, according to the ESA. Storage tanks and flow controls are inexpensive and easy to scale.