a big test for big batteries - commercial energy storage systems
Invisible California. —
In Southern California in the fall of 2015, a huge gas leak not only caused one of the worst environmental disasters in American history, it also eliminated a key fuel source for regional power plants.
Energy regulators need to solve problems quickly.
But instead of insisting on using gasoline, they turned to a technology that is more closely related to the flashlight: the battery.
They released the device that started installing the battery.
There are many more.
This is a bold and adventurous solution.
The idea is that the battery can store power during the day (
When many solar panels in the country flood the grid with electricity)
, And then release it at the peak of demand (
Earlier in the evening, when people go home).
Actually, a rechargeable battery is like an on-
In theory, it can replace an actual power plant.
Utilities have been studying batteries nationwide.
But no one can move forward as passionately as people in Southern California.
This idea is far away
But the challenge of storing electricity has been plaguing engineers, researchers, decision makers and entrepreneurs for hundreds of years.
Despite the rapid development of countless technologies, batteries have yet to fulfill their promise.
The most powerful new design also has its own risks, such as a fire or explosion that can be caused if it is poorly manufactured or maintained.
The problem of forcing Samsung to recall 2 is the same.
5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to fire risk in September.
After months of competition, engineers in California brought three kinds of energy.
The upcoming storage site will start serving the Southern California grid in the next month.
They're made up of thousands of oversized versions of lithium-
Ion batteries are now widely used in smartphones, laptops and other digital devices.
One of the facilities is located in a San Diego Gas and Power operation center surrounded by an industrial park in escondo, California.
Developers say 30 miles north of San Diego will be the largest in the world.
This is the most critical test of energy.
Many experts believe that storage technology is the foundation of cleaning. energy future.
Located about 130 miles southeast of Aliso Canyon, this is the site of a huge gas leak in 2015 --the global-
Heating is equivalent to about 1 operation.
There are 7 million cars in a year.
The 19,000 battery modules of kitchen drawer size are connected together in the rack.
They're going to run two dozen, 640 metres yellow. square-foot trailers.
Batteries manufactured by Samsung are designed to store enough energy to serve as a backup in the event of a fuel shortage.
They are also designed to absorb low
Energy consumption during the day, especially solar energy, will be fed back to the grid after dusk.
They can actually fill the gap for decades. old gas-
Due to catastrophic leaks, there may be a lack of power plants with full fuel operation.
"California gives the battery a chance to show what they can do," said Andreas gulusky, AES chief executive who installed the storage system . ".
AES is installing a smaller array for power companies in El Cajon, a suburb east of San Diego.
In addition, Tesla, a company that may be famous for electric vehicles, has built an array for different utilities on the Southern California Edison grid near Chino, California.
Both companies are at high risk.
If their projects are in trouble or fail, it will not only endanger the stability of the Southern California grid, but also the interest in the whole technology.
In 2012, after a smaller but pioneering battery project at a wind farm in Oahu, Hawaii, investment in battery storage nearly dried up for a few years.
The device that uses the 12,000 lead
Acid batteries, to help even in fluctuations in the flow of electricity, caught fire three times in the first 18 months of its operation.
Xtreme, the storage developer, eventually went bankrupt.
In order to make the output of the wind farm stable, the wind farm adopts different technologies.
Susan Kennedy is keeping a close eye on the battery efforts in Southern California as a state utility regulator and high-
Level of two governors
Democrat Gray Davis and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
She now runs an energy storage company.
People without batteries-
Building response to natural gas leakage in Aliso Canyon.
"When a person fails ".
Speaking of the huge stakes in batteries, Kennedy said, "they won't be remanufactured.
"As long as the chief executive of AES.
On last June, Gluski learned that the San Diego Gas and electricity company had awarded the AES big battery contract, and he jumped off his chair and interrupted a meeting in the company's headquarters board meeting room in Arlington, va.
When the staff looked in surprise, he went down two flights of stairs and grabbed a mallet. at the ceremony, he slammed and knocked on one of his executives. Mr.
Gluski has not had much chance to celebrate since taking charge of AES five years ago.
The company is struggling with debt, trying to get from far-flung fossil-
Fuel projects in the developing world affected by political, monetary and commodity price instability.
His first step included a austerity plan in which he gave up many of his administrative allowances: no more countriesClub members.
No more company Audi A8, drivers.
But more far away
Part of his plan will be the AES battery division that was just starting at the time.
There are two middle managers in the department who have been speculating about a jet
Like the future of beer
The two men, sci-fi fan John zakhulank and former physics teacher Chris Shelton, have started talking about batteries before electric cars become fashionable or even viable. In 2006, Mr.
Shelton sees a professor's paper that predicts a future dominated by electric vehicles. They can be connected to the grid so that their batteries can be used as storage devices to help balance power needs. He and Mr.
Zahurankk put forward the idea to some AES colleagues who said it was at least theoretically feasible.
So the two continue their bull market, but think that fixed battery arrays may make more sense than relying on electric vehicles.
At that time, lithium-
Standard batteries in consumer goods are widely used in the transportation and power tools industry, but no one pairs them with the technology needed to serve the grid. Earlier grid-
Scale experiment of lead
Acid and other types of batteries only work for a year or two before charging.
Another different technique is the "mobile battery", which uses chemicals dissolved in the liquid in the tank and is considered to be more experimental.
However, lithium packs more energy per weight than other metals, providing a greater commitment to energy density and longevity.
The trick is to find out how to take advantage of all the electricity that generates heat, while avoiding the fire caused by this battery in any number of vehicles and gadgets, including Teslas, HP computers, hovercraft and the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
The two designed a design and persuaded executives to start a pilot project in 2008.
This eventually led to the first commercial lithium.
Ion batteries on the Internet. Mr.
Zahurankk with gong is now president of AES Energy Storage. Mr.
Shelton is now vice president and chief technology officer of the company.
AES does not actually produce batteries, but buys batteries and other devices from manufacturers such as Samsung, LG Chem and Panasonic.
It designs and assembles the array, stacking the square battery onto the shelf inside the lockerLike a container.
At escondition do, public service announcements about natural disasters are still broadcast by local radio stations
With gas shortages, AES battery packs are being installed in a critical location of the regional grid: giant wires from power plants and places where wind and solar arrays are connected to local wire networks.
The battery is designed to reduce the pressure on the system.
Mainly as a sponge, excessive or low absorption
Solar energy is consumed during the day, then squeezed back into the grid at night, and demand surges when the sun sets.
The containers filled with batteries have enough capacity to power about 20,000 homes for four hours.
Their idea is that they help utilities reduce their dependence on the type of natural gas plant known as the "Beaker", "it can be quickly turned on and off to meet the sudden peak of demand, but usually only for a short period of time, the cost is very high.
Burning cakes that burn fossil fuels is also inconsistent with California's green energy. energy goals.
The project has also received close attention from renewable energy advocates.
Reason: If utilities
Scale battery installation works according to the design, and even if the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow, they will help the wind or solar generators to be more like traditional power plants.
"For utility infrastructure companies like ours, energy storage is really a tool for renewable energy integration," said Josh Gerber, senior technology integration manager at SDG & E, because workers
High concrete pad supporting escondition field container.
"Without it, the variability of renewable energy will cause reliability problems and you will have a greater risk.
Under the contract, AES is responsible for ensuring that the battery is running for 10 years, after which SDG & E will take over.
A potential drawback is that if the battery is fully charged and discharged every day, they degrade faster.
Despite Samsung's recent smartphone problems, executives have expressed confidence in design and reliability.
The batteries, which are not only different from smartphones, but also cover a larger footprint, can include complex monitoring and industrial safety, cooling and ventilation equipment, executives say.
The project and the smaller array AES installed in El Cajon can provide evidenceof-Mr. concept leap
Gluski has been working hard.
AES reached an agreement with Southern California Edison to install a larger device in a $1 billion project in Long Beach that is not part of the Aliso Canyon remediation effort;
It is expected to go online by the end of 2020.
The power company plans to use batteries as part of its plan to replace aging natural gas plants along the San Gabriel River. Long term, Mr.
Gluski plans to transfer the power of the company
Still dominated by coal and gas
More renewable energy.
He believes storage systems are an important part of turning solar and wind energy into AES-active dominant power supplies in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Whatever progress it makes, AES still has its own problems, $20 billion in debt and a share price below $1 --
Fifth, its value at the beginning of this century.
It faces the cautious attitude of Wall Street utilities analysts and energy experts, if not outright skeptical, who say that the technology AES sells on such a large scale in California is still untested and has high financial risks.
Charles Fishman, utilities analyst at Morningstar, said: "If there is a problem with the battery storage business in California, the problem will arise . ".
"You're not deep --
Can push the money into the pocket and keep it away from the troublesome pocket parents.
"While battery activity in California is very active, executives in the utilities industry remain cautious.
"The reason why there is no widely used battery on our system is because it has no cost --
Effective for us, "said Alice Jackson, vice president of Xcel's strategic revenue program, Xcel is a large power and gas utility company serving eight states in the western and central west.
Xcel has been testing batteries that are about the same length as AES, but almost only on small pilots.
"To be fair, we haven't had a long time --
A series of experiences with this technology show that it is perfect, or Nirvana . "Jackson said.
"We will observe this as California goes through.
"California's latest battery experiment is just the state's latest round of long-term efforts to match energy demand with environmental sensitivity.
In early 2000, after market deregulation and Enron's notorious gas supply manipulation caused power outages and financial instability for power companies, state officials have decided to reduce their dependence on natural gas by encouraging the development of wind and solar energy. Under Mr.
Until Schwarzenegger, who became governor in 2011, officials passed a series of overlapping regulations that created renewable energy, especially the boom in solar energy.
However, this subverts the traditional mode of supply and demand, making it difficult for the entire energy system to manage technically and economically.
The battery is a logical solution.
But the technology has not yet been fully developed and is still too expensive.
In order for the company to make the necessary investment, they need a signal that there will be a large enough market for their products.
So in 2010, the state approved one of the first energy sources.
Storage tasks, ultimately requiring utilities to install some form of storage equipment in their territory.
This triggered a series of new investments and innovations, after the sudden shutdown of the San onover nuclear power plant on the northwest coast of San Diego in 2012, when the steam generator tube leaked, the new battery installation contract.
But the Aliso Canyon accident began in October.
23,2015, when the first leak was detected by Southern California Gas Company, the process was quickly launchedforward. The noxious-
About four months of smell gas and intermittent oil mist came into the surrounding community amid strong winds blowing from the San Susanna Mountains.
At the same time, it forces the battery strategy to its highest level
There is no profile test yet.
It's time to show, and there's a lot of pressure to be successful.
For AES, this could mean an important step in the long term
Tradition of trouble
As a powerful force in battery storage and other advanced technologies, it is seeking to revitalize its energy Heritage. For clean-
Including residents of the Portland Ranch area in Los Angeles, so picture-
Steven Spielberg chose it as the 1982 film "E. T.
But many still complain about rashes, headaches and other signs of weakness that caused thousands of people to leave home during the leak --
This could be a powerful weapon to keep gas stations closed during the battle.
But for utilities in Southern California, the pressure may be the biggest, and their reputation remains tarnished by a wave of forced power cuts after Enron's collapse.
No one wants to repeat this chapter when power outages affect factories or even some hospitals.
"People die when electricity runs out," she said . "
Former state official Kennedy.
"Failure is not an option at any level.