Power management company Eaton has developed a portfolio of energy storage solutions across a full spectrum of sectors, from residential and commercial markets, through to large industrial and grid-scale applications.
The positioning of a suite of technologies comes in anticipation of strong demand for energy storage, with distributed energy storage system revenues expected to skyrocket from $452 million in 2014 to more than $16 billion in 2024, according to the clean technology consultancy Navigant Research.
The growth is being driven by three key factors:
The drive for sustainability has never been higher. Ensuring the reduction of the CO2 impact of the energy chain accelerates, will be in part dependent on the change in the energy mix towards a much higher proportion of renewable generation which is reliant on energy storage for success. Ever more energy efficient appliances and machinery, such as the replacement of traditional electrical motor starters by variable speed drives or the conversion to electrical cars, are helping to reduce the energy impact of every human activity, however energy storage and control will also help shift and change energy consumption in a positive way.
A need for resiliance is continually growing. Energy storage will help mitigate energy risk, by improving grid stability, enabling sites to continue to function during power fluctuations and outages and ensuring the resiliance of critical social infrastructure as a key element of micro-grids. Energy storage will also improve our response to effective disaster recovery by enabling black starts and solving capacity contraint issues in times of catastrophic physical or environmental events.
Access to energy should be a right. Over 3 billion people rely on polluting and inefficient cooking, lighting, and heating methods that are expensive and have serious health impacts. Enabling the delivery of cleaner, more affordable energy to these people, including the 1.2 billion people who have no access to electricity at all, will really make a difference, and energy storage can help people convert, store and supply renewable power easily and effectively in no grid and poor-grids situations.
“Distributed generation, storage and control holds great potential, and Eaton is an innovator in the field,” said Frank Campbell, Eaton’s president, Corporate and Electrical Sector, EMEA. “As more intermittent renewable power such as solar comes online and as electricity grids face more and more capacity and stability challenges, it’s crucial that energy storage systems are flexible, reliable, and cost-efficient. And Eaton is working with its partners to ensure that is the case and that systems can be deployed now.”
The value of energy storage and control differs depending upon the relevant customer. For residential customers, self-consumption of photovoltaics, electric vehicle charging integration and smart homes networks have the potential to deliver lower electricity bills, convenience of supply and the avoidance of peak charges. For commercial and industrial customers, meanwhile, implementation of peak shaving and load shifting flexibility will enable cost avoidance of peak demand charges and, ultimately, increased revenues through participating in demand response schemes. For off-grid and poor grid situations – including industries such as mining, and in developing regions – often in remote locations, energy storage brings gains in power surety and availability at a lower cost than on diesel generation.
Eaton has a technology solution across the power spectrum. For residential and commercial applications Eaton has joined forces with the carmaker Nissan to develop a single unit that combines several aspects of energy storage and needs in one system. This functionality can take multiple energy inputs from renewable sources such as solar and the grid, in combination with storage using ‘second life’ Nissan Leaf lithium-ion batteries and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), to deliver clean, balanced power, on-demand.
The integrated system selects the right power sources according to the load, the grid constraints, and the availability of renewable energy. This allows end users to optimise their use of power and to participate in programmes such as demand response and selling energy back to the grid. The system will be the best integrated from a quality and performance perspective, leveraging the long established and comprehensive network of service and support from both companies across Europe.
Finally, for large industrial and grid-scale requirements, Eaton will offer AES’ Advancion Energy Storage Platform, provide support and ensure long-term operation directly for utilities, industrial and large commercial customers, independent power producers and power system operators. Advancion is the most proven energy storage solution available and Advancion 4, the latest design introduced at the end of last year, has an industry-leading compact footprint, optimised design and a patented distributed control system that enable customers to maximise revenue, reduce operating costs, and meet the highest levels of system reliability. Frank Campbell added: “Whatever the energy storage requirement, Eaton has the answer. With the combination of renewable energy, power electronics and stationary storage, we are moving towards the decarbonisation of energy and the provision of clean, affordable and accessible energy for all.”