The energy system of the future is decentralized , regenerative and integrated – at least in Germany. However, power generated by wind and sun is intermittent – and so is consumption. Storage and intelligent energy flow management are needed to ensure that both work well together.
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is working on a project that contains both. "At the moment we are developing mass storage within the framework of the EnergyLab 2.0 project," explains Nicolaus Lemmertz, Team Leader of Systems Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), which is presenting its solutions in Hall 27 at Energy 2017.
Within the scope of EnergyLab 2.0, various Helmhotz Institutes are researching the interaction between components of future energy systems. They are also carrying out realistic tests on new approaches to stabilize power grids. A network of plants connects electric, thermal, and chemical energy flows along with new information and communication technologies. "The goal of our research is to improve the transmission, distribution, storage, and use of power to create the foundation for the energy transition," says Lemmertz.
Within the framework of EnergyLab 2.0, the close-to-production prototype of a mass lithium ion battery is being assembled. It unites large volumic energy with a cost-efficient design: It is based on battery modules from mass produced commer¬cial home storage systems plus an innovative cooling design. Thermal component activation of concrete buildings and the use of groundwater to maintain battery temperature (cooling or heating) minimize the system's operating and maintenance costs, providing a long service life to the storage system.
With a storage capacity of up to 1.5 MWh and an output of up to 1.8 MW, the storage system can provide primary controlling power, compensate fluctuation between day and night, or be used for industrial applications. Depending on its use, it can be combined with photovoltaic plants, wind plants, or other battery technologies, demonstrating the role that storage plays in the energy systems of the future.
At Energy 2017 visitors can clearly see the growing importance of storage and battery technology: Renowned exhibitors such as GP Joule, CE+T Power from Belgium, and EnBW (at the Baden-Württemberg group pavilion) come together at the Mobility & Storage area, which is also focusing on charging infrastructure solutions. Over 150 providers from more than 25 countries are expected at the well-respected group pavilion Hydrogen + Fuel Cells + Batteries alone. Like last year, the USA is well represented. BMW can also be found among the numerous exhibitors at the group pavilion.
More storage solutions can be found next door at the MobiliTec exhibit , the affiliated MobiliTec Forum, and at the testing grounds outside.