International Battery, a U.S. manufacturer and developer of large-format lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, is partnering with system integrator HNU Energy to assess the effectiveness of storing solar energy using new, more-efficient battery technology.
If successful, the solar power generation and energy storage project in Maui, Hawaii, could pave the way for small businesses and others that have adopted renewable energy to store the energy they generate.
International Battery says storing energy from renewable sources is critical for managing variations in electricity production, improving power quality and stabilizing the power grid.
HNU Energy provided the solar system, which is comprised of sixty 224-watt photovoltaic panels, a bi-directional 3-phase inverter system, and a state-of-the-art charge controller network. International Battery supplied a 48-V, 16.4 kWh lithium-ion based energy storage system with battery management and controls to store the energy generated from the solar array.
The energy storage system includes four battery modules totaling 32 160-Ah lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells and a battery management system (BMS) that is integrated into a standard Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA) style 19-inch portable rack mount chassis and enclosure. The overall system performance will be measured by the charge state of the individual battery cells as well as understanding the temperature, depth of discharge and charging status.
Testing of different types of energy storage systems is already underway in the U.S.
As an example, utilities in California have project plans to install an energy-storage device to cut the amount of electricity used by air conditioners during peak demand. That device relies on storing energy in ice.