Another New Long-Term Storage Technology

July 12, 2021

Particle/fluidized bed storage example from DOE

4 day storage.

Yahoo Finance:

Technology will provide up to up to 100 hours of long-term energy storage for up to 135 megawatts of power generation

AKRON, Ohio, July 12, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Babcock & Wilcox (“B&W”) (NYSE: BW) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have signed an Intellectual Property Option Agreement that gives B&W field-limited exclusive rights to negotiate a licensing agreement that would allow it to market an advanced, particle-based thermal energy storage technology currently in development.

B&W is part of NREL’s Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) team, which is developing an innovative electric particle heater, pressurized fluidized-bed heat exchanger, a long-term thermal energy storage system that stores energy up to 100 hours, and other technologies to allow power producers to store solar or wind energy to generate continuous, reliable, grid-scale power. B&W’s proven and established pressurized fluidized-bed boiler technology is an ideal choice for advancing this technology to commercial operations.

“High-capacity, long-term energy storage is essential for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to become widespread, baseload power options,” said B&W Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenny Young. “B&W’s fluidized-bed heat exchanger will be able to generate up to 135 megawatts of power for up to 100 hours (four days) from stored clean thermal energy with zero CO2 emissions. By facilitating long-term storage of zero-carbon, renewable energy, this technology enables power producers to deliver power to the grid 24-hours a day, including during periods of peak demand, or when solar or wind are not optimal conditions.”

“We see tremendous global commercial applications for our fluidized-bed heat exchanger and are pleased to have the opportunity to negotiate a licensing agreement with NREL and expand B&W’s technology for use in new, innovative energy storage platforms,” Young said.

Add that to the current demonstration project by Form Energy for the utility Great River Energy in Minnesota.

Energy Storage News:

What could you do with a battery that can store and discharge energy for 150 hours and do it cost-effectively? You could replace a large majority of the world’s so-called baseload fossil fuel plants. You could decarbonise and ensure reliability of the grid at the same time. In fact, a better question might be, what couldn’t you do?

Last May, reported on Form Energy’s 1MW pilot project for Great River Energy, an electric cooperative utility in Minnesota which is retiring its 1,151MW coal power plant and adding over a gigawatt of wind energy purchases. The pilot, which could have up to 150MWh, or 150 hours, of storage, won’t be built for another two years, but the promise of Form Energy’s “low-cost, long-duration” proprietary energy storage technology caught the attention of many across the industry.

Clip from an interview with Form Energy CEO Mateo Jaramillo, a Tesla alumni:

We often hear that the energy transition will need that multi-day or longer duration energy storage. And the pilot project you have with Great River Energy in Minnesota aims for 150 hours of storage and discharge. But I’m assuming the majority of use cases for the battery won’t require that much?

That’s right. Like any battery, our battery will have a variety of use cases, sort of within the spectrum that it operates on. You’re never going to use it in a single way. Full discharge, til depletion, full charge til 100% state-of-charge — that’s just not how anybody uses a battery on the grid.

You use it day-in, day-out, you have periods of one type of activity and other periods of another type of activity. In fact, that mirrors the way that you use a gas plant, especially these sort of shoulder type, you know, mid-capacity, mid-merit type gas plants.

Sometimes they’ll run flat out for a week. And most of the other times what they’re doing is sort of ramping up and down throughout the course of the day and you have periods of elevated output and other periods of lower output and that mirrors the way that you would use the battery.

In fact, that’s the multi-day use case for energy storage. It’s designed to replace that gas plant so that you’re going to mirror that type of activity. And there will be times when you’re discharging in the afternoon, because that’s when you need to and you’re charging in the evening or vice versa. You’re going to follow all the patterns that the grid will tell you that you need to follow.

The point is that there’s lots of ways to provide value to the grid, and discharging flat out for a week is only one of them. Now, it’s a very high value one when you need it, it’s really high value.

For example, during the Texas Winter Storm, or during the polar vortex in Minnesota, which is the specific concern of Great River Energy. They have a large coal plant and when they have a polar vortex come through, which it does now reliably every few years and they have three or four days of basically no contribution from the renewables, their thermal plants are running flat out.

They have winterised the natural gas [assets], but even they have trouble providing all the natural gas there. So the coal runs flat out. And so that’s one sort of snapshot of the type of use case that this multi-day battery will have.

One Response to “Another New Long-Term Storage Technology”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Grid-level storage can “top up” on energy when there’s a prediction of deep-freeze/heat-dome conditions even if energy prices are higher than when they typically buy, just like a homeowner makes sure their home generator is fueled or their EV battery is charged.

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