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EETE SEPT 2013

FUEL CELLS & ENERGY STORAGE SmartRegion Pellworm project provides the blueprint for a smart energy future By Michael Lippert Pelworm Island, off the North Sea coast of Germany, represents a vision of the renewable energy mix of the future. Its current share of renewables already corresponds to the country’s target for 2050. The annual energy production of around 21 GWh from wind energy turbines, photovoltaic (PV) power plants and biogas plants is around three times the annual consumer load of 7 GWh. There is also a remarkably high level of night storage heaters and heat pumps. Yet, even The concept for a decentralized hybrid energy storage system calls for different storage technologies to be used for “minutes-to-hours storage than for “hours- to-days” with this large excess of local production over local consumption, the community of 1,200 people on the island still rely on their connection with the mainland grid, via two 20 kV subsea cables, both for balancing local surpluses or for importing energy at peak periods when demand exceeds supply. An E.ON-led pilot project, running from 2012 to 2015, is now implementing a smart grid for Pellworm, based on a combination of intelligent control technology, flexible load management and central energy storage. One of the main aims of the project is to increase the island’s self-consumption of its own renewable energy generation and to transmit less energy to the mainland. The SmartRegion Pellworm project is one of the first projects being backed by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety. The project partners include: E.ON (Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG and E.ON Hanse AG), Fachhochschule WestkŸste, Fraunhofer-Anwendungszentrum Systemtechnik, Gustav Klein GmbH, RW TH Aachen, Saft. Feasibility study is the basis for the smart grid project An initial feasibility study showed that Pellworm Island would be the ideal location for a smart grid project to show how the energy world of the future can be realized on a small, manageable scale. This was based both on the technical suitability of the Island, including its power requirements and generation resources, as well as the willingness of the population to cooperate and the availability of suitable technology. The key findings of the survey were the availability of wellestablished renewable energy resources. E.ON’s Hybrid Power Plant, now comprising 300 kW wind and 780 kWp photovoltaics (PV), was first established in 1983. With an installed capacity of around 9 MW, Pellworm produces almost three times as much electricity a year as the local consumers need. The high proportion of electric heating, which corresponds to approximately 10 percent of Pellworm’s annual energy consumption, is appropriate for use as a flexible load in DSM (Demand Side Management). Over 75 percent of the population showed an open-minded attitude towards the idea of renewable energy and the expansion of the electricity grid. The development of the infrastructure (information and communication technologies used in home, as well as the automation of over 50 local 20 kV/ 400 V distribution substations) is mandatory for the implementation of a smart grid. A smart grid could relieve the pressure on Pellworm’s network infrastructure and the upstream electricity grid. Developing an energy storage blueprint The major goal of the Pellworm smart grid project is to achieve the maximum usage of regionally based renewable resources, with an optimal utilization of the existing grid infrastructure to ensure more efficient integration into a congested distribution grid. This requires an intelligent balance of production, consumption and storage as well as recognition of the important role of consumer interaction, technology acceptance and community collaboration. The project relies on the installation and operation of different complementary decentralized storage technologies with a focus on innovative batteries. These should support the integration of flexible loads at the household level with central optimization of the storage system by an energy management system. Automatic local substations are also required in this project, together with smart meters with advanced meter management and integrated load control functionality, particularly for the usage of decentralized controllable loads in the low voltage grid. Overall, the aim is to develop a storage blueprint for a future decentralized energy system. The decentralized hybrid storage system Different storage technologies are being implemented to cover the range of needs to store and deliver energy over time-scales ranging from ‘minutes-to-hour’ and ‘hours to days’. A combination of commercially available storage systems within an overarching hybrid storage system concept has enabled a reduction in investment costs. Retrofitting thermal loads with the potential for flexibility also reduces the system cost for the integration of renewable energy sources. The “hours to days” storage is provided by a 200 kW, 1.6 MWh Vanadium Redox-Flow battery. Load flexibility in terms of ‘hours’ storage is provided by a combination of night storage heaters and heat pumps, with an average energy capacity per household of 135 kWh and an average power of 17 kW. The “minutes to hours storage is provided by a Saft Intensium Max 20 Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system providing 560 kWh of energy storage and 1 MW power. Delivered in a standardized 20-foot container for ease of transportation and installation, the Intensium Max integrates the communications interface, battery management and cooling and fire preven- Michael Lippert is Marketing and Business Development Manager for Saft Energy Storage Systems – www.saftbatteries. com – He can be reached at michael.lippert@saftbatteries.com 40 Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE SEPT 2013
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