Battery Energy Storage System and its components

A Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a technology that stores electrical energy in batteries for later use. It plays a crucial role in modern energy systems by providing a means to store excess energy generated during periods of low demand and deliver it when demand is high. BESS helps balance the electrical grid, enhance grid stability, and integrate renewable energy sources by storing their intermittent output. Additionally, BESS can serve as backup power during outages and contribute to peak shaving to reduce electricity costs.

The major components of a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) are battery bank, inverter and energy management system (EMS).

  • Battery Bank: The core component of a BESS is the battery bank, where electrical energy is stored in chemical form. The choice of battery technology depends on factors such as application, required energy capacity, power output, and efficiency.
  • Inverter: BESS includes an inverter to convert the DC (direct current) stored in the batteries into AC (alternating current), which is the standard form of electricity used in most power systems and buildings.
  • Energy Management System (EMS): An Energy Management System controls the charging and discharging of the battery to optimize its performance. It monitors energy demand, grid conditions, and other relevant parameters to ensure efficient operation.

Types of Batteries Used in Energy Storage

The commonly used batteries in the energy storage system are Li-ion battery, lead-acid battery, flow battery, Sodium-Ion Battery, Nickel-Cadmium battery, Nickel-Metal Hydride battery and Supercapacitors. Let us understand each of these battery types and their applications.

  • Lithium-Ion Batteries : Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are widely used in BESS due to their high energy density, long cycle life, and relatively lightweight. They are suitable for various applications, from small-scale residential systems to large-scale utility projects. The typical applications are Grid support, renewable energy integration, electric vehicles, and residential energy storage.
  • Lead-Acid Batteries: Lead-acid batteries have been used for a long time and are known for their reliability. They are cost-effective but have lower energy density and a shorter cycle life compared to lithium-ion batteries. The typical applications are Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), backup power systems, and some residential energy storage applications.
  • Flow Batteries: Flow batteries store energy in liquid electrolytes contained in external tanks. They offer the advantage of easily scaling energy capacity independently of power output. The typical applications are Grid-scale energy storage, where a large amount of energy is needed over an extended duration.
  • Sodium-Ion Batteries: Sodium-ion batteries are being explored as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries. They use sodium ions instead of lithium ions and are considered more abundant and potentially less expensive. The typical applications are emerging technology; potential applications in stationary energy storage and grid support.
  • Nickel-Cadmium Batteries: Nickel-cadmium batteries have been used for decades and are known for their durability and reliability. However, they have lower energy density and are less environmentally friendly due to the toxic nature of cadmium. The typical applications are Backup power systems, emergency lighting, and some industrial applications.
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries: Nickel-metal hydride batteries offer a higher energy density compared to nickel-cadmium batteries. However, they are less common in large-scale energy storage systems due to factors such as cost and performance. The typical applications are Portable electronics, hybrid electric vehicles, and some stationary applications.
  • Supercapacitors: Supercapacitors, or ultracapacitors, store energy electrostatically rather than chemically. While they have high power density and fast charge/discharge capabilities, their energy density is lower compared to traditional batteries. The typical applications are High-power applications, regenerative braking systems, and short-duration energy storage.

The choice of battery technology depends on the specific requirements of the application, including factors such as energy capacity, power output, cycle life, cost, and environmental considerations. As technology advances, new types of batteries may emerge, offering improved performance and addressing specific challenges in energy storage.

Other energy harvesting techniques

Refer Energy Harvesting Methods which describes types and basics of energy harvesting techniques and energy harvesting materials. Refer RF Energy Harvesting system which describes RF energy harvesting.

RF and Wireless Terminologies