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First look at technology that advances battery storage

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The battery storage industry is still in its infancy, so we don’t know what the next technological leap will be to move the market forward. The newness of the industry is part of what creates a lot of excitement about its potential. An important component of the current market is lithium ion. Lithium-ion is the battery technology that is currently the dominant force due to its high energy density. While this technology has expanded the adoption and deployment of battery storage, there are many forms of technological advancement that can reduce developer costs and increase storage deployment opportunities on the grid.

Historically, most lithium-ion energy storage systems have air-cooled systems. This means that the air around the module is regulated to keep the battery module at a stable operating temperature. Recently, Sungrow Power has developed and deployed Power Titan, a liquid-cooled battery storage system. Power Titan cools a mixture of water and glycol. This mixture is used to cool the battery cells. Water is about 3500 times more effective than air in cooling cells. In short, Power Titan systems are dense and have excellent long-term performance. This development allows the industry to take a leap forward, just as the industry did with the adoption of lithium-ion technology.

There are several ways liquid-cooled energy storage systems can help keep project costs lower than traditional air-cooled systems. The simple thing is that the liquid cooling system is lighter than a traditional air cooling unit. This advantage allows the entire system to be shipped to a pre-installed site without the need to ship modules separately. Eliminating on-site battery installation is projected to save 50% on installation and 2 cents per Wh. Another advantage of the liquid-cooled type is that it has a longer life. Small temperature differences in module cells can make a big difference in determining the life of a battery system. Checking the discharge capacity, equivalent cycle, and EOL, the system life of the liquid cooling unit was 23% longer than that of the air cooling unit.

A few months ago, we were able to see in the field a liquid-cooled battery and the benefits it could provide for energy storage projects. Sungrow Power was able to work with Key Capture Energy (KCE) to supply 50 MW of liquid-cooled energy storage products to Abilene, Texas. Delivery to KCE TX13 was completed in May 2022. Regarding liquid-cooled batteries, KCE COO Dan Fitzgerald said: It is important to be able to provide the grid with the latest equipment and technology. KCE was able to deploy efficient battery power in a small area, allowing it to use 34% less land than with air-cooled ESS products. With this and other benefits, Sungrow and KCE will continue to work on storage projects in Texas and New York to provide renewable energy to the grid.