Monday, November 13, 2017

News: AMP innovations for large scale energy storage

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Cumulus Energy Storage (CES), a high-tech start-up with a base on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, will lead on a Government funded feasability study into its innovative battery technology.

Cumulus is developing prototype battery technology which can be developed commercially to cope with the rigours and requirements of the renewable industry. Storing the electricity from intermittent energy sources at source, or "grid level," is a key problem due to the mismatch between the availability of intermittent wind or sunshine and the changing demand for grid electricity.

Cumulus hopes its grid-level energy storage battery with 1MWh-100MWh storage capacity will be the lowest cost battery technology in the world. By using its new batteries, developers of offshore wind farms or solar farms could reduce the price at which electricity must be generated from the source to break even over the lifetime of the project.

The UK Government is also interested in harnessing the technology for a potential First-of-a-Kind (FOAK), large-scale energy storage demonstration project. A competition to fund feasibility studies is part of a drive to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies. Cumulus' successful bid is for £70,000.

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With research in San Francisco and manufacturing in South Yorkshire, Cumulus was one of 19 projects to secure funding from the Government's Energy Entrepreneurs' Fund (EEF) that was established in 2012 to help bring a range of new and innovative low carbon products to market. It has been busy raising £4m for product development and the plan is to manufacture the Copper/Zinc super-storage battery units in the Sheffield city region, on or near the AMP where Cumulus is based.

Also receiving funding is Sheffield's ITM Power which operates the hydrogen refuelling station at the Hydrogen Mini Grid at AMP. It is one of only a handful of places in the UK where pioneering hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be refuelled and is unique in that the energy stored in the grid is created by wind power, which means that the vehicles it powers will not contribute to carbon dioxide emissions.

ITM is to collaborate with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) to undertake a study examining the potential deployment of large-scale Power-to-Gas energy storage.

The project will look at a scalable energy storage technology capable of absorbing power from the electricity grid at times when supply exceeds demand and when intermittent renewable generation causes network stability problems. In Power-to-Gas, electrical power is converted to chemical energy in the form of hydrogen which can be injected and stored in the gas network.

Cumulus website
ITM Power website

Images: ITM Power

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