This project will apply CSIRO’s breakthrough UltraBattery technology to deliver superior energy storage solutions.
Sealed lead acid batteries (called VRLAs) are the most commonly used way to store energy in distributed energy systems, which generate electricity from numerous small energy sources.
But VRLAs have operating limitations. They steadily lose capacity with each discharge and must be ‘refreshed’ periodically through an overcharge to restore capacity. This overcharging can be disruptive and ultimately sacrifices some of the useful life of the battery.
In addition, VLRA batteries are less suited for use where the battery is frequently or dramatically charged and discharged.
This project will apply CSIRO’s breakthrough UltraBattery technology, which can outperform VRLAs by more than five times, to deliver superior energy storage solutions in three types of applications:
- remote area power supply (RAPS) for off-grid renewable power solutions
- distributed grid connected storage to support voltage and power fluctuations that arise where there is dense concentration of small, rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) in residential areas
- improved diesel efficiencies.
It will demonstrate the lower costs of storage achievable by using the longer-lived UltraBattery measured on a per kilowatt hour basis, as well as the lower operating costs achievable using a high temperature version of the UltraBattery.
The project also aims to improve UltraBattery longevity using affordable battery management modules designed by Ecoult and by bundling Ecoult battery packages with CSIRO-developed algorithms (mathematical calculations) to get the best energy storage and/or better accommodate increasing levels of renewable energy.
More broadly this project also seeks to demonstrate the capabilities of Ecoult and CSIRO as knowledgeable and leading players in the Australian and international renewable energy industries.
Extended useful life coupled with reduced maintenance and optimised use of the batteries extracted through CSIRO algorithms will mean a lower effective cost of energy storage, thereby helping to increase the use of renewable energy and the possibility to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.