Fitting together the pieces to get to 100% Renewable Energy
Energy storage is the critical link in the transition to a 100% renewable and sustainable energy future. While solar and wind generation have received a lot of attention and seen dramatic improvements in technology, reliability, and cost, the storage piece remains less mature. As the demand for batteries for vehicles, residential, and grid-level storage applications is growing exponentially, the industry is building large capacities to fill the demand, like Tesla’s Gigafactories and Korean and Chinese conglomerates, the industry is still lacking transparency and unifying standards to objectively evaluate battery performance, safety, and durability. Picking the best chemistry and battery set-up for a specific application remains a somewhat dark art, relying on manufacturer claims that are hard to prove. And battery safety is only slowly being considered as an important consideration after some spectacular failures and disasters in recent years. After all, batteries are highly energized electro-chemical devices that can burn and explode and release toxic gases.
DNV GL is taking on the challenge of transparency and verification by providing independent testing services at its state-of-the-art testing facility in Rochester, New York. The BEST Testing & Commercialization Center (BTCC) has numerous battery cycling machines that can test anything from small button cells to full size battery systems with 100s of kWh capacity under different environmental conditions. Test setups for energy storage systems (ESS) can simulate different power supply sources, such as solar, wind, or vehicle regenerative charging, different loads, like a household or grid connection, and evaluate the effectiveness of the BMS, EMS, and temperature control systems. When it comes to safety, BTCC is one of the few test labs in the world that can provide thermal burn testing according to the latest ANSI/CAN/UL9540A standard.
Test results from BTCC’s independent battery testing can be used by customers in their own analyses or flow into DNV GL advisory tools, like the Battery Performance Scorecard comparison tool or the Battery XT predictive degradation tool. These tools provide reliable product verification and life predictions for customer specific use cases. The combination of testing capabilities, comparative performance data and deep expertise makes DNV GL unique in the industry and sought out by developers, integrators, manufacturers and financiers alike.
About the author:
Martin Plass recently joined DNV GL as the Business Development Leader for the BEST Testing & Commercialization Center to expand its outreach and oversee its ambitious expansion plans. Martin has extensive experience in the renewable energy testing field, having previously managed the CFV Solar Test Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM, and working with Sandia, NREL, Fraunhofer and the industry on developing new testing standards and optimizing testing efficiency.