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Hitachi Ltd., the giant Japanese engineering and electronics conglomerate, has announced that it has developed an all-in one container-based energy storage system that it hopes will help increase the popularity of renewable energy. The CrystEna, as the system has been called, will stabilise the fluctuating power levels generated by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, allowing them to be safely connected to the grid. In creating the system Hitachi drew on their decades of knowledge and technological expertise in grid control technologies and rechargeable batteries.
A company press release noted that: “The Hitachi Group has been involved in the energy storage business over several decades. It has leveraged Hitachi Group technologies and know-how in a wide range of fields from electricity generation, transmission and distribution to grid stabilization to develop everything from facilities to manufacture batteries to systems for providing materials, batteries, power conditioning systems (PCS), control systems and other systems under one roof.”
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Ever greater volumes of renewable energy generation capacity are being installed around the world in the fight against climate change. Due to the unpredictability of the levels of power generated by renewable sources, and the fact that they cannot even produce at certain times, energy storage will play a vital part of the expansion of renewable energies.
Hitachi believes that big renewable markets such as Europe and North America, which are being driven by tax credits and feed-in-tariff schemes, will also drive demand for energy storage systems, and with its several decades of experience in the sector, Hitachi hopes to be a “major player”.
Hitachi wrote that “the 1 MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system package announced today utilizes Hitachi Chemical’s lithium-ion batteries to raise system performance, such as extended expected battery lifetime, and realize high economic viability. It was developed with an emphasis on maximizing the benefits to be obtained by customers during long-term use. Initially, Hitachi will conduct field trials in the rapidly growing U.S. ancillary market and plans to accumulate know-how from testing battery capacity optimality and durability as well as the control algorithms written to maximize income from power sales.”
CrystEna is not yet ready for the commercial market, and the 2014 US tests will be used to evaluate its competitiveness.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com