Duke Energy Tests New Battery Technology

Duke Energy testing hybrid ultracapacitor-battery energy storage system (HESS)

Duke Energy is testing a new battery technology at its Rankin Substation in Gaston County, North Carolina. 

The hybrid ultracapacitor-battery energy storage system (HESS) will demonstrate extended operational life, rapid response, real-time solar smoothing and load shifting.

“With so many solar installations in North Carolina, we must look for innovative ways to better incorporate renewable energy into our system and still provide reliable service at a competitive price for our customers,” said Thomas Golden, technology development manager for Duke Energy.

A distribution line at the substation has a 1.2-MW solar installation connected a mile away, and Golden says managing and maintaining grid-connected renewable installations is critical.

Aquion Energy supplied battery technologies and associated engineering services and Win Inertia provided its hybrid energy storage system (SHAD®).

The 100-kW/300-kWh battery uses an Aqueous Hybrid Ion chemistry, including a saltwater electrolyte and synthetic cotton separator, which should result in lower costs and provide a non-toxic, non-combustible product that is safe to handle and environmentally friendly.

The HESS uses fast-response ultracapacitors (UCAPs) from Maxwell Technologies to manage solar smoothing events in real-time, particularly when solar power fluctuates due to weather.  UCAPs reduce heat stress on the battery, minimizing degradation.


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