AEG and partners develop prototype energy storage station


On-grid battery storage system to manage peak demands and smoothly integrate renewable energy sources (Image: Battery energy storage system of SAGER project)

AEG Power Solutions, a global provider of power electronic systems and solutions for industrial power supplies and renewable energy applications, has jointly with Iberdrola, a leading Spanish utility, and Tecnalia, a major innovation foundation, developed the prototype of a new battery energy storage station. The prototype includes latest innovations of the company and constitutes a reference for some of its leading-edge equipment, such as its wireless battery management system (MoniStore), its storage converter (Protect SC) and its Local Monitoring Unit (LMU), which will be field-tested for the first time in this project.

The project is called SAGER (Sistema de Almacenamiento de Energía a Gran escala para la Red Eléctrica) and includes the design, installation, integration and validation of a new type of energy storage station through large batteries. It has been developed on the premises of the secondary substation called Archimedes, owned by Iberdrola, located in Júndiz, Vitoria. The name SAGER refers both to the program and to the R&D cluster created by Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción, AEG Power Solutions Iberica & Tecnalia in Vitoria.

The growing generation and integration of renewable energy sources create new challenges for the public grid, especially regarding grid stabilization and grid levelling. In typical ON- and OFF-grid environments, innovative battery storage systems in the megawatt range are being used to cope with these challenges. In the SAGER project, the station is designed to be connected to the grid, to store energy (0,6 Mwh) during low demand time and inject it to the grid at peak demand. It allows the utility to monitor the grid load closely and to integrate the locally generated wind power efficiently, safely and at low cost.

The system involved the construction of two buildings: one houses the battery, while the monitoring system, communications and power conversion are located in the other. AEG Power Solutions battery expertise was key in the project. Protect Line lead-acid batteries have been customized to fit the purpose and have been selected for their ruggedness, moderate cost and long life. The station features the latest components of AEG Power Solution’s range of advanced power systems designed for energy storage and renewable integration applications. Their combination allows the “Grid Friendly ®” operation of a complete energy storage system: MoniStore a unique wireless battery cell control system, Protect SC, an energy storage converter suitable for different battery types, which provides grid stabilization and grid levelling. The local monitoring unit which will be the supervising “brain” of the station will be delivered to the site in January 2015, when it will be field-tested for the first time.

“Iberdrola will then be able to operate the energy storage station like any other substation," explains Jesus-Maria Rodriguez, Managing Director of AEG Power Solutions in Spain. “The station is a learning tool of a new experimental phase.”

The SAGER R&D initiative has a budget of one million Euros and is supported by GAITEK, a program of the Basque Agency for Enterprise Development to support R&D ventures, SPRI and the city of Vitoria program.

Iberdrola has undertaken this project through its engineering subsidiary, which is, by its technological capabilities, one of the leading companies in its sector, able to compete in international markets.

TECNALIA is a major European technology center involved in research projects related to energy, material and infrastructure, among others.

AEG Power Solutions “Grid Friendly ®” label characterizes products, which contribute to grid-stabilization or to smooth integration of alternative energy sources to the grid.

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