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AEG Power Solutions unveils lead-acid energy storage research and development prototype

AEG Power Solutions emerged from a financial restructuring process earlier this year, after a turbulent period caused in part by pressures on the inverter market. Image: AEG Power Solutions.
Electronic systems provider AEG Power Solutions has officially launched the prototype of a new lead-acid battery based energy storage system in Spain, which will integrate renewable energy output and manage loads effectively.

AEG Power Solutions has endured a turbulent recent history, in part due to recent competitive pressures in the PV inverter market that have also affected other names such as SolarMax, which saw its parent company go bankrupt in November. In AEG Power Solutions’ case, the company underwent a financial restructuring in the middle of this year which appears to have yielded positive results for its balance sheet.

The newly inaugurated prototype system, which has been jointly developed by utility company Iberdrola and technical innovation consultancy Tecnalia alongside AEG Power Solutions, will have an energy capacity of 0.6MWh. The grid-connected system is intended to be used to store energy during times of low demand and injected back into the grid at peak demand times. This, AEG Power Solutions claims, will allow locally generated renewable energy to be integrated “efficiently, safely and at low cost” into the grid.

Given the lengthy name Sistema de Almacenamiento de Energía a Gran escala para la Red Eléctrica (SAGER), the project is located at the site of a substation owned by Iberdrola in Júndiz, Vitoria. It will operate on lead-acid batteries which have been customised for purpose, apparently due to their robustness and relatively low cost.

The SAGER research and development project has been launched with an official ceremony. Image: AEG Power Solutions.
It will also be used by AEG Power Solutions to test a number of the company’s related new products for stabilising and levelling the grid. These include a battery management system which operates wirelessly, a storage converter and the first field testing of AEG Power Solutions’ Local Monitoring Unit.

In common with a recently connected large-scale battery park in West Meklenberg, Germany, one of the main functions of the installation will be to integrate the output of local wind power generation facilities. The project and its constituent components will be tested while it performs the functions of an electrical substation.

A recent proposal by US utility ConEdison in New York State highlighted the potential for energy storage units to replace infrastructure including substations. As analyst Dean Frankel of Lux Research wrote in a guest blog posting for PV Tech Storage, ConEdison could save somewhere in the region of an estimated US$800 million by doing so at one particular site.

Meanwhile in California, USA, commercial and industrial energy storage system maker CODA Energy has fully interconnected and put into operation a lithium-ion based storage unit which the company claims is the largest such project in the Los Angeles basin. Partly funded through the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program, CODA says the 1,054kWh / 510kW unit will be used to “the scalability of CODA Energy's peak shaving product architecture by managing demand charges for its facility headquarters”.

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