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Saft delivers ‘maintenance-free’ nickel batteries for E.ON North Sea wind farm

Credit: E.ON
Battery manufacturer Saft has delivered 80 of its Uptimax nickel battery systems to provide backup power at an E.ON wind farm in the North Sea.

One battery for each of the wind turbines will be used to maintain power for communication and lighting services for sea marking at the remote Amrumbank West offshore wind farm.

The recently inaugurated plant, which has a capacity of 302MW to power around 300,000 households, is situated roughly 40km from Helgoland Island off the coast of Germany. Utility E.ON ordered the so-called “maintenance-free” backup batteries to ensure reliable operation at the farm without the need for regular maintenance visits via helicopter to such a remote location. E.ON's technical requirements also included up to four days of backup power.

Saft's batteries will deliver peak power if there is an interruption to the main power supply for a period of eight hours, followed by a period of lower power for another 88 hours. Each battery is 24V with an energy storage capacity of 150AH or 390AH and Saft claims they will not require topping-up during their more than 20-year lifetime.

Power systems supplier Benning of Belgium delivered the batteries to offshore construction and engineering specialist Engie Fabricom. The energy storage systems were then built into the modular transition sections of the wind turbine towers.

Volker Drescher, Saft Germany sales manager for industrial standby batteries, said: “E.ON’s Project team has identified that Saft Uptimax is the only battery system that would meet the stringent technical requirements for Amrumbank West.”

In May it was reported that French oil major Total was planning an imminent purchase of Saft for €950 million (US$1.07 billion).

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