Duke Energy to put new battery and ultracapacitor system to the test in N.C.

- First-of-its-kind Hybrid Energy Storage System (HESS)

- Better integrates renewable installations and provides long-term grid support

- Continues the company's leadership standing in innovative energy storage approaches

Mar 10, 2016, 08:30 ET from Duke Energy

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy has started testing a first-of-its-kind battery technology at its Rankin Substation in Gaston County, N.C.

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

"This approach will allow our energy storage systems to do a variety of tasks," said Thomas Golden, technology development manager for Duke Energy. "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."

One of the distribution lines at the substation has a 1.2-megawatt solar installation connected a mile away. With North Carolina fourth in the nation for installed solar power, managing and maintaining these grid-connected renewable installations is critical now and in the future, added Golden.

"Energy storage is changing the paradigm on how we generate, distribute and use energy. The demonstration of new technologies will help facilitate wider adoption across the nation," said Matt Roberts, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Energy Storage Association. "Duke Energy is to be commended for its work on this project and partnership efforts in advancing energy storage solutions."

Duke Energy is a national leader in battery storage among utilities. The company will be the host utility for the Energy Storage Association's annual conference in Charlotte, April 25-27.

Rankin is no stranger to innovation. In 2013, an earlier battery installation at the site was named Project of the Year by the editors of POWERGRID International magazine and PennWell Corp.

For the current project, which went operational last month, Duke Energy partnered with several other companies:

  • Aquion Energy is providing the innovative battery technologies and associated engineering services.
  • Maxwell Technologies is providing fast-response ultracapacitors (UCAPs) that are capable of storing and discharging energy quickly and effectively.
  • Win Inertia is providing the SHAD® solution (Win Inertia's HESS) integrating enhanced power electronics and patented energy management and control systems.

The HESS system will use UCAPs to help manage solar smoothing events in real-time – particularly when the solar power on the grid fluctuates due to cloud cover or other weather circumstances. UCAPs have been proven in other applications to reduce heat stress on the battery and minimize degradation. The batteries will be used to shift solar load to a more advantageous time for the utility.

Win Inertia's hybrid energy storage system (SHAD®) is based on a flexible hardware and software platform that enables the seamless operation of Aquion's batteries and Maxwell's UCAPs in the same energy solution. The hybrid energy storage integrates patented energy management algorithms. This helps integrate energy storage technology to provide simultaneous and cost effective grid services.

Maxwell UCAPs discharge and recharge power in the sub-second to minutes timeframe, with long operational life in a wide operating temperature window. This is ideal for stabilizing short-term PV power output fluctuation in large-scale deployments. This ensures reliable access to solar power on the grid.

The 100-kilowatt/ 300-Kwh battery uses a unique Aqueous Hybrid Ion chemistry. This includes a saltwater electrolyte and synthetic cotton separator. These materials should result in lower costs, while the water-based chemistry will provide a non-toxic and non-combustible product that is safe to handle and environmentally friendly.

About Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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About Win Inertia
Win Inertia is a technological solution provider, pioneer in creating hybrid energy storage solutions, optimized in economic terms thanks to the integration of several energy storage technologies, enhanced power electronics and patented energy management algorithms in an exclusive, flexible hardware and software platform.

Win Inertia offers solutions to the new challenges faced by the power grid through the integration of innovative grid-scale energy storage solutions at different levels of the electrical grid, continuously and cost-effectively providing multiple grid services, and opening up new revenue streams. For more information, visit www.wininertia.es.

About Maxwell
For more than 50 years, Maxwell has been a global leader in the development and manufacture of innovative, cost-effective energy storage and power delivery solutions. Maxwell ultracapacitor products provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in grid energy storage, transportation, consumer and industrial electronics, and telecommunications. Maxwell's high-voltage grading and coupling capacitors help to ensure the safety and reliability of electric utility infrastructure and other applications involving transport, distribution and measurement of high-voltage electrical energy. For more information, please visit: www.maxwell.com.

About Aquion Energy
Aquion Energy is the manufacturer of proprietary Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™) batteries and battery systems for long-duration stationary energy storage applications. AHI batteries are optimized for daily deep cycling for residential solar, green architecture, off-grid and microgrid, energy management, and grid-scale applications. Aquion's high-performance, safe, sustainable and cost-effective batteries deliver reliability and value for customers. The company's battery systems provide flexible, modular energy storage that enables broad adoption of renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and optimization of existing grid-tied generation assets. For more information, visit www.aquionenergy.com.

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SOURCE Duke Energy