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EES Award 2022: Finalists put installation and safety of ESS in spotlight

(Source: ees Award)

The finalists for this year's ees Award as part of the upcoming ees Europe – the region's largest and most sought-after international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems - has been announced. The award ceremony will be held on May 10, 2022 at Messe München, a day before the ees Europe scheduled for May 11–13 this year.

Introduced in 2014, the ees AWARD is devoted to the electrical energy storage solutions and innovations behind the latest developments in the sector. The energy award pays tribute to pioneering products and solutions for stationary and mobile electrical energy storage systems.

The range of innovations encompass the entire value-added chain of innovative battery and energy storage technologies – from components to concrete applications and business models. The award honours innovative products and projects of future-oriented companies that play a key role in the success of the new energy world.

According to the organizers, the finalists in the running for this year's ees AWARD have been working on improvements to installation and safety. Modularization has been used to break down heavy components into smaller parts, so that small-scale storage systems can be installed by one person alone in most cases.

When it comes to utility-scale storage systems, there is more of a focus on balancing the temperature during operation. Individual modules and strings are being balanced electrically too. The companies are also working towards minimizing the carbon footprint by making cooling more efficient.

Further, second-life storage systems and the option of simply replacing individual cells rather than full modules, brought about by avoiding soldered and welded connections, are becoming focal points. Plus, there is also an ongoing trend of increasing charge and discharge capacity.

Here is the list of ten finalists for the ees Award 2022, along with a brief highlights of their respective products and innovation:

  • CATL (China): Its high-power LFP battery rack solution (32 to 39 kWh) for high-voltage, high-capacity UPS applications. It features passively cooled racks and safety measures to prevent thermal runaways.
  • EnerOne (China): Its outdoor liquid cooling LFP battery energy storage system (BESS), with a nominal capacity of 372.7 kWh and cells capacity 280 Ah to guarantee a life span of up to 8,000 cycles. It has passed critical thermal safety tests, eliminating the need for any support from a fire suppression system.
  • E-Stream GmbH & Co KGaA (Germany): The IESS-101/90/996/20A storage system featuring air or liquid cooling, patented 'e.quikk' system to connect cylindrical cells that makes it easy for them to be replaced when they come to the end of their life.
  • Honeywell Xtralis (Switzerland): 'Li-Ion Tamer Gen 2', a detection solution designed to make lithium-ion batteries safer. It detects the presence of battery electrolyte solvent vapors, an early indicator of thermal runaway. A warning period of up to 25 minutes allows time for the storage system to be shut down and safety measures to be taken.
  • Huawei Technologies (China): The 'FusionSolar' Smart String ESS minimizes disbalance and compensation currents in the system through its integrated smart rack controller and pack optimizer, ultimately improving the performance and extending the life span. The complete solution – including the power electronics and extinguisher – is stored in outdoor containers to save space.
  • Inaccess Ltd (UK): The Storage Power Plant Controller (S-PCC), a smart, manufacturer-independent, AI system that controls storage inverters and coordinates storage control with the active power control of the photovoltaic system and the reactive power compensation.
  • Shenzhen Cubenergy (China): 'FlexCombo-M100', a smart all-in-one microgrid system with a power rating of 100 kW and a nominal battery capacity of 128/192 kilowatt kWh designed primarily for off-grid applications, with ease of transportation, installation and maintenance.
  • STABL Energy (Germany): The SI 100, a modular multi-level converter for battery storage systems replaces standard battery inverters. When it comes to generating alternating voltage for the grid, the usual process of switching is no longer relied upon. Instead, the battery modules are dynamically connected and disconnected to incrementally build up and reduce the output voltage, resulting in higher conversion efficiency of 99.4 percent. The concept allows for battery modules to be integrated in different states, especially for second-life applications.
  • Sungrow Power Supply (China): The Power Titan ST2752UX liquid-cooled ESS achieves higher efficiency and performance levels by means of liquid cooling, with an extended life span by ten percent. Automated systems for state of charge (SoC) calibration and refilling coolant considerably reduces the operating and maintenance costs.
  • Voltfang GmbH (Germany): First commercial storage system at the battery module level to rely solely on used lithium-ion batteries from electric cars. The system is compatible with battery modules of various types, sizes and voltage ranges. Accordingly, the life cycle of batteries from EVs can be extended by between 8 and 15 years, with performance still sufficient for typical storage applications and peak load capping.

The evaluation criteria for ees Award consists of 30 percent weightage for technological innovation, and 15 percent each for technical and environmental benefits, economic benefits, and safety. A 10 percent weightage is also given for system integration and proof of innovation each. 

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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