FlexBat - Integration of Battery Energy Storage Systems in Distribution Grids

Research Themes: Energy, Software technology & Intelligent systems

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Summary of the project

Adding batteries to the grid might be a way to mitigate the impact of the expected fluctuating energy supply when we rely and solely use renewable resources. Although the idea sound simple it is not easy and straightforward to achieve. This has to do with the fact that conventional batteries are very expensive. Besides rules and regulations are missing to determine who can add and own such a battery to the network as consumers can become suppliers too. This makes the business case unclear. Developing and adding functionalities to the usage of the battery can help sort out the business case making it more economically feasible. The researcher aims to develop techniques and guidelines for the sizing, location, and control of battery energy storage systems in distribution grids and for the design of the power electronics converter used to interface the storage system with the network. For this he is developing a special power convertor and developing algorithms for the integration of the batteries in the grid.

What's next?

For this innovative idea to work the next step would be to change policy so it would become easier for these batteries be deployed. These batteries open up new possible business models for storing and using the energy when needed. Another next step, technology wise could be to consider more applications for the deployment of batteries to the grid. 

Contribution to the Energy transition?

Transforming our energy system to rely solely on renewable energy can destabilize our grid, especially in cases of congestion or peak usage of electricity. By adding batteries to the grid local buffering reservoirs where energy can be stored and retrieved can be created. These batteries give the grid more stability and make it more healthy.

Marco Stecca MSc

dr. Thiago Batista Soeiro

dr. ir. Laura Ramirez Elizondo

prof.dr. Pavol Bauer

Faculties involved