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Batteries to play a key role in energy developments

By Max Burkhalter
April 3, 2013

Energy paradigms are shifting away from a centralized grid system and toward a more distributed setup in which smart grid solutions are prevalent and renewable resources are a better option. As these advanced architectures become more prominent, the potential for renewable resources use could increase. However, taking advantage of intermittent renewable resources, which are generally the most widely accessible forms of renewable energy, requires advances in battery.

In a recent Wall Street Journal report,Ivan Marten, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, explained that better battery solutions could end up being one of the most influential energy advances that could arrive within the next decade.

Looking at how batteries can impact energy paradigms
Marten told the Wall Street Journal that just asking whattechnology will have a major impact on the energy industry in the next decade is not enough. Technological developments are key, but itis just as important to turn a technology into a commercially viable option. Otherwise, an emerging technology could have a limited impact on the market as a whole. This trend has been fairly evident in thephotovoltaic solar sector. For a while, the technology was not commercially viable. However, recent advances in the sector are creating an environment in which solar panels will soon be widely accessible to consumers without subsidies. As a result, the technology could soon move beyond being a great solution and become a realistic option from a commercial perspective.

Marten told The Wall Street Journal that efforts to bring solar and wind energy forward hinge on being able to improve battery storage solutions.

"A variety of battery technologies may still coexist for different applications," Marten told the news source. "But the cost, reliability and flexibility of those batteries are expected to improve significantly over the next 10 years. So they will also serve as a commercial enabler of this new balance of power."

Dealing with new storage architectures
As batteries enable better use of renewable energy resources and allow fora more distributed grid setup, the need to connect a variety of devices to the smart gridincreases. This creates an environment in which serial to Ethernet terminal servers are essential to helping utility providers support renewable energy use. Batteries and clean energy generation solutions have to be connected to the smart grid to ensure consistent power delivery from intermittent sources. As a result, terminal servers are a vital resource in the network framework.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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