Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Energy storage market diversifying
Limitations in energy storage have been a thorn in the side of the intermittent renewable energy resources industry for quite some time. If you look at solar or wind power, the concept seems spectacular at first glance. But then you realize that if there isn't any wind, there isn't any power. Similarly, cloudy days are days without the lights on if you depend solely on solar panels.
Smart grid takes a few important steps toward alleviating these problems by providing better data about energy use requirements. However, the only way to really make intermittent renewable energy sources viable at this time is to store the excess power generated on windy or sunny days so it is available when the clouds come in or wind turbines are becalmed.
The need for energy storage has become acute recently, and the market for solutions is broadening.
Diversification in the energy storage sector
A recent Pike Research study found that the growing need for energy storage systems is leading to the emergence of a wide range of solutions. These include next-generation pump storage, advanced batteries and compressed air storage. Combined, these systems are creating a dynamic new environment for energy storage on the electric grid.
Anissa Dehamna, research analyst for Pike Research, explained that while the energy storage market is maturing, there is still progress to be made in the sector.
"One of the key challenges for energy storage will be to deliver cost-effective solutions for these grid stability issues," said Dehamna. "Market structures still must catch up with the market to acknowledge the value of energy storage to grid operators and power consumers. At the same time, the industry must solve issues around business models and the supply chain in order to successfully scale up and fully commercialize these emerging technologies."
Importance of the network
With power storage systems emerging as a potential enabler of the renewable energy market, the need for advanced network services is becoming acute. Having communications infrastructure in place is vital to support real-time data delivery between power consumers, utility providers and renewable energy generation resources. This infrastructure is needed to accurately identify power needs and align generation and storage with use expectations. Within this setup, serial to Ethernet converters are becoming a critical solution, as they help provide interoperability between network formats within the utility grid.
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.