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Secondary-Use Energy Storage for Grid Applications

StarkeDr. Michael Starke
Power System Research Engineer, ORNL
April 11th, 2014, 2:30 – 3:30 PM
405 John D. Tickle Engineering Building

Dr. Michael Starke is a Power System Research Engineer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his B.S, M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at The University of Tennessee in 2004, 2006, and 2009 respectively. He is a member of IEEE and of the Power and Energy Society with number of publications in power systems and power electronics. His research areas have been primarily focused on energy storage and demand response, but he is actively engaged in wind and solar generation research as well.

Talk Abstract:

Energy storage technologies have always been a hot topic and an area of growing research. From laptops to cell-phones, energy storage systems can be found everywhere. More recently, interest specifically for use in power system applications has increased as the technology has evolved and power system grid needs have transformed. Peak demand on the electric grid is expected to grow requiring more sources of generation and upgrades to infrastructure while environmental regulations are forcing the retirement of fossil fuel based generation. Uncertainty in generation has increased with the addition of renewable generation sources, such as wind and solar increasing the need for fast responding resources. In recent years, power electronic devices and controls have provided additional flexibility to energy storage systems to not only deliver basic energy, but other important benefits. However, energy storage systems have historically been too expensive to recoup their capital cost. A key issue for energy storage to reach mass-market power grid acceptance has often been associated with cost. When examining single application cost scenarios for energy storage systems, there are very few specific grid applications where the cost to benefit ratio appears to drive the necessary motivation for investment. In many cases, finding synergy among different applications is vital to finding the economic value proposition. Furthermore, looking at reducing the cost of storage through “secondary-use” is proving to be another option. The term “secondary- use” in relation to battery technologies refers to batteries previously utilized in electric vehicles, but either are no longer considered viable for these vehicles or have outlived the vehicle.  Growing interest has appeared in the concept of applying these secondary-use batteries in a distributed sense in conjunction with the smart grid. By distributing energy storage along many locations, these units could provide the same benefits as a centralized unit but with potentially more localized applications. Community energy storage is an example of such a system and has been described to have benefits that target shifting renewable generation and load peaks, providing uninterruptable power, local reactive power support, and grid services when aggregated with many units. The presentation will discuss different energy storage technologies, benefits to the grid, and the design and testing of a secondary-use community energy storage with collaboration between (ABB), General Motors (GM), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).