Battery in a box for electric power utilities
Hitachi has developed an all-in-one, container-sized 1 MW energy storage system to buffer and support renewable energy. It fuses technologies from two subsidiaries, grid controls from the Hitachi Group and lithium-ion batteries from Hitachi Chemical Co.
The units will capture energy from wind and solar to be put back into the grid during peak periods. "As the use of renewable energy expands, stabilization has become a very important priority,” said Masaaki Nomoto, general manager for the company’s transmission and distribution systems division, as quoted by Bloomberg.com. Nomoto said the potential customers for the technology will include anyone who wants to sell power into the market, not just utilities.
Hitachi claims the unit was designed for easy portability, but also for long life. The company will conduct field trials in North America in 2014 as it learns how to optimize capacity and fine-tune its control algorithms. It hopes to begin selling by the end of 2015.
Hitachi estimates that the size of the U.S. market for devices that help stabilize the grid will be 20 gigawatts by 2020. The potential market size for its "CrystEna"energy-storage system is 7.5 gigawatts, it said.
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