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Zinc Bromine Battery (ZBB) Energy Storage Demonstration

Project Overview

This demonstration project utilizes a zinc bromine battery storage system installed at an electric utility distribution substation to reduce overloads during peak demand periods. The zinc bromine battery is discharged when the substation circuits exceed a predefined threshold. The objective is to defer a substation transformer upgrade until all associated planning and permitting can be accomplished.

The California Energy Commission is supplying project implementation funding and the US Department of Energy ESS program is sponsoring and funding the data management, collection and analysis activities. The data management activities are directed by Sandia National Laboratories through contracts with EPRI and Distributed Utility Associates.

Why is CEC/DOE sponsoring this project

This project offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate and better understand the capabilities of a zinc bromine battery based storage system and compare the economics and lifecycle costs to some of the other T&D deferral options currently available.

The benefits to the state of California, based on a successful demonstration of the ZBB technology would be the ability to reduce peak demand on the electric power system while continuing to support customer loads and allowing those customers that may normally see a blackout to continue with process operation and production. The technology has the potential to relieve transmission and distribution capacity at needed times. This is also one of the first demonstration projects where real time monitoring and data collection are being used to measure system performance and validate the system performance claims.

How The Technology is Being Applied

This demonstration consists of a 2MWh storage system, composed of four 500kW energy storage modules in parallel. The system will be used in a peak shaving substation deferral application on the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) service territory. Monitoring and data acquisition has been specified such that system availability and power/energy parameters will be accessible via the website. Any time the system is operated, the kilowatts supplied by the storage unit and the total kilowatts drawn by the circuit loads will be viewable via graphical display by day, week, month, etc.

The system will be used in a peak shaving substation deferral application on the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) service territory. The site selection process is underway. Specifics will be posted once the location is chosen. The zinc bromine battery is discharged when the substation circuits exceed a predefined threshold. The objective is to defer a substation transformer upgrade until all associated planning and permitting can be accomplished.

Along with the potential for T&D upgrade deferrals, large battery storage systems such as this one can potentially supply additional T&D benefits such as demand reduction, arbitrage and buffers for long transmission lines.

Click here to see the Technology Description.

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