The ees Europe tradeshow and conference runs in conjunction with Intersolar Europe, held in Munich (Germany) from 21 to 24 June, 2016. Energy storage is growing in importance as it brings stability to a grid that is increasingly using solar and wind power, which do not produce consistent energy around the clock. It also brings energy independence to people who want to generate their own power or for those who live in areas with no or little electrical infrastructure. This trend toward increasing use of energy storage is reflected in the 30% increase in exhibitor space since last year (3000 square meters added), but also in the number of record number of submissions for the Energy Storage Innovation Prize.
Some of the topics at the conference will be improvements in lithium batteries, the falling cost of battery systems, self-consumption, large-scale storage, safety standards, battery management, and financing large-scale energy storage projects. The ees Europe exhibition has also grown significantly from last year, adding 40% more exhibition space with 200 exhibitors.
The ees Award also saw a record number of submissions, ranging from new materials to innovations in the areas of production, systems technology, applications, second-use concepts and recycling. Held for the third year, the Award is presented for outstanding solutions and innovations in energy storage technology. Ten finalists have been announced, and the winner will be revealed at ees Europe on Wednesday, 22 June, with ees Awards presented alongside the Intersolar Award at 4:30 p.m. at the Innovation and Application Forum.
Trends in energy storage
- Diversity in application
Award organizers have seen several trends in award submissions for 2016. Diverse fields of application is one trend, seen in storage devices that can be used on and off-grid, or are available for both low-voltage and high voltage systems are among the finalists. Safety is another trend, which they are seeing in a generation of domestic storage systems that use JH3 lithium-ion cells developed specifically for stationary batteries, and a special separator is added for safety. Flexibility is exemplified by transformerless, high-voltage inverters that offer flexibility for both retrofit projects and new installations. And finally, there is a trend toward stabilizing weak power grids by establishing micrigrids made up of both solar and wind.
And the ees AWARD finalists are:
- Ampere Power Energy S.L. (Spain): Storage device with wireless connection to the smart meter and corresponding App.
- BOS Balance of Storage Systems AG (Germany): Additional lithium-ion batteries for energy storage systems based on lead batteries extending the entire system’s life span through smart connections.
- Digatron Power Electronics GmbH (Germany): Improved battery tester efficiency using silicon carbide semiconductors.
- Ferroamp Elektronik AB (Sweden): Bidirectional inverter for different PV strings, batteries and DC consumers. A high-voltage DC nanogrid connects different producers, such as sun, wind and water, and minimizes transmission losses throughout the entire system.
- Green Power Technologies, SL (Spain): Storage solutions on a megawatt-scale, where various producers can be integrated to help stabilize weak power grids.
- LG Chem (Korea): Domestic storage system with high energy density using advanced cell technologies (JH3 cells).
- Morningstar Corporation (US): Charge controller for a wide variety of storage technologies with 98% efficiency.
- SMA Solar Technology AG (Germany): A transformerless high-voltage inverter, this battery inverter is designed for retrofitting existing PV installations with storage devices.
- SOCOMEC (France): Storage solution that can be operated both on the grid and in stand-alone mode.
- Sonnen GmbH (Germany): sonnenCommunity connects decentralized renewable energy producers with storage system operators and consumers throughout Germany, enabling its members to remain completely independent of the public power grid.
Written by Anne Fischer, Managing Editor, Solar Novus Today