Hitachi's Power Storage System to Be Tested in US

2014/04/01 14:04
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Hitachi Ltd announced March 28, 2014, that its power storage system has been employed for a field test targeted at the US market for frequency adjustment and capacity.

Hitachi America Ltd, which is Hitachi's regional headquarters, and Demansys Energy LLC (Connecticut, the US), which provides services of controlling the demand of utility customers, agreed to carry out the test using Hitachi's power storage system.

The employed power storage system is the "CrystEna," a compact container-type system, which has started to be installed. The goal of the field test is to confirm the effectiveness of the system in stabilizing a power grid. The test will be carried out for two years beginning from June 2014.

In the US, the ratio of grid electricity produced from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power is increasing because a large number of renewable energy-based power generation facilities are being introduced. But the output fluctuation of those facilities may make it difficult to maintain frequency. As a result, power storage systems that help operate grid systems properly are drawing attention.

In addition, there are many regions where power generation, power transmission and power grid operation facilities are separated from one another in the US. Therefore, for independent system operators (ISOs), there have already been services of adjusting frequency as well as services that provide backup power supply capacities to be used in a time of emergency or in the future. And power storage systems are under consideration as one of the new technologies targeted at the expanding market for frequency adjustment and capacity.

The CrystEna is one of the core products of Hitachi's energy storage systems and consists of the company's control system and PV inverter, Hitachi Chemical Co Ltd's lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable battery, etc. Hitachi Chemical is affiliated with Hitachi. The CrystEna has a high economic efficiency because of its compact design and improved system performance including a control technology to extend the product life of the rechargeable battery.

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Demansys has been in the market for frequency adjustment and capacity on the East Coast of the US. It provides a service of controlling and operating rechargeable batteries and the electricity-powered equipment of utility customers in real time by using the "Grid Daemon," its own power monitoring control platform, to ISOs. Also, the company can provide services targeted at the capacity market, and it is planning to enter the market by carrying out the field test.

Demansys will supervise the entire test. It will set up the CrystEna at a suburban shopping center in New Jersey, where PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest ISO in the US, provides services. And Demansys will collect data on PJM's performance in the market for frequency adjustment and capacity and records of power sales for two years in the aim of confirming the effectiveness of the power storage system in stabilizing a power grid.

PJM has already started to make rules on how to deal with storage batteries in the capacity market. On the other hand, Hitachi will evaluate the power storage system by checking its reliability and effectiveness through the field test in the aim of commercializing the system.

Hitachi considers its power distribution business as the core business of its power system unit and plans to expand its solution business including power electronics technologies and information technologies such as devices and control systems. The company will continue to use the CrystEna for various facilities and actively promote sales of it as a power storage system that has an excellent control responsiveness.

Demansys has a good track record in providing services for various commercial and industrial applications including the Grid Daemon. And it has been engaged in a field test in which frequency is controlled without using a generator by controlling the demand of utility customers in the frequency adjustment market in New England since October 2012.