IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - 21

A Survey of Principal Roles,
Types, and Management Needs

B

BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE EFFECTIVELY STABILIZES THE ELECTRIC GRID AND
aids renewable integration by balancing supply and demand in real time. The importance of such
storage is especially crucial in densely populated urban areas, where traditional storage techniques
such as pumped hydroelectric energy storage and compressed-air energy storage are often not feasible.

Roles Played by Battery Energy Storage in Utility Applications
Some of the principal roles that battery energy storage play in the grid include
✔ leveling the load, providing backup electricity, and ensuring grid safety and stability
✔ improving power quality via frequency/voltage regulation
✔ diversifying generation portfolios, reducing expensive fuel consumption, and promoting renewable penetration
✔ enhancing the safety and reliability of power supply
✔ increasing the efficiency of electricity generation and transmission, thus deferring expansion
of the power system infrastructure
✔ lowering the operational cost for power generation while saving electricity expenses for
end customers
✔ mitigating system fluctuations at low and high frequencies
✔ accelerating the synergy between electric vehicles (EVs) and the electric grid.

Categories of Commercial-Scale Batteries
Rechargeable batteries are today's most widespread electrical energy storage devices and store electrical energy in the form of chemical energy. Representative commercial-scale technologies currently used in the electric power industry include lead-acid batteries, nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH)
batteries, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, sodium sulphur (NaS) batteries, and vanadium redox flow
batteries (VRBs). These technologies normally exhibit different characteristics, with various sizes
and built-in chemical components. Table 1 summarizes the main attributes of each.
Battery technologies, particularly the Li-ion and VRB types, have experienced remarkable advances
over recent years. Battery development is largely driven by demand for smart grid and EV applications.
Until 2014, the NaS battery was the leading option in the electric power sector. However, since then, as
shown in Figure 1, the battery storage landscape has been gradually shifting from the NaS battery to
its counterparts, i.e., Li-ion and redox flow batteries (RFBs). This is due to the significant performance
improvements and cost reductions achieved by these batteries. The installed Li-ion battery capacity is
projected to increase rapidly, so it is expected to become the dominant battery storage technology for
the future. Flow batteries also show increasing popularity in utility-scale energy storage.
Apart from price differences, each battery type exhibits its own unique features and characteristics. This may make one type well suited for a particular energy storage application; thus, diverse
battery technologies will contribute concurrently to the entire energy storage market.

Technological Characteristics and Real-World Applications
Lead-Acid Battery
The lead-acid battery is the oldest rechargeable battery: its use in both the household and industrial sectors
dates back to the mid-1800s. In such a battery, the positive and negative electrodes are separately made
up of lead dioxide and metallic lead, which are immersed in a diluted sulphuric-acid electrolyte. There
are two typical types, namely, flooded lead-acid and sealed valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) solutions.
september/october 2017

ieee power & energy magazine

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - 1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - 2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - 3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - 4
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - 5
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2017 - Cover4
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