Battery Storage Doesn’t Have to be Complex

by , | May 21, 2024 | Control & Safety Systems, Reliability, Sustainable Energy | 0 comments

One of the most fascinating frontiers of the new push toward more renewable forms of energy is the increase in utility-scale battery storage. More renewable sources of energy means more variability on the grid, so energy producers need a place to store that energy when they are producing excess, and a place to pull from when poor weather conditions dramatically reduce production. Battery storage facilities can help with this dynamic operation, but they tend to be complex operations.

That complexity, however, is no reason to shy away from battery storage. As Anthony LaMantia shares in his recent article in North American Clean Energy magazine, all operators need is more comprehensive visibility and simplified control to leverage battery storage for more nimble operations. Improved control and visibility deliver astounding results and can be the critical strategies necessary to capture competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Navigating a new path

Operating a renewable power generation site—especially one with battery storage—is typically quite different from running traditional power generation facilities. The move from mostly hard I/O to primarily soft I/O means teams have to consider their controls in a new way. Anthony explains,

“While a traditional power generation automation project had dozens of cabinets where engineers wired in transmitters and other field devices, renewable automation projects are more IT-based, with many datalink connections via Ethernet or fiber optics. I/O are often addressed as IP devices, and they gather data using industry-standard protocols.”

These new soft I/O systems often have hundreds or thousands of I/O points across the system. That’s a lot of communication, and a lot to monitor. Management is further complicated by the number of different systems involved in operation—OEM battery management, DC to AC power conversion systems, and more—leaving the potential for operators to need to learn and navigate a very wide array of disparate solutions.

Decreasing complexity with a single solution

Anthony suggests that the solution to this increased complexity of communication and monitoring is an integrated green energy solution like Ovation Green software and automation systems. Software solutions like green energy supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and green asset management can provide operators a single, clear dashboard with a comprehensive view of operations. Anthony explains,

“The best energy management systems aggregate all the battery storage I/O into a central point, and they use one intuitive dashboard to provide clear operational visibility and control of hundreds or thousands of devices and I/O. Plant staff have continuous access to aggregated data for efficient operation and troubleshooting of their battery systems from the same location, without jumping between operating environments.”

Another key benefit of integrated solutions is that they break down data silos. Teams using Ovation Green solutions can more easily begin their Boundless Automation™ journey, bringing together wind, solar, thermal, battery storage, and more, making it far easier to perform remote operations on assets across a fleet.

A longer, more hassle-free lifecycle

The lifecycle of energy generation and storage equipment is typically quite long. As a result, fit-for-purpose software solutions that increase the accessibility and simplicity of operating those systems will likely provide significant return on investment. That return can come in many forms—competitive advantage, improved flexibility, more efficient operations, higher production, and many other capabilities. Anthony shares more of these potential gains in his full article. If you’re looking for ways to get the most value out of your renewable energy investments, go check it out. Anthony’s advice may be just what you need to build the roadmap to improved energy operations.

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  • Todd Walden
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