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The Meteoric Rise of Energy Storage: A Sneak Peek into Emerging Markets and AABC 2015

By Posted on May 1, 2015

Kelly JezerieskiYou may or may not be surprised to know that the global market for energy storage systems is expected to reach nearly $100 billion (USD) by 2025, from about $60 billion today. That’s a pretty meteoric rise, about double the size of the 2012 global market. (Source: Avicenne Energy) If you take a step back, it makes perfect sense because whether we realize it or not, energy storage systems are ubiquitous. The simple fact is that, we as a modern society rely heavily on energy storage systems and devices, and that reliance is increasing with time. With the advent of technological innovations, an exponentially expanding population with an insatiable appetite for all things requiring power and energy, energy storage systems are constantly evolving and in high demand.

Did you drive somewhere today? If so, then your vehicle relied on a 12 volt lead acid starting, lighting & ignition (SLI) battery, perhaps with the assistance of a 12 volt lithium ion start-stop battery to help boost fuel economy. Or, in the case of an electric vehicle, it was a lithium ion or nickel metal hydride battery. Your TV remote control probably was powered by a much smaller format battery, most likely an alkaline battery with a zinc anode and MnO2 cathode. Have you used consumer electronics or portable tools/devices recently? If so, then you likely relied on lithium ion batteries to power your notebook, cell phone, portable tool or vacuum, etc. Signed for a parcel upon delivery to confirm receipt? A small supercapacitor powered the device that captured your e-signature. The list goes on and on. There is no doubt that, these small or large format systems help improve our quality of life and, in some cases, such as batteries used in pacemakers, help sustain life.

Larger format storage systems may be used in both mobile and stationary applications, such as electric vehicles (xEVs) and for a variety of distributed generation applications. The applications include, but are not limited to: voltage/VAR support, peak shaving, frequency response and load following for utilities. Energy storage is a great way to mitigate the issue of intermittency that arises when one captures renewable sources of energy and either feeds it back to the utility or uses it in a microgrid system, such as on a military operating base. In a solar-photovoltaic (solar-PV) system, for instance, energy can be stored during off-peak hours and periods of low solar insolation for use during on-peak times when demand is high. The utility might call on a battery to discharge to the grid to help satisfy that demand in areas other than where the solar-PV array is located. The same can be said of EVs and the EV supply equipment interface (EVSEs) in the case of bi-directional power. If the EV does not need to be charged, then it can discharge to the grid and help fill that demand during on-peak hours. This naturally brings up the issue of interoperability: ensuring that the utility, the storage system, the power electronics (including inverters and converters), the renewable source(s) of energy, the system controls and everything else in-between works harmoniously as a unified system capable of safely, securely providing high-quality, uninterruptible power.

As one of the nation’s top accelerators of advanced energy technologies, businesses, and industries, NextEnergy is utilizing some of our unique physical assets on our campus to test and validate emerging technologies pre-commercialization. Some of these enable the use of intelligent “V2X” platforms, including: vehicle-to-grid (V2G), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) arrays. We have worked with automotive OEMs and our local utility, DTE Energy, to explore V2G dynamics and cost modeling as the “alpha V2X” study. A Community Energy Storage (CES) project is also underway, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and in partnership with DTE Energy. This project is exploring the impact of multiple, grid-tied 25 kW (50 kWh) CES units and a 500 kW lithium ion battery, including secondary use batteries and photovoltaics on a MISO circuit. The CES aims to demonstrate utility distributed generation benefits utilizing energy storage such as: peak shaving, demand response, voltage/VAR support, emergency load relief; integration of renewable generation without intermittency; and islanding during outages.

NextEnergy invites you to explore energy storage issues with us at the Advanced Automotive and Industrial/Stationary Battery Conference (AABC) happening June 15-19, 2015 in Detroit. Newly added to the 2015 event is a symposium on batteries for the emerging markets for utilities and industrial applications. The event will be held at the Marriott nestled in the historic Renaissance Center downtown. It will feature an OEM Pavilion in the exhibition hall with mockups of the latest xEVs batteries.

NextEnergy and select partners, including the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the University of Michigan, and others will also showcase our Michigan Pavilion exhibition at the event. You can think of the Michigan Pavilion as a one-stop shop to explore some key stakeholders that comprise our local energy storage ecosystem. One of our Pavilion partners is Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC), recent winner of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Global Automotive Innovation Challenge (GAIC), in the category of “new high value and disruptive technology innovations” for their GreenSeal® batteries!

We look forward to seeing you at AABC in June. Don’t forget to reserve your AABC exhibition space, as these spaces are filling up quickly! Make sure to watch for a post-show update and details about other activities in the energy storage sector coming soon. Questions? Contact Kelly Jezierski at or on 313.833.0100, Ext. 290.


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