Tag Archives: Energy storage

Lithium Australia goes further upstream with DLG Group pact

Lithium Australia, in its pursuit to produce advanced components for the battery industry globally, has signed an agreement for the joint battery marketing operations with China-based battery and energy storage specialists, the DLG Group.

The new enterprise – an incorporated joint venture (Lithium Australia 50% and DLG 50%) trading as Soluna Australia – has been established to sell lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and Soluna energy storage products into the rapidly expanding Australia renewables energy market, Lithium Aus said.

In addition to the JV for the sale of LIBs and energy storage products, the companies have formed a technology alliance to fast-track commercialisation of VSPC Ltd’s proprietary cathode powders for use in DLG batteries (VSPC is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia). DLG will work with Lithium Australia to further develop VSPC’s cathode powders, initially with a focus on lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) LIBs, LFP being the ideal battery chemistry for Australian energy-storage applications, according to the company.

Lithium Australia explained the deal rationale: “A detailed investigation of the Australian energy-storage industry identified serious supply-chain constraints in the delivery of LIBs to Australian customers. Soluna Australia intends to provide a new and reliable supply source for renewable energy solutions to power users in Australia.”

Soluna Australia plans to apply the following supply-chain solutions, according to Lithium Aus:

  • Maintain local (Australia) stock levels of energy-storage products to meet demand;
  • Provide local sales and technical support;
  • Collaborate with customers and innovate to create energy-storage solutions suitable for remote-site and mining applications;
  • Evaluate the feasibility of manufacturing battery packs in Australia.

In addition, Soluna Australia will offer battery-recycling solutions through Lithium Australia’s battery recycling business unit, it said.

Lithium Australia Managing Director, Adrian Griffin, said: “Formalisation of Lithium Australia’s joint venture with DLG, which resulted in the creation of Soluna Australia, paves the way for the introduction of superior energy-storage products into the Australian market, reducing the carbon footprint of national energy consumption for both residential and industrial consumers.

“We foresee great potential for energy storage in fringe-of-grid and off-grid applications, as well as improvements in the utilisation of power from existing grids. Kieron D’Arcy (General Manager) and Raegan Jubb (Sales Manager) bring a wealth of experience to Soluna Australia and we welcome them to the team.”

Lithium Australia says it aims to ensure an ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry (enhancing energy security in the process) by creating a “circular battery economy”. The recycling of old lithium-ion batteries to new is intrinsic to this plan.

Aggreko’s modular li-ion battery system off to Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine

Aggreko is set to deploy a new mobile and modular energy storage system at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine, in Western Australia, as the temporary power, temperature control and energy services company looks to expand its 10 GW fleet of distributed energy assets.

The deployment of Y.Cube, a fully integrated, ready-to-install lithium-ion battery system built on the expertise of energy storage firm Younicos, which Aggreko acquired in 2017, is all part of Aggreko’s hybrid microgrid solution at Granny Smith, one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids powered by more than 20,000 solar panels and backed up by a 2 MW/1 MWh battery system.

In addition to the Granny Smith deployment, Aggreko said the Y.Cube would be used in several African mining projects.

Housed entirely within a standard 20-ft (6.1-m) container, the 1 MW units can be delivered and quickly deployed worldwide, according to Aggreko.

The system can cover a variety of applications from 1 MW up to multi-MW power output and is available in two versions: a 30-minute ‘power’ unit and a 60-minute ‘energy’ unit, the company said.

“The 20-ft container houses batteries, inverters, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire protection and auxiliary components. These are tested and pre-assembled by Aggreko experts and controlled by intelligent software,” Aggreko said.

It is designed for a wide ambient temperature range from -20°C to +50°C to match the often-challenging requirements of remote customer sites, the company added.

Dan Ibbetson, Managing Director, Global Products and Technology at Aggreko, said renewable energy is increasingly affordable, but not yet as universally available as it should be. At the same time, energy demand is increasing.

“Battery storage systems offer the flexibility required for safe and stable use of wind and solar power and increase the efficiency of thermal units.”

He added: “In the Y.Cube, we have successfully combined proven battery expertise from Younicos with Aggreko’s containerisation experience. The Y.Cube enables us to provide cheaper, cleaner and smarter energy wherever it’s needed for our customers.

“It is designed to fit seamlessly within the Aggreko existing fleet and can be easily combined with solar and thermal products to provide our customers with the lowest cost of energy. We are now building a fleet of Y.Cubes, which will enable us to quickly deploy on short notice.”

The Y.Cube is available for short-term needs for as little as six months or for periods of years under Aggreko’s “Energy-Storage-as-a-Service” model, the company said. It can also be bundled with Aggreko’s other hardware systems as part of the company’s “Microgrids-as-a-Service” offer.

Karim Wazni, Managing Director, Aggreko Microgrid and Storage Solutions, said: “We’re already seeing considerable interest from a range of sectors and applications.

“One of the most economically attractive propositions is to combine the Y.Cube with natural gas and solar generation in off-grid applications. This could include remote mining sites, in weak grids like islands, or, with gas generators only to provide bridging power – for example in datacentres.”

Rolls-Royce makes microgrid investment as energy storage takes off

Rolls-Royce has made an investment in Berlin-based start-up company Qinous GmbH as it looks to increase its exposure to the rapidly developing energy storage sector and bolster its microgrid offering.

Marcus Wassenberg, CFO and Labour Director at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “As a strategic investor, the aim is to set up a partnership with Qinous for the development of innovative energy storage solutions and together offer cleaner solutions designed to meet tomorrow’s needs.”

The increased use of renewable energies has exacerbated the challenge of how to maintain a reliable energy supply, when weather conditions are unfavourable, to meet demand, according to Rolls-Royce.

Autonomous electricity networks, or microgrids, combine cogeneration plants, diesel- and gas-powered gensets and renewable sources with batteries and a control system that links up all the elements in an energy management system to optimise the energy usage technically and economically.

Qinous has gained considerable experience in the integration of battery storage and energy systems in microgrids in more than 30 projects worldwide and has already integrated MTU Onsite Energy systems from Rolls-Royce in such projects, Rolls-Royce said.

The investment made by Rolls-Royce is to expand the existing product portfolio and strengthen global sales and marketing activities, the company said.

Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We have identified our customers’ needs in terms of autonomous energy supply systems that are efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly. For this reason, we are now adding turnkey microgrids to our current portfolio.

“In addition to the diesel and gas gensets supplied by MTU Onsite Energy, together with our partners like Qinous we will now offer battery containers, include renewable power generation plants, and combine that with intelligent control. This strengthens our position as a provider of innovative power solutions able to supply our customers with microgrid systems tailored to their specific requirements.”

Microgrids can supply energy autonomously to remote locations, such as mining operations or islands that have no grid access.

When operated in parallel with existing infrastructure, they can provide an environmentally friendly supply of electric power to industrial companies or local communities while simultaneously providing support for the public grid.

“The most crucial component of a microgrid is an intelligent control system, which determines what power sources are to be used at what time in order to supply energy to the end user or top-up the battery system. This is done in accordance with the customer’s preference; for instance, whether they prefer low-cost electricity generation, the supply of renewable energy, or high rates of power availability,” Rolls-Royce said.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems is now setting up a microgrid demonstrator in Friedrichshafen, Germany, that will assist in the design of microgrids that meet customer specific requirements.