Grid Energy Storage Subsystem Ensures Grid Stability



SAN DIEGO -- Maxwell Technologies announced a grid energy storage subsystem design-in with Siemens to deliver economical, fast-responding, long life grid voltage and frequency support solutions. The new Siemens Static VAR Compensator plus Frequency Stabilizer (SVC PLUS FS) enables ISOs, electric utilities and transmission system operators to have better control of their grids and reduce the risk of blackouts.

The combined effect of the rapid increase in solar and wind electricity generation with the decommissioning of traditional coal and gas-fired power plants runs the risk of increasing momentary grid imbalances due to less inertia in the grid. Power loss caused by these imbalances can result in significant economic damage for electricity consumers, as they may be dropped from the grid during periods of system instability.

The grid system inertia deficit is directly addressed in Siemens' SVC PLUS FS through the use of ultracapacitor (supercapacitor) energy storage. Maxwell's Grid Energy Storage Systems are an integral design element in the SVC PLUS FS that provide system inertia in the form of fast, active power injection, which bridges the time gap between grid disruption and the activation of secondary power reserves. The SVC PLUS FS can feed the reactive power needed for stable grid operation in less than 50 milliseconds. At the same time, up to 200 megawatts of electric power stored in the ultracapacitors can be transferred to the grid.

Due to their rapid response time at high power levels, long lifetime, and minimal maintenance, Maxwell ultracapacitors were selected as the energy storage asset of choice to provide grid frequency and voltage support. Moreover, due to the high power density of the ultracapacitor subsystem, the SVC PLUS FS takes up about two-thirds less space than a comparable battery storage solution at the reference power of 50 megawatts.

SVC PLUS FS built by Siemens and enabled by Maxwell Technologies' ultracapacitor solution secures the energy and bridging reserves necessary to provide protection against emergency grid system imbalances. As a result, grid reliability increases and the operational expenses for fossil based, short duration must-run generation, as well as GHG and CO2 emissions, are reduced. Further, the system is highly adaptable and flexible in the face of evolving grid demands. If additional power is required, grid operators can install additional ultracapacitor subsystems at a lower cost than investing in fossil-based reserve capacity or keeping older power stations operating in an inefficient stand-by mode.

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