Energy Storage and Big Data

The Future of Our Power Grid

14 May 2019

Big data has transformed the tech and advertising industries, and transformation to the energy industry is unavoidable. Data is invaluable and can be used to benefit our power grid by providing important insights into how energy storage assets perform and affect electricity markets. This type of knowledge allows operators to make informed decisions and better projections of battery life and performance, which can be used to optimize operations.

Dropping prices and revised electricity markets have encouraged the growth of batteries for grid energy storage applications. Battery manufacturers typically promise a 10-year life given certain operating practices are met. To meet these life expectations using today's battery technology, manufacturers need to grossly oversize their energy storage systems. Manufacturers are also prepared to replace battery packs in order to meet their warranty agreements. This means investors are paying for more for less; they are paying for more capacity than what they are able to use.

Monitoring performance using battery data can help to maximize an investment by optimizing life and minimizing operation and maintenance costs.  Our asset integrity management team at Intertek takes an empirical approach to model the entire system while accounting for the degradation due to various operating conditions based on battery data. Our team of scientists and engineers analyze operating performance and conditions data to see how market changes and other significant events affect the overall life and health of large battery storage systems. Additionally, a regular analysis of the data can help to discover inconsistencies that require a deeper investigation that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Regardless of what battery prices are projected to be in 10 years, purchasing and deploying an energy storage asset now is still a big investment, especially when there is a small sample size of battery successes to base your investment strategy on. We'll use existing data to provide the information needed to directly support a battery energy storage project.

From electric vehicles to personal electronics to renewable energy, Intertek has a depth of experience in battery testing services, ensuring energy storage technologies meet performance, reliability and safety criteria. Learn more.

 

Taylor Kelly, PhD
Director, Energy Storage

Taylor Kelly earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Houston investigating the mechano-electrochemical coupling behavior of stretchable lithium ion batteries. She brings her deep understanding of battery operation and failure to the energy industry, providing consulting and technology assessment services to energy storage manufacturers, developers, and consumers. Her recent work includes root cause analysis of battery failures and evaluating how changes in battery operation affect degradation and life.