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Fraunhofer’s Grid Scale Energy Storage System Passes Initial Tests


»SGESS« – Energiespeichersystem am Fraunhofer IFF in Magdeburg.Energy storage at grid scale has long been identified as the element that stands in the way of switching to 100% renewable energy. After a long wait for that big breakthrough, a team of engineers from the German Fraunhofer institute finally made the ever-so-wanted announcement- their megabattery passed the initial tests.

Efficient solar panels, efficient solar cell concentrators, thermoelectric devices, these are only a few of the great technologies being cooked up in the kitchen of Fraunhofer institute in Magdeburg, Germany. Every new invention that comes out of there is truly groundbreaking, and their latest one holds up to the reputation.

Earlier this month, a team of engineers presented a massive 1 MW energy storage device, which has 5000 lithium ion cells, and capacity of 0.5 megawatt hours. Translated into units we are all more comfortable with, this megabattery, if fully charged, can provide enough power to 100 average households for full 24 hours. The device is built by the Korean SK Innovation.

To demonstrate that the technology works, the team decided to completely disconnect the building of the institute from the grid, and let the megabattery power all systems of the facility, for full five hours. Of course, it did not fail.

The megabattery officially called “Smart Grid Energy Storage System”, or SGESS, is currently under testing, with special attention being paid on the link between the power grid and the bulk energy storage system. However the inventors are convinced that it could be up and running as early as in 2015.

Large scale energy storage is something that everyone is hoping to see. As the director of the Fraunhofer institute, Prof. Michael Schenk, pointed out, such technologies have a growing importance for the future of the energy sector. As soon as such technology is available, there will no longer be a need to maintain polluting and dangerous power plants, even if that is only for back up.

Image (c) Fraunhofer institute

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