Solar battery storage: all its possibilities and potential
Solar battery storage represents an innovative alternative. It ensures that the necessary amount of energy, for the consumption of society, is available at all time. The stored solar energy can be used, if required, to meet the demands in consumption peaks or cases of low production (ECA, 2019).
Currently, society demands the production of clean and renewable energy, which allows for the preservation of the green color of the environment without causing pollution. There is a lot of continued innovation in this field, and it seems that this is the future of energy production on the planet.
However, it must be noted that the production of these clean energies, such as wind and solar energies, depends on environmental and meteorological conditions. Their production is not stable enough for continuous usage.
For this reason, it is important to take advantage of good weather conditions when production is feasible. Energy must be produced to the maximum and then safely stored so that it is available at any time.
Types of solar energy storage
The sun is a renewable, inexpensive, and clean source of energy. Hence, electric generation using solar energy is an efficient and competitive solution. However, there are situations in which it isn´t possible to use the sun as an energy source, like when the sky is cloudy or at night.
Therefore, the electrical energy produced continuously under the permitted conditions must be transformed into chemical or mechanical energy so that it can be stored.
How is energy stored? The traditional systems that have been used are hydraulic reserves in reservoirs or pumping systems. However, these systems require large spaces and can impact the environment in a negative way. Furthermore, they are not adaptable to all types of energy sources. Compressed air systems can be found in this same category.
So, the need has arisen for other more versatile storage systems; systems that can store energy from different renewable sources (Guacaneme et al., 2014).
In recent years, batteries have been developed for the storage of both electrical energy and chemical energy. In this group, we find lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have the most promising future in energy storage (ECA, 2019).
Classification of Solar battery storage
The capacity of Solar battery storage is the basis for a classification system (IRENA, 2019; Guacaneme et al., 2014). These systems, having different storage capacities, can cover the different needs of energy requirements:
- Large-scale storage systems for areas that require energy at the GW level. These systems include pumping and thermal storage systems.
- Medium-scale storage systems for requirements on the MW scale. They are storage systems in networks, capacitors, and superconductors.
- Small-scale storage systems to reach the end-user at the residential level. It can supply power requirements of KW. This type includes battery and superconductor systems.
Choosing the type of Solar battery storage
There are several criteria to consider when choosing solar battery storage (Micah et al., 2019).
Among the most important factors to think about before making decisions are the relationships between:
- Economic availability and profitability.
- The expected performance and efficiency of the system.
- Short-term and long-term needs and storage capacity.
- The use (industrial or residential) of stored energy and storage capacity.
By analyzing these parameters and understanding the needs, the best choice between the different kinds of solar battery storage can be made.
Solar battery storage in Europe
Europe presents high profitability in the production of renewable energy. However, during 2019 it suffered a slowdown in energy storage capacity. In the next reports it will be possible to detect if this decrease was corrected during the year 2020.
In the future in the EU, strong economic investments must be made in energy storage. This is expected to guarantee energy storage in European countries while the progress of the energy transition continues (ECA, 2019).
Solar battery storage in Spain
Solar energy storage in Spain is very promising. Some companies have already invested in this field. However, it is important to keep innovating and learning to adopt these highly efficient storage systems.
One of the pioneering companies in this field, Iberdrola, has already implemented solar battery storage. Thinking about innovation and green energy, they developed giant batteries that allow energy to be stored and used when it is most needed. The system was implemented with lithium-ion batteries to be used in local distribution networks.
In conclusion, these energy storage systems are the key to the energy model of the future. We must learn to take advantage of the conditions for maximized production. This will allow for safe storage and distribution at times of low production.
Bibliography:ECA, Tribunal de cuentas europeo. (2019). El apoyo de la UE al almacenamiento de energía.
Guacaneme, J. A, Velasco, D., & Trujillo, C.L. (2014). Revisión de las características de sistemas de almacenamiento de energía para aplicaciones en micro redes. Información tecnológica, 25(2), 175-188.
IRENA, International Renewable Energy Agency. (2019). Panorama de la innovación para un futuro impulsado por las energías renovables: soluciones para integrar las energías renovables variables.
Ziegler, M.S., Mueller, J.M., Pereira G.D., Song, J., Ferrara, M., Chiang, Y., Trancik, J.E. (2019). Storage Requirements and Costs of Shaping Renewable Energy toward Grid Decarbonization. Joule, 3, (9): 2134-2153.