Daimler, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy and Netherlands-based Transmission system operator TenneT have formed a joint development partnership to research and test the feasibility of innovative system services in the transmission grid.
Through their extensive tests and research, they discovered that automobile battery storage systems can take over tasks from large-scale power plants and make a significant contribution towards power grid stabilisation and system recovery.
The joint study was carried out within the framework of the Enera project as part of the “Smart Energy Showcases – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition” (SINTEG) funding programme by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The project partners have shown that automobile battery storage systems that use a lithium-ion basis can be used for highly dynamic system support and system recovery – specifically for a black start in power plants and to support mass inertia. Ultimately, this can help to compensate for the loss of conventional energy generation.
For the development partnership, the prototype of a battery storage system made up of automotive batteries with a total connected load of approx. 1 megawatt (MW) and a storage capacity of 750 kilowatt hours (kWh) is installed at the Mercedes-Benz Energy test Lab in Kamenz. These are second-life and replacement batteries. The project partners have also shown that automobile battery storage systems can respond to a changing frequency in less than 100 milliseconds. This means they can replace the inert masses in large-scale power plants.
The project partners have also shown that battery storage systems can be used to start up energy generating assets and even entire power stations, for example after a large-scale power failure. Today, diesel power units are used to restart turbines in power stations (rotating masses) and supply power to auxiliary units. The development study shows that this can also be done with battery storage systems – with virtually no losses and in a process that is much better for the environment.
In the next phase of the development partnership, the project partners will work together to define the requirements that will enable a tender process for the future system service by TenneT.