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Dec.

12, 2012

Advanced Energy Storage Systems for


Frequency Regulation

WHITE PAPER

THE AES CASE STUDY


Advanced Batteries Supply Ancillary Services
For the power engineer, delivering an instantaneous and
consistent power supply can be an elusive goal. Yet without
it, grid frequency regulation is impossible. Today, frequency
regulation is an ancillary service bought by the hour, the
day prior to utilization. It is then dispensed on an asneeded basis by dispatch communiqus and provided by

These batteries work


very efficiently in extreme
temperatures and operate with
a wider temperature range than
other technologies.

the ancillary service provider on a 15-minute basis.


Sounds complicated, and it is. Wear and tear on generation
equipment, conflicting dispatch signals with varying loads

including more than 120 power facilities and 12 million

and wasted fuel are all part of the current implementation

distribution customers. Together, AES Corporation and

of this ancillary service.

Altairnano have a joint development agreement to create


grid-scale energy storage applications.

Altair Nanotechnologies (Altairnano), based in Anderson,


Ind., has developed a lithium-titanate energy storage

With AES Energy Storage LLC, Altairnano developed a 2

system to mitigate some of these ancillary services

MW, 500 kWh system with the capability of producing

difficulties. The Altairnano Energy Storage System (ALTI-

1,000 amps at 1,000 volts. The system comprises two

ESS) provides frequency regulation on a 1-second dispatch

individual 1 MW, 250 kWh battery configurations housed

basis, as needed.

in 53-foot trailers. The Altairnano battery system was


pilot-tested at Indianapolis Power & Light by AES Energy

AES Energy Storage LLC is a subsidiary of the AES

Storage LLC. KEMA (a global strategic and technical

Corporation. As one of the worlds largest power companies,

energy consultancy) served as the test contractor, providing

AES Corporation supports operations in 29 countries,

independent third-party analysis.

LITHIUM-ION BATTERY CONSTRUCTION


- Electrode
- Electrode
++
Electrode
Electrode
Collector
Collector
Collector
Collector
CuCu
Al Al
Graphite
Graphite
LiMO
LiMO
Negative
Negative
Positive
Positive
Separator
Separator

NANO-TITANATE BATTERY CONSTRUCTION


- Electrode
- Electrode
++
Electrode
Electrode
Collector
Collector
Collector
Collector
Al Al
Al Al
LiMO
LiMO
nLTO
nLTO
Positive
Positive
Negative
Negative
Separator
Separator

Porous
Porous
Anode,
Anode,
Cathode
Cathode
and
and
Separator
Separator
Soaked
Soaked
with
with
Liquid
Liquid
Electrolyte
Electrolyte
SEISEI
Layer
Layer

- - - , OH
, OH
) )
Li+Li+
(CO
(CO
3 3

First
First
Cycle
Cycle
Capacity
Capacity
Loss
Loss
Over
Over
10%
10%

Porous
Porous
Anode,
Anode,
Cathode
Cathode
and
and
Separator
Separator
Soaked
Soaked
with
with
Liquid
Liquid
Electrolyte
Electrolyte
NoNo
SEISEI
NoNo
First
First
Cycle
Cycle
Loss
Loss

Figure 1 Battery technology comparison: A comparison configuration of a typical lithium-ion battery with a lithium-titanate battery.
Source: Altairnano

Advanced Energy Storage Systems for Frequency Regulation

New Technology for Power and Energy Management


The lithium-titanate battery system exhibits three times the
power capabilities of existing batteries and can be described
as the combination of a battery and a supercapacitor.
This means power can be extracted from, as well as
inserted into, the battery at symmetrical rates, making the
technology ideal for Smart Grid applications. Altairnanos
lithium-titanate technology is also unique because it lacks a
solid electrolyte interface (SEI), as shown in Figure 1.

Various computer systems monitor and control the LRUs


and associated systems. A battery management system
monitors battery cell temperature, balances the cell voltages
as needed and keeps track of the battery charge state. A
programmable logic controller interfaces with three parallel
three-phase Parker Hannifin SSD inverters. The A/C side
of the power inverters operate at 480 V. Then after passing
through isolation transformers, the voltage is stepped up to
the substations 13.8 kV distribution bus. The energy storage
system is monitored by a supervisory control system that

The SEI is a film on the anode that is an internal resistor

interfaces with the utility regulation signal and controls the

that limits power output and generates heat build-up in

sending and receiving of power to and from the grid.

a standard lithium-ion battery. Therefore, the lack of an


in extreme temperatures and significantly reduces thermal

Independent Test Results


Technical Validation for Frequency Regulation

runaway risk. This batterys operating temperature range

KEMA put the Altairnano system through three sets of tests

also is wider than that of other technologies: from -40C to

for the validation study:

SEI allows the lithium-titanate battery to work efficiently

55C (-40F to 131F). This capability virtually eliminates


the need for supplemental heating when the battery is used

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in low temperature environments and reduces or eliminates

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cooling requirements for high temperature operation.

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Inside the 53-foot trailer (Figure 2) reside numerous

The AES Energy Storage LLC pilot test at Indianapolis Power

lithium-titanate Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) battery

& Light is considered a significant success in the application

units installed in racks (Figure 3). The batteries are air-

of advanced energy storage devices for frequency regulation.

cooled (the black circles in Figure 3 are the fans) in order

According to KEMA, the prototype units in their current state

to compensate for I2R heating in the modules. An air-

are suitable for use in future market pilot activities designed

conditioning system for the trailer keeps the temperature

to help better define the application requirements and

below 55C (131F).

demonstrate the potential of this technology.

Figure 2 Batteries on wheels. The Altairnano/AES 1 MW system can produce 250 kWh and is contained within a single 53-foot trailer.
Figure 3 Modular arrangement. The batteries are arranged in racks within the trailer along with air-cooled fans, air conditioning and various
computer monitoring systems and controls.

www.altairnano.com

Commercial Operation

Lithium-titanate battery systems


exhibit three times the power
capabilities of existing batteries.

Following technical validation, one of Altairnanos


megawatt systems used in Indianapolis Power & Lights
demonstration met requirements to participate in the PJM
Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) control area. PJM
Interconnection is an RTO that coordinates the movement
of wholesale electricity in 13 states and the District of
Columbia, serving approximately 51 million people.

The KEMA report observed that a key performance finding


was the maximum unit storage capacity for each of the two
1 megawatt systems was approximately 300 amp-hours with
a capacity of delivery of 250 kWh at a rated output of 1,000
kW for 15 minutes. Each unit was able to dispatch at any
power level between 1 MW discharge to 1 MW charge within
one second. Due to the battery and inverter technology used,
response actually occurs within cycles.
The round-trip efficiencies are on the high end of various
options, with total efficiencies ranging from 95 percent
to 88 percent depending upon the dispatch signal. Other
systems that have a 60 percent to 70 percent round-trip
efficiency cannot provide the required economics when the
losses are included in the value calculations.

In November 2008, the milestone marked the first


commercial acceptance of an advanced lithium-titanate
battery to provide grid regulation services in one of the
largest electricity markets in the United States. Today, the
unit is available for commercial operation as a qualified
market participant for regulation service and is operating
continuously, 24 hours a day, generating revenue for AES
Energy Storage LLC.
Altairnanos advanced lithium-titanate battery technology is
helping AES Energy Storage LLC address the power markets
need for energy-efficient solutions that provide grid stability
and help increase the adoption of renewable generating
resources, such as solar and wind.
Open power markets, like the PJM Interconnection, value
grid stability services and encourage the deployment of new
technologies to efficiently serve these needs. By completing
the requirements to compete in the PJM RTO, Altairnano is
enabling energy storage technologies that can help to make
the electric grid smarter and more responsive.

Advanced Energy Storage Systems for Frequency Regulation