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A look at some of the main applications of an Energy Storage System

In South Africa, the word load-shedding is a common phenomenon with it being implemented since 2007. Mitigating load-shedding has been a serious challenge with figures showing that the power cuts in 2022 have more than doubled compared to 2021. The intensity has encouraged an appetite for the installation of energy generation equipment.

While the Utility and Independent Power Producers are working on a solution for a reliable energy supply, technology developments within the energy sector are advancing rapidly to further aid in the country’s energy crisis.

The energy storage market has been applying various methods towards energy management with applications such as peak-shaving, load shifting and, in less complicated applications, load-shedding protection or back-up power being used. Commercial operations and production lines are heavily affected by power outages resulting in significant losses and down time.

While load-shedding protection is the main application in South Africa at the moment, applications such as peak-shaving and load shifting are being applied simply because of the after effects of having little energy security as well as the increase of energy cost.

Peak-shaving is a strategy used mainly in the commercial and industrial sectors for avoiding high demand charges by reducing power consumption during high demand periods. This can be achieved by shutting down equipment but does require a battery or alternative power generation system in most cases. The power requirement is shifted to the battery after carefully monitoring energy consumption for short periods of time to avoid a spike in consumption.

Load shifting is an energy management strategy used to reduce loads by shifting consumption from the grid entirely during peak times. The battery is discharged during peak times, when energy is most expensive, to be recharged during more cost-effective time periods. The battery required would be sized to carry the entire load. In contrast to peak-shaving, load shifting does not use less electricity but rather the same requirement at a more affordable time.

An effective Energy Management System makes this possible while also providing a service such as Energy Arbitrage. This service is utilized in markets where there’s a difference in energy tariffs based on location at different times. Energy is stored during low cost tariff periods to be resold when the price is high.

Battery Storage Systems and its various applications is currently playing a monumental role, and will continue to do so in renewable energy storage technology for the foreseeable future. It provides utilities and IPP’s with with long and short term solutions towards the current global energy crisis.

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