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BESS: Active Energy Management Solutions

The expansion of renewable energy and the global trend towards efficient use of energy has increased interest in energy storage solutions, especially battery storage systems. Reading this article will help you understand these systems and the benefits of using them.

Author: Andrey Solovev

The expansion of renewable energy and the global trend towards efficient use of energy has increased interest in energy storage solutions, especially battery storage systems. Reading this article will help you understand these systems and the benefits of using them.

How BESS works

A battery energy storage system (BESS) is a complex solution that utilizes rechargeable batteries to store energy for later use. The type of BESS is related to electrochemistry or the battery it uses; such systems can use lithium-ion, lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, sodium-sulfur, and flow batteries. Energy storage system (ESS) is a broader term that may rely on various technologies other than batteries, such as hydroelectric power, flywheels, compressed air, and more.

To understand what a BESS is and how it works, it helps to look at its structure and core elements:

Battery

Electrical energy, provided from different sources such as solar, wind or power plants, is converted into chemical energy during battery charging. The energy released by the battery during discharge can power homes, vehicles, commercial buildings and the grid. The battery consists of battery cells, which can be arranged to form battery modules, battery packs and battery boxes.

Battery Management System (BMS)

The BMS guarantees the safe and correct operation of the battery. Each type of battery has specific charging and discharging conditions. The BMS ensures that the battery remains within the required current, voltage and temperature ranges. The BMS monitors battery parameters and estimates its remaining charge (SOC) and state of health (SOH), ensuring reliable and long-lasting battery performance.

Power Conversion System (PCS)

BESS uses a power conversion system to convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and vice versa. When the battery is charged, alternating current flows in from the mains and is converted to direct current. When the battery is discharged, DC power is produced, which is then converted back to AC power required by the BESS application.

Energy Management System (EMS)

EMS is a control unit of a battery energy storage system. The EMS manages the power available in the BESS, ie when, why, and in what amount power is accumulated or released. EMS combines the individual elements of BESS and optimizes its overall performance.

security system

There can be a series of safety systems, each responsible for a specific task. For example, the HVAC system enables the BESS to maintain the desired temperature and humidity through HVAC. Fire protection systems can detect smoke and prevent fire accidents.


Figure 1: Typical BESS structure. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

What can BESS do?

Every year, battery energy storage systems power thousands of homes, businesses, factories and communities around the world. These systems vary in size and storage capacity.

For example, the Tesla Powerwall has a usable capacity of 13.5 kWh, a compact device that provides uninterrupted power to a home. The Vistra Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, with a total capacity of 1,600 MWh, is the largest BESS in the world, providing electricity to 300,000 homes.

Despite the differences in size and capacity, BESS can implement similar functions and solve similar problems. Let’s look at a case where battery energy storage can come in handy.

Renewable Energy Integration

BESS efficiently utilizes solar and wind energy at any time and in any weather. Rechargeable batteries can store excess energy produced by intermittent renewable energy sources. Afterwards, these energies can be dispatched according to the user’s needs.

When integrated with battery energy storage solutions, renewable energy can replace fossil fuels, providing cheap and clean energy for diverse applications. Renewable energy integration is widely used to:

・ Solar and wind farms
• Off-grid and isolated communities (islands and hard-to-reach areas).
・Home energy storage devices (eg Powerwall) combined with solar panels.

In addition to supporting off-grid systems, BESS can significantly support grid-connected and hybrid solutions for residential, commercial and industrial use.


Figure 2: Battery energy storage systems are widely used in solar and wind farms. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

energy arbitrage

There is a positive correlation between electricity demand and its cost. Electricity prices increase during periods of peak demand and decrease when demand falls. Consumers can use battery storage systems for energy arbitrage (aka time shifting).

Consumers can charge batteries at low cost during off-peak hours and use BESS to store power. They can then wait until electricity prices increase to discharge the batteries to use low-cost electricity or sell it to the grid.

As a result, households and businesses can efficiently manage electricity resources and cut their costs.

load management

Electricity consumption varies throughout the day and varies seasonally, resulting in peak and off-peak hours. BESS allows users to adjust their power consumption freely during these periods, saving electricity costs.

Power peak shaving is one of the most common use cases in BESS load management, which focuses on reducing power consumption during peak hours. In addition, consumers can reduce their electricity bills like energy arbitrage.

Battery energy storage solutions help avoid peak loads on the grid and therefore also avoid blackouts and other emergencies. By releasing stored energy, BESS can reduce the load on the grid and provide uninterrupted power.

black start

BESS assists power stations and grids to quickly restore power after a power outage. Instead of using diesel generators, consumers can use battery energy storage systems, which are a lower cost and more energy efficient black-start solution. BESS operates independently of grid transmission lines and supplies power for as long as needed, from minutes to hours.

backup power

BESS powers homes, businesses and other facilities to keep them running. This is critical for healthcare facilities and other organizations that provide health and safety-related services. Depending on the storage capacity, the BESS can provide backup power for as long as needed, even in the event of a severe grid failure.

Frequency and Voltage Control

If the power supply cannot keep pace with its actual needs, the frequency and voltage may exceed its operating limits. This can lead to loss of power and blackouts. BESS ensures grid and power system stability by regulating voltage and frequency. Due to the fast reaction time of battery energy storage systems, they can be an effective grid balancing solution.

Microgrid

These small grids, when connected to a larger grid, can supply power to commercial buildings, manufacturing plants or communities. Autonomous microgrids can power remote areas and communities such as islands. When combined with BESS and integrating renewable energy, microgrids can serve as a resilient power system for multiple users.


Figure 3: Microgrids can serve as resilient power systems for remote areas and communities such as islands. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

Transmission and distribution delays

Transmission and distribution (T&D) lines are prone to aging and depreciation due to peak loads and congestion. A battery energy storage solution can act as a T&D asset to solve this problem. BESS provides additional energy storage capacity and balances loads, which can save significant money by deferring existing T&D line upgrades and building new infrastructure.

Best Applications Using BESS

BESS relies on affordable technology, for example, the price of lithium-ion batteries has dropped by nearly 90% over the past 10 years and will fall further. Battery energy storage solutions are available in a wide range of configurations, offering different energy storage capacities and sizes, making them suitable for many industries and applications.

These applications can be divided into pre-meter (FTM) applications, which are utility-scale systems (the power consumed is measured by the meter); and post-meter (BTM) applications, which provide power that can be used in the field (the power consumed cannot be connected to grid, and therefore cannot be measured by the meter). The following is a list of BESS applications for FTM and BTM (obviously not a complete list).

Pre-meter application

For the operation and maintenance of utility-scale facilities and equipment, battery energy storage systems can make a considerable contribution. BESS provides reserved capacity and black-start service, enables voltage and frequency stability, and saves money by deferring maintenance. FTM BESS applications include:

・ Utility grid
・ Substation
・ Transmission and distribution lines
・ Power station
・ Post-meter application

BTM systems can bypass the grid to supply power to consumers. Together with green energy, BESS sustainably supports independent power systems or microgrids. Manufacturers can use battery energy storage to store backup power to avoid production facility downtime. Companies and households can use BESS to dramatically reduce electricity bills through energy time transfer. BTM battery energy storage systems can be used for the following purposes:

・ Industrial and manufacturing plants
・ Enterprise
· family
· electric car
・ Marine system


Figure 4: BESS application. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

Does it make sense to build a BESS?

The short answer is: it makes sense. If you want to answer in detail, some clarification is required.

There is no doubt that buying a ready-made BESS saves a lot of time, and sometimes a lot of money. If there are no special requirements for the system, an out-of-the-box solution can be selected from a large number of energy storage products on the market. Even so, there are several reasons that may deter consumers from buying, including:

・ Specific customer requirements, including business segment needs and working conditions
・Lack of required functionality or unnecessary functionality increases the cost of the system
・Incomplete system and lack of supporting equipment
・ Poor software quality
・ No warranty and post-warranty maintenance

Building a battery energy storage system can be a tedious process that requires time, money and expertise. But then there is the opportunity to create a highly customized solution that fully meets all the needs of the end user.

A customized BESS can provide better functionality, usability, security and network security. Implementing advanced BMS algorithms will enable users to improve battery performance and extend its lifespan. And develop custom solutions that optimize technical support, customer service, and other services required by end users or BESS suppliers.

To design a high-quality BESS requires a team of professionals proficient in battery technology, power electronics, embedded software and hardware development. Scheduling and coordinating every stage of a product from design to certification and manufacturing is critical. Hiring engineers with relevant expertise and experience can help create a mature battery storage system that meets customer expectations.

That said, custom products are not a panacea. A custom BESS should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and for some projects a complete solution is most appropriate. For an in-depth comparison of custom and off-the-shelf BESS products, read the long article on battery energy storage systems on the Integra Sources LLC blog page. Readers can learn about various battery technologies and characteristics, major BESS manufacturers, alternative energy storage systems, and other relevant details from this article.

Author: Andrey Solovev

The expansion of renewable energy and the global trend towards efficient use of energy has increased interest in energy storage solutions, especially battery storage systems. Reading this article will help you understand these systems and the benefits of using them.

How BESS works

A battery energy storage system (BESS) is a complex solution that utilizes rechargeable batteries to store energy for later use. The type of BESS is related to electrochemistry or the battery it uses; such systems can use lithium-ion, lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, sodium-sulfur, and flow batteries. Energy storage system (ESS) is a broader term that may rely on various technologies other than batteries, such as hydroelectric power, flywheels, compressed air, and more.

To understand what a BESS is and how it works, it helps to look at its structure and core elements:

Battery

Electrical energy, provided from different sources such as solar, wind or power plants, is converted into chemical energy during battery charging. The energy released by the battery during discharge can power homes, vehicles, commercial buildings and the grid. The battery consists of battery cells, which can be arranged to form battery modules, battery packs and battery boxes.

Battery Management System (BMS)

The BMS guarantees the safe and correct operation of the battery. Each type of battery has specific charging and discharging conditions. The BMS ensures that the battery remains within the required current, voltage and temperature ranges. The BMS monitors battery parameters and estimates its remaining charge (SOC) and state of health (SOH), ensuring reliable and long-lasting battery performance.

Power Conversion System (PCS)

BESS uses a power conversion system to convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and vice versa. When the battery is charged, alternating current flows in from the mains and is converted to direct current. When the battery is discharged, DC power is produced, which is then converted back to AC power required by the BESS application.

Energy Management System (EMS)

EMS is a control unit of a battery energy storage system. The EMS manages the power available in the BESS, ie when, why, and in what amount power is accumulated or released. EMS combines the individual elements of BESS and optimizes its overall performance.

security system

There can be a series of safety systems, each responsible for a specific task. For example, the HVAC system enables the BESS to maintain the desired temperature and humidity through HVAC. Fire protection systems can detect smoke and prevent fire accidents.


Figure 1: Typical BESS structure. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

What can BESS do?

Every year, battery energy storage systems power thousands of homes, businesses, factories and communities around the world. These systems vary in size and storage capacity.

For example, the Tesla Powerwall has a usable capacity of 13.5 kWh, a compact device that provides uninterrupted power to a home. The Vistra Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, with a total capacity of 1,600 MWh, is the largest BESS in the world, providing electricity to 300,000 homes.

Despite the differences in size and capacity, BESS can implement similar functions and solve similar problems. Let’s look at a case where battery energy storage can come in handy.

Renewable Energy Integration

BESS efficiently utilizes solar and wind energy at any time and in any weather. Rechargeable batteries can store excess energy produced by intermittent renewable energy sources. Afterwards, these energies can be dispatched according to the user’s needs.

When integrated with battery energy storage solutions, renewable energy can replace fossil fuels, providing cheap and clean energy for diverse applications. Renewable energy integration is widely used to:

・ Solar and wind farms
• Off-grid and isolated communities (islands and hard-to-reach areas).
・Home energy storage devices (eg Powerwall) combined with solar panels.

In addition to supporting off-grid systems, BESS can significantly support grid-connected and hybrid solutions for residential, commercial and industrial use.


Figure 2: Battery energy storage systems are widely used in solar and wind farms. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

energy arbitrage

There is a positive correlation between electricity demand and its cost. Electricity prices increase during periods of peak demand and decrease when demand falls. Consumers can use battery storage systems for energy arbitrage (aka time shifting).

Consumers can charge batteries at low cost during off-peak hours and use BESS to store power. They can then wait until electricity prices increase to discharge the batteries to use low-cost electricity or sell it to the grid.

As a result, households and businesses can efficiently manage electricity resources and cut their costs.

load management

Electricity consumption varies throughout the day and varies seasonally, resulting in peak and off-peak hours. BESS allows users to adjust their power consumption freely during these periods, saving electricity costs.

Power peak shaving is one of the most common use cases in BESS load management, which focuses on reducing power consumption during peak hours. In addition, consumers can reduce their electricity bills like energy arbitrage.

Battery energy storage solutions help avoid peak loads on the grid and therefore also avoid blackouts and other emergencies. By releasing stored energy, BESS can reduce the load on the grid and provide uninterrupted power.

black start

BESS assists power stations and grids to quickly restore power after a power outage. Instead of using diesel generators, consumers can use battery energy storage systems, which are a lower cost and more energy efficient black-start solution. BESS operates independently of grid transmission lines and supplies power for as long as needed, from minutes to hours.

backup power

BESS powers homes, businesses and other facilities to keep them running. This is critical for healthcare facilities and other organizations that provide health and safety-related services. Depending on the storage capacity, the BESS can provide backup power for as long as needed, even in the event of a severe grid failure.

Frequency and Voltage Control

If the power supply cannot keep pace with its actual needs, the frequency and voltage may exceed its operating limits. This can lead to loss of power and blackouts. BESS ensures grid and power system stability by regulating voltage and frequency. Due to the fast reaction time of battery energy storage systems, they can be an effective grid balancing solution.

Microgrid

These small grids, when connected to a larger grid, can supply power to commercial buildings, manufacturing plants or communities. Autonomous microgrids can power remote areas and communities such as islands. When combined with BESS and integrating renewable energy, microgrids can serve as a resilient power system for multiple users.


Figure 3: Microgrids can serve as resilient power systems for remote areas and communities such as islands. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

Transmission and distribution delays

Transmission and distribution (T&D) lines are prone to aging and depreciation due to peak loads and congestion. A battery energy storage solution can act as a T&D asset to solve this problem. BESS provides additional energy storage capacity and balances loads, which can save significant money by deferring existing T&D line upgrades and building new infrastructure.

Best Applications Using BESS

BESS relies on affordable technology, for example, the price of lithium-ion batteries has dropped by nearly 90% over the past 10 years and will fall further. Battery energy storage solutions are available in a wide range of configurations, offering different energy storage capacities and sizes, making them suitable for many industries and applications.

These applications can be divided into pre-meter (FTM) applications, which are utility-scale systems (the power consumed is measured by the meter); and post-meter (BTM) applications, which provide power that can be used in the field (the power consumed cannot be connected to grid, and therefore cannot be measured by the meter). The following is a list of BESS applications for FTM and BTM (obviously not a complete list).

Pre-meter application

For the operation and maintenance of utility-scale facilities and equipment, battery energy storage systems can make a considerable contribution. BESS provides reserved capacity and black-start service, enables voltage and frequency stability, and saves money by deferring maintenance. FTM BESS applications include:

・ Utility grid
・ Substation
・ Transmission and distribution lines
・ Power station
・ Post-meter application

BTM systems can bypass the grid to supply electricity to consumers. Together with green energy, BESS sustainably supports independent power systems or microgrids. Manufacturers can use battery energy storage to store backup power to avoid production facility downtime. Companies and households can use BESS to dramatically reduce electricity bills through energy time transfer. BTM battery energy storage systems can be used for the following purposes:

・ Industrial and manufacturing plants
・ Enterprise
· family
· electric car
・ Marine system


Figure 4: BESS application. (Image credit: Integra Sources LLC)

Does it make sense to build a BESS?

The short answer is: it makes sense. If you want to answer in detail, some clarification is required.

There is no doubt that buying a ready-made BESS saves a lot of time, and sometimes a lot of money. If there are no special requirements for the system, an out-of-the-box solution can be selected from a large number of energy storage products on the market. Even so, there are several reasons that may deter consumers from buying, including:

・ Specific customer requirements, including business segment needs and working conditions
・Lack of required functionality or unnecessary functionality increases the cost of the system
・Incomplete system and lack of supporting equipment
・ Poor software quality
・ No warranty and post-warranty maintenance

Building a battery energy storage system can be a tedious process that requires time, money and expertise. But then there is the opportunity to create a highly customized solution that fully meets all the needs of the end user.

A customized BESS can provide better functionality, usability, security and network security. Implementing advanced BMS algorithms will enable users to improve battery performance and extend its lifespan. And develop custom solutions that optimize technical support, customer service, and other services required by end users or BESS suppliers.

To design a high-quality BESS requires a team of professionals proficient in battery technology, power electronics, embedded software and hardware development. Scheduling and coordinating every stage of a product from design to certification and manufacturing is critical. Hiring engineers with relevant expertise and experience can help create a mature battery storage system that meets customer expectations.

That said, custom products are not a panacea. A custom BESS should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and for some projects a complete solution is most appropriate. For an in-depth comparison of custom and off-the-shelf BESS products, read the long article on battery energy storage systems on the Integra Sources LLC blog page. Readers can learn about various battery technologies and characteristics, major BESS manufacturers, alternative energy storage systems, and other relevant details from this article.


"The expansion of renewable energy and the global trend towards effici…