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Magazine5 Min

Green power supply enhanced with X-Pact® Battery Storage

Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) designed as an integral part of operational infrastructure

Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) have been developed to store electrical energy and make it available on demand. BESS can be used in a variety of applications, including grid energy storage, used to balance supply and demand, integrating renewable energy sources, and providing backup power during outages.

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are a crucial component of green power supply technology, as green steel production requires an entirely new energy infrastructure. BESS can be particularly useful in managing energy loads and costs, as steel production is energy-intensive and can benefit from the ability to store excess energy generated during off-peak times for use during peak demand periods. Additionally, the integration of BESS with renewable energy sources is becoming increasingly important when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint of steel production facilities.

The X-Pact® Battery Storage system represents the forefront of BESS solutions – advanced, reliable, modular, and scalable. It is perfectly suited to any energy management strategy and adaptable to a variety of environments. This adaptability is a key factor in ensuring a rapid return on investment.

Modularity and flexibility

X-Pact® Battery Storage is available as either a containerized or non-containerized system. It offers a variety of power conversion system brands, enabling an optimal configuration in terms of power sizing, voltage level, and DC section. As a tailor-made solution, the system provides significant benefits, including reduced deployment time, streamlined commissioning procedures, and simplified maintenance. Moreover, X-Pact® Battery Storage incorporates comprehensive safety and environmental procedures to mitigate and manage failures in battery technology.

The integration of X-Pact® Battery Storage units into a production facility's power supply can significantly enhance the reliability of the entire production complex. They are able to react quickly to power fluctuations and boast a compact design that simplifies installation. Using either new batteries or second-life batteries with very large storage capacities, they provide emergency power or reactive power, offer an autonomous energy supply, support area networks, and optimize the supply using self-generated electricity.

Enhancing power transmission performance

BESS technology enhances performance at every stage of the power transmission chain from start to finish. At the production stage, BESS helps to maintain a balanced generation profile, effectively circumventing the need for costly upgrades to grid infrastructure. By smoothing out the peaks and troughs of energy production, these systems ensure a more consistent and reliable flow of electricity.

Moving along to the transmission and distribution level, BESS proves invaluable in creating a smarter grid. It achieves this by enabling a more precise alignment of energy supply with demand, thus enhancing the overall efficiency of power distribution networks. This precise matching is crucial in minimizing energy losses and maintaining grid stability, especially given the variable nature of renewable energy sources.

Finally, at the end-user level, BESS technology significantly bolsters energy management. By optimizing the self-consumption ratio, BESS allows consumers to make the most of the energy they produce, reducing dependency on the grid. Moreover, it enhances reliability by providing backup power during outages, and improves overall energy efficiency. This leads to both cost savings for consumers and a reduction in the environmental impact of energy consumption, making BESS a cornerstone of sustainable energy practices.

From lab to fab

LUX Automation GmbH, a fully-owned subsidiary of SMS group, has inaugurated its first battery energy storage laboratory in Hilchenbach, Germany. This facility is dedicated to developing the X-Pact® Battery Storage solution, which is set to become an integral part of the operational infrastructure for plants within SMS group’s portfolio. The laboratory also focuses on developing grid-supportive services and on testing both batteries and power conversion systems (PCS).

SMS group's BESS laboratory in Hilchenbach

The initial test setup includes an industrial storage rack equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery cells and a silicon carbide inverter (SiC). Despite the lower energy density of LiFePO4 cells compared to other chemistries such as nickel manganese cobalt oxides (NMC), they have a longer lifespan, reduced ecological footprint, and lower fire risk. The inaugural test rack is engineered for 2C discharging and charging cycling rate, providing high power density.

The PCS employs the latest in semiconductor technology – silicon carbide (SiC). This new wide bandgap material allows for faster switching frequencies, higher efficiencies, and more compact devices due to its smaller gate capacities and higher reverse voltages. The installation's extinguishing system utilizes modern aerosol agents, while the reversible HVAC system maintains the batteries' operational temperature range.

A battery management system (BMS) interfaces with the PCS, and the entire setup is remotely connected to a high-level controller (power management system, or PMS), capable of both manual and automatic operation. Operators can interact with the system via a dedicated HMI webpage.

X-Pact® Battery Storage

SMS group's BESS laboratory in Hilchenbach will be instrumental in refining its proprietary controller architecture and in evaluating the performance and longevity of both current and emerging battery technologies. As process electrification garners more attention from SMS group’s customers, this lab will serve as the foundation for a tailor-made battery energy storage solution and related grid support services. Ultimately, it will help customers secure a more sustainable and efficient power supply for their production facilities.

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