Today, operators are continuously juggling supply and demand, but BESS makes significant inroads with lightweight, high-energy, modular systems that can have hours' worth of storage times.

FREMONT, CA: Electrical energy storage has been an important area of debate in many industries. It is probably in electrical grids and related applications that electrical energy storage and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are the most important.

Energy storage has now been an essential part of our industrial society. The most widely cited example, the Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) battery, which facilitated the personal electronics change in the early 1990s and the first industrial Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the 2010s, has recently extended into the power grid. It helps improve the generation of renewable energy and increase the competence of transmission and distribution.

The goal for grid operators is to offset their carbon footprint and step away from the just-in-time existence of the electricity grid. Currently, operators are continuously juggling supply and demand, but BESS makes significant inroads with lightweight, high-energy, modular systems that can have hours' worth of storage times. It also reacts rapidly to changing levels of demand.

How is BESS Employed in the Grid Today?

Today, BESS constitutes less than 5 percent of the overall portion of the electric grid. However, it is rising fast, and Li-ion chemistry is dominant as the technology of choice for various energy storage applications. This is due to their high energy density and smaller size and weight, contributing to more versatility and ease of installation. But to say the Li-ion BESS is acceptable would be untrue. Li-ion batteries are notorious, especially in terms of protection.

This aspect is a concern not to be taken lightly when it comes to large-scale energy storage applications such as power grids.  Other problems facing Li-ion include life-cycle and end-of-life, but a lot of time, commitment, and money is being put into Li-ion to make them stronger, last for thousands of cycles, and recyclable. Significant advancements in battery science allow researchers to achieve transformative energy-spanning efficiency and power density, expense, lifespan, charging/discharge cycles, and capacity.

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