Design Principles for Green Energy Storage Systems
Grid-scale energy storage systems represent a potential solution for several grid applications such as renewables integration and transmission and distribution upgrade deferral. The integration of these technologies into the grid can lead to different environmental outcomes. System characteristics that influence outcomes include renewable penetration, the existing grid power mix, and electricity demand characteristics. New frameworks are required to provide a robust way to assess the environmental impacts and key trade-offs that emerge when considering energy storage options to inform design and technology selection and improve sustainability performance of the grid. To achieve this, we develop fundamental green design principles specific to grid-connected energy storage, coupled with a systematic and robust sustainability assessment algorithm to inform decision makers, designers and operators. These principles address key issues such as material sustainability, service life, and environmental performance of grid generations’ assets. An algorithm is developed to deploy the design principles of energy storage systems that meet various grid applications. This process takes into account the service that the energy storage would provide. Energy storage applications range from distributed power for built environment to large scale energy storage applications such as renewables integration, ancillary services, time shifting, electric supply capacity, renewable energies capacity firming and micro-grid capability. Each application has specific requirements. For example, ancillary services require bulk capacity in order to keep power system quality, reliability and security (Eyer and Corey 2010). In this algorithm, the potential alternatives (including energy storage) are screened to satisfy performance requirements and sustainability criteria in meeting a specific application. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methods are applied to evaluate environmental sustainability performance. Vanadium redox fellow batteries (VRFBs) utilization in an off-grid configuration is analyzed as a case study to demonstrate the application of selected principles.