The world’s first and China’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS) multi-mixed energy power station was recently completed and integrates wind (400MW), photovoltaic (200MW), concentrated solar power (50MW), and an energy storage system (ESS) (100MWh) into one system on the grid.
The first of its kind in China, the station coordinates three different renewables, with fluctuating sources of energy and is required to respond consistently to fluctuating demand, making its batteries and battery management system crucial to the reliability of the system.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), a China-based manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries overcame the requirements during product design and development stage and took merely 17 days to test and commission the BESS to the grid.
Huang Shilin, Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of CATL, said the station is a functional, centralised power plant integrated with an electrochemical energy storage system.
“Its technical reliability and affordability will promote further global deployment of different renewable energy applications.”
One of the key challenges of safety and performances that CATL and the industry face is thermal management.
The station is installed at Golmud where temperature varies from -33.6 to 35.5 degrees Celsius. To ensure 15 years of battery performance, CATL has deployed a cooling system that uses air passages and air flow designs to maintain a consistent cabinet temperature. A battery management unit will kick-in the battery cooling system as soon as it detects thermo concerns, while pre-stored electricity protects the battery from capacity loss or lithium plating caused by charging in cold temperatures.
In addition, the project has tough structural requirements, as Golmud lies in an active seismic zone, which calls for vibration and shock absorption. Rigorous testing and simulation were carried out to ensure the batteries are able to withstand a potential earthquake of magnitude 8.
According to Dr. Hui Dong, Chief Scientist of China Electric Power Research Institute, the station is “the world’s first and China’s largest electromechanical energy storage station with a virtual synchronous generator”.
The station has an expected annual electricity generation amount of 126,250MWh (equivalent to 401,500 tonnes of coal generated energy), and is expected to be a showcase of different new energy applications, thereby setting new standards and smart grid applications around the world.