US military eyes value of long-duration energy storage

US military eyes value of long-duration energy storage
(Image: ESS Technology)

Long-duration energy storage provider ESS Technology is to demonstrate its system at the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Contingency Base Integration Training Evaluation Centre in Missouri.

ESS Technology’s ‘Energy Warehouse’ long duration energy storage is a containerised turnkey solution for commercial and industrial and utility-scale users with an iron flow battery that can deliver up to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity.

The system has been commissioned at the R&D base, which is located at the Engineer Research and Development Centre in Fort Leonard Wood, and has been incorporated into the Center’s tactical microgrid.

GO DEEPER: Check out the Factor This! energy storage podcast playlist, including episodes on battery storage, long-duration energy storage, gravity storage, and more. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

There it has replaced a prototype storage system that had been initially deployed in 2016.

The aim is to demonstrate the role that long duration energy storage, specifically iron flow battery technology, can play in reducing fuel consumption at contingency bases such as forward operating bases or other temporary use locations.

“Flexible, long duration energy storage reduces total runtime on generators while increasing efficiency and allowing generators to last longer at forward operating bases,” said Tom Decker, Operational Energy programme manager at the Centre.

“Energy storage systems’ safe and resilient technology can dramatically reduce refueling logistics requirements and has the potential to assist in transition to renewable energy. We look forward to demonstrating to all service branches how incorporating an iron flow battery can increase resiliency in military power applications.”

Currently, most contingency bases are powered by diesel generators which continually adjust output to meet demand. Variation in output results in inefficient operation and increasing fuel consumption, while the delivery of the fuel also presents risks for personnel.

Thus, reducing the fuel demand at the bases reduces costs and emissions while also reducing unnecessary fuel resupply.

The tactical microgrid at the Evaluation Centre is used to simulate a variety of conditions experienced at contingency bases in the field and will demonstrate the opportunity for energy storage to optimise diesel generator performance.

It is expected that the addition of the long duration energy storage should enable generators to operate at peak efficiency, with diesel consumption reduction by up to 40%.

Originally published by Jonathan Spencer Jones in Smart Energy International.