In May I attended a solar and storage conference. This was put on, jointly, by the Australian Solar Council and the Energy Storage Council, and the two conference streams ran in parallel. I only attended the talks at the solar stream, but one of the main things I took away from the conference was that most of the discussion in the solar conference focused on storage technologies and options. While I think this may be a symptom of solar tech having been talked to death in some ways (how many different ways can you talk about irradiation and price predictions), battery and storage technologies, and how they can interact with solar installations are clearly hot topics in Australia at the moment.
The Energy Storage Council announced that they had recently released an Australian Battery Guide, which is a Guide for the sale, design, installation and stewardship of Energy Storage Systems (ESS):
“This guide specifies general requirements for design and installation of all ESS, including those connected, and not connected, to a power distribution system and those that are not connected to a power distribution system.”
It’s a 16 step guide, which looks at key terminologies and concepts, configuration considerations, associated risks and hazards, housing and enclosure considerations, installation and labelling recommendations, and commissioning and maintenance recommendations. It also highlights the absence of applicable Australian standards relating to storage, and the importance of addressing this going forward.
It also looks at the various functions that storage plays and the benefits that can be realised by the consumer. Some installation types listed include:
- UPS systems
- Grid connected systems
- Offgrid systems
In addition, it lists the following as benefits associated with battery storage:
- Load Shifting
- Tariff Optimisation
- Load Support or Demand Reduction
- Renewable Export Mitigation
- Network Support
Going forward, the Energy Storage Council indicated that they will be putting together a location database of storage systems, to provide information that is important for policy makers, decision makers, utilities and emergency services (such as fire response teams, who may need to know about the location and nature of battery installations). They mentioned that they have a working prototype, but it seems clear that there is quite a lot of work (and data aggregation) to be done before this becomes a useful and functioning tool.
In addition, they indicated that they will be putting together a battery product white list. This will look at international testing processes, to ensure that batteries installed in Australia are tested rigorously. This is important in the absence of local standards governing the type of batteries installed, and the nature of the installation.