Storing electricity in the cloud
How can storage best be operated? How can the integration of renewable energies into the supply grid be supported? The “green2store” project will research these issues. The aim is to unite decentralised storage systems in a virtual cloud and make them accessible.
Cloud computing, the storage of data in a virtual cloud, has now become established in the computer world. A consortium of energy, IT and communications technicians is now adapting this principle to the energy world. Together with various partners, the EWE project coordinator is developing and testing a so-called Energy Storage Cloud during the next four years as part of the “green2store” research project. Decentrally distributed storage capacities from different operators are hosted together, centrally administered and then made available to different players in the energy sector.
The energy storage cloud in field tests
“Just like with an IT cloud, the idea is to log onto an Energy Storage Cloud and access a storage system as required,” says Dr Magnus Pielke, the project head from EWE, in describing the cloud. Several distributed storage systems are hosted together to form a virtual large-scale storage system in the cloud. This enables storage capacities from different players (graphic) to be simultaneously used in a much more effective manner – and irrespective of the location of the individual storage systems. “A homeowner, for example, could register his photovoltaic system in the cloud as a storage system,” says Dr Pielke.
Using a so-called cloud box, the storage systems are connected in advance to the information and communications technology. As part of an inter-regional field trial, 13 selected battery storage systems in Oldenburg, Stuttgart and the Rural District of Heilbronn are being connected together to form a virtual, large-scale storage system. The communication and control systems will then be tested. The bundled usage should enable a substantially greater utilisation of the storage systems.
Network meeting of the Energy Storage Funding Initiative
The “green2store” research project is running for four years and has a total volume of more than nine million euros. It forms part of the “Batteries in Distribution Networks” (“Batteries in Distribution Networks”) flagship project within the funding initiative and is being funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Among others, the “green2store” project was presented at the first networking meeting of the funding initiative, held in January 2013 in Bonn. The event focussed on the two energy storage research flagship projects “Wind-Wasserstoff-Kopplung“ (“Combined Wind-Hydrogen”) and „Batterien in Verteilnetzen“, whereby the most important aim was to network the players in order to accelerate innovations in energy storage research and their implementation in practice.