How Do Energy Storage Systems Work?

It’s easy to think of a Battery ESS as just a battery. It’s really so much more. While the battery is a large component, the unit doesn’t just provide an alternative source of energy, it does so effortlessly and intelligently. It’s a solution above all else – paving the way for construction projects to work smarter, not harder. But how? Let’s break down the bells and whistles and look at how exactly a Battery ESS works:

What are the Components of a Battery Energy Storage System?

Despite its name, Battery ESS have many moving parts to encompass a full solution for construction projects. It’s primarily driven by software with an easy-to-use, plug-and-play set-up for user convenience while providing key insights into its overall performance. Its primary components include:

  • An advanced battery system using lithium-ion batteries with automatic charging and discharging functionality
  • Inverters and transcoders
  • Electric controllers and a software management system with remote service functionality
  • A fire suppression system
  • An air conditioner

Together, the unit not only accomplishes power demands but also solves common challenges faced by worksites. Collectively, this ensures a stable connection with even the most demanding loads and productive energy storage, drastically reduces diesel costs and eliminates disruption and noise pollution. Notably, in the case of AMPD’s Enertainer unit, it’s about 32x quieter than your average diesel generator.

How Do Battery Energy Storage Systems Work?

In its most basic form, Battery ESS works by capturing energy (input), storing it and working with the main grid or other renewable sources to output power. But not it’s just power – it’s reliable, robust power almost instantly.

In most cases, like the Enertainer unit, for instance, it utilises lithium-ion battery technology to make this possible. The battery system will draw power from the electrical bus or main grid (if available) to completely charge the battery and store the energy for later use. When there is a power demand, the systems will work together with the electrical grid to output emission-free, quiet and instant power.

This is possible using a connection cable from a power connection, electrical bus or main grid. If these are not available, then a small diesel generator can act as a supplement while still accomplishing significant carbon savings.

Unlike conventional diesel generators, systems like the Enertainer are mobile and can be connected within an hour or two. Better yet, the software allows for remote servicing, so there’s no need for disruptive site visits. Storing it in low ventilation areas (if required) is also no longer an issue with minimal or zero output of emissions. It’s safer, smarter and more easily manageable for users.

What is the Average Lifetime of a Battery ESS?

This largely depends on the type and application. The Enertainer is specifically designed to handle large loads in the tough working conditions of any construction project. Its software, and various temperature and humidity controls all contribute to an extended lifetime of over 10 years.

What is the Average Battery Life Cycle of a Battery ESS?

Usually, the storage system is constantly charging and discharging so there’s no “cycle” component like other rechargeable batteries. In other words, you wouldn’t just run the battery flat and replace it.

Because the lithium-ion batteries are constantly charging, it will rarely go under 90% of charge so if the unit is constantly charged then the batteries will never deplete. Some systems can allow the battery charge to go as low as 5% but this would be highly unlikely and definitely not recommended.

Charging the batteries 24 hours a day should omit any risk of depleting the battery. If not, in the case of the Entertainer unit, it can last for more than one working day operating equipment such as tower cranes or hoists.

How Does Maintenance Work?

Because the Battery ESS unit works primarily from software with minimal parts, maintenance is recommended every six months and can be performed remotely. This means, an off-site team are able to monitor performance of the unit, run analytics, troubleshoot and flag any problems before it affects the overall unit.

Do Battery ESS Units Have Safety Features?

Absolutely. In the case of the Enertainer, its most notable safety features includes:

  • Air conditioner
  • Fire Suppression System

ESS Air Conditioner Unit

One of the pitfalls of diesel generator units is over-heating and subsequent fire outbreaks. So, to combat this, the Enertainer includes state of the art air conditioner units to help regulate a safe, consistent temperature of the battery cell.

The cell temperature is enclosed by the battery module case so the battery cell will always be a higher temperature than the ambient temperature. Say the ambient temperature is 20-25°C, the battery cell temperature will likely be around 27-32°C. The air conditioners allow the battery cell to maintain a safe temperature to ensure it doesn’t tip into dangerous territory.

ESS Fire Suppression System

Fires happen for many reasons, but mostly it’s an electrical faults caused but short circuits, flying sparks, or over-heating, making something catch on fire as a result.

To combat this, ESS units like the Enertainer incorporates a multi-layered pre-emptive measure to flag any faults starting at the core battery cylindrical cell level. Each cell has a micro fuse set connected to it, so if the battery case ruptures or fails, the fuse will pop, disconnecting the cell from the circuit and prevent a fire.

The battery pack also contains a connected fuse that will pop in the case if it ruptures. These fuses or terminal points are also located on the circuit breakers and then on a full system level as well. There are multiple layers of protection to catch out any fault at the root of the cause to prevent a potential disaster.

Pave the Way for Smarter Construction. Get in Touch Today.

With years of industry experience, Blue Diamond Machinery is heavily investing in smarter alternative power solutions for construction and mining industries. Take the first steps to reduce your onsite emissions without compromising on productivity or reliability. Blue Diamond is ready to support your energy transition and help the construction and mining industry integrate into new technologies for a smarter operation. Get in touch with the team today.