Grid Energy Storage Systems

Grid Energy Storage Systems

”Peak Lopping” or “Peak Shaving” are terms used to describe electric power management systems which “lop off” the top of a user’s exceptional peak power consumption curve, either by restricting the amount of power he uses or by supplying the peak requirements from an alternate source.

Domestically, peak lopping refers to the first approach where non-critical loads are shed or delayed (dish washers, washing machines) to prioritise the consumers’ preferences (lighting, heating, cooking).

Industrially, peak-shaving invariably refers to the provision of an alternate power source of which there are many choices, depending on the application.

In either case, the motivation for this kind of equipment is either economical (the utility penalises consumers who exceed a given rating – sometimes by charging up to 100 times more per kWh) or practical, the normal supply simply cannot provide more power.

A special case of the latter can be found in solar farms not connected to a power grid such that each passing cloud might necessitate the (brief) activation of an alternate source (e.g. a diesel generator-set).

In general terms, whatever the motivation for peak “lopping” or “shaving”, the technology falls into the category of power regulation in networks increasingly supplied by intermittent resources such as wind and solar power.

The principle of Thycon power electronics for grid energy storage and peak lopping is the use of inverters coupled with DC Energy storage. A battery is the usual storage system but alternatives are also possible.

Unlike an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), the full power does not flow through the system but directly to the intended load. The Grid Energy Storage System / Peak Lopper operates in parallel and assists the source when the demand exceeds its capacity.

Thycon’s long experience of energy storage and high-power uninterruptible power supplies together with the latest generation of peak lopping inverters makes Thycon a key supplier of regulation equipment to the energy industry.


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