T&D World Magazine
UniEnergy

Advanced Vanadium Flow Battery Provides Containerized Multi-Megawatt 'All in One' Solution

UniEnergy Technologies has announced commercial availability of the Uni.System grid-scale energy storage system. 

The Uni.System is modular, factory-integrated (including power conversion), and "plug & play," comprising five 20' standard containers requiring only a concrete pad and interconnection that provide 500kWAC of power for four hours, with power up to 600 kWAC and energy up to 2.2 MWhAC.

"Utilizing a new generation of vanadium electrolyte initially developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Grid Storage Program, with double the energy density and much broader operating temperature range, the Uni.System is a breakthrough product," said UET President & CEO Gary Yang. "In addition to all the advantages of traditional vanadium redox flow batteries, such as superior safety, unlimited cycle life, long duration, and full use of the battery from 0 to 100% state of charge, the Uni.System is fully containerized including for the first time at grid-scale integrated electrolyte tanks, field-proven large-scale stacks, and optimized controls and power electronics.  The UET solution is rugged and versatile, built for enhanced reliability and minimized maintenance, with a flexible system design enabling multiple and concurrent power and energy applications delivering maximum value to customers."

With the ever-growing adoption of renewables such as wind and solar to meet portfolio standards and develop a clean energy future, the challenges of integrating these intermittent resources into the grid are escalating. Examples are solar in California, Hawaii, and Italy, and wind in the Pacific Northwest and Germany.  The Uni.System provides the buffering capabilities – both short and long duration – to integrate renewables effectively with the grid.

Energy storage is also critical to smart grids, similar to how data centers are key to the internet.  The Uni.System, with its operational flexibility, provides the full range of power and energy functionality required to support the operation of the Smart Grid.  That same "all-in-one" capability of the UET system, combined with its broad temperature tolerance (-40oC to 50oC/-40F to 120F), suits it to reliably supporting microgrids in diverse locations and settings.

In addition to the demands placed on utilities by renewables, smart grids, and microgrids, utilities must provide resiliency, such as after the impact of Sandy on New York and the eastern U.S.  And they face a complex business environment regardless of location.  Distributed generation, the shift to digital loads,  loss of system inertia, and optimizing return on infrastructure investments both past and present are among the challenges.

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