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SAFT's Sol-Ion Project Overview: How energy storage will be used to

Clean Energy will be the driving force that will change our energy sources during the coming decade. An energy mix coming from wind, solar and renewable energy fit the scenario perfectly. Of all the renewable energy technologies, PV energy is perhaps the most promising. This is the purpose of the SAFT Sol-Ion Project. The Sol-Ion partnership seeks to develop an integrated kit for conversion, storage and management of PV energy, suitable for production on an industrial scale for decentralized on-grid, residential PV systems. This project is introducing Li-ion batteries into PV systems on the largest scale ever tested in Europe. Li-ion technology is required in order to meet the need for 20 years battery life under demanding cycling conditions.

Since the project is extremely complex and it will encompass and affect not just one country but the entire Europe, the project objectives have to be clearly defined. The objective simply stated is to Provide the European industry with high value technical solutions in order to offer new services to producer/consumer and to grid operator. In line with the project objective, the project will involve the simulation of energy management strategies that will measure their benefits and the impact to the grid. The economical viability of the project and the value added for storage will be demonstrated. An integrated modular and innovative product affecting energy conversion will also be developed. Finally, a large field demonstration will be implemented deploying a total of 75 systems.

The Sol-Ion Project is a joint project by French and German industries the purpose of which is to jointly develop and implement a competitive and innovative PV energy system that will provide added value for all who are affected. The following are the project partners:

  • Saft Global Coordinator; Lithium-ion energy storage development
  • Voltwerk- System development Energy conversion and management; Coordination & Deployment in Germany
  • Tenesol System development Energy conversion and management; Deployment in France
  • INES System modelling
  • Fraunhofer System functionalities, grid connection issues and economical assessment
  • ISEA System modelling and inverter studies
  • ZSW Field demonstration: data acquisition and analysis
  • EON Sites selection and grid connection

How will energy storage be used to benefit grid and solar integration? The Sol-Ion system consists of: Grid Inverter, Li-ion battery (5 to 15kWh, 170 to 350V), battery converter, energy management system with control operating mode and battery charge, discharge control and battery safety control. This system will provide power inflow to the PV panels, the battery, the house (or industry) and the grid. The system will shift any excess of the power produced at noon time, so that it will be available for use in the evening. This system will maximize self-consumption and will be the forerunner of the movement toward autonomous energy in homes, buildings, provide back-up energy and do grid injection of any excess power. Lastly, The Sol-ion project will also provide an insight into the use of energy storage for demand side management, especially with regards to peak shaving and its integration within future smart grid developments.

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