Energy Storage Systems Explained: Powering Your Business into the Future

Today, solar power is an obvious choice for sustainability officers and technical managers who recognise its savings amid our current energy crisis. What’s less obvious – but as crucial – is energy storage systems. In fact, McKinsey believes Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) could reduce energy costs by up to 80% in public infrastructure, commercial buildings, and factories, particularly as most solar PV systems cannot run without the grid.

Energy storage solutions are increasingly popular; globally, the energy storage systems market is poised to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8.4% from 2022 to 2030. Energy storage systems allow businesses to take control of energy costs and adopt an efficient and forward-thinking approach to managing one of the modern world’s most vital resources in an unpredictable economic landscape. 

What’s Included:

  • What is an Energy Storage System?
  • Where Energy Storage Makes a Difference
  • What Is The Best Solution for Energy Storage?
  • What Is The Most Efficient Energy Storage System?
  • Exploring Leading Energy Storage Systems in Africa
  • How Energy Storage Systems Add Value to Your Business

What is an Energy Storage System?

An energy storage system stores energy for later use, including battery, thermal, gas-to-power, and pumped hydroelectric storage technologies, for periods when less energy is available and becomes more expensive. It supports renewable energy integration, mitigates the intermittency of sources like solar and wind, and provides additional support to the local or national grid. 

Where Energy Storage Makes a Difference

Island Microgrids 

Island microgrids are decentralised electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently from the larger national power grid. They are termed “islands” because they can function in isolation, providing power to a defined geographical area, such as an actual island, a remote community, or any isolated locale where connecting to a larger grid is impractical or expensive.

Adopting a solar-powered microgrid with an integrated energy storage system on an isolated island can significantly reduce reliance on diesel generators. This shift cuts costs and emissions and stabilises the energy supply. Further, even embedded within a larger network, the ability to separate from the grid ensures that local businesses, like manufacturing plants, can operate without interruption.

Weak Grids

In regions with unstable power infrastructure, energy storage can be a game-changer for energy operations. These storage systems capture and store excess energy during peak production periods to smooth out the inconsistencies of a weak grid or compensate for limited capacity. Ultimately, the result is a reliable power source that supports both ongoing projects, greenfield building developments and the greater sustainability of the energy network. 

High Costs

For businesses contending with peak energy tariffs, an energy storage system offers a strategic tool for demand management. It allows companies to use stored energy during peak periods instead of buying more expensive power from the grid (during Peak Time of Use periods) or investing in costly infrastructure upgrades, resulting in significant cost savings and a smarter approach to energy management. 

What Is The Best Solution for Energy Storage?

The best solution for energy storage is one that balances efficiency, scalability, and sustainability. It should offer the flexibility to integrate with energy sources and provide reliable power for various commercial and industrial applications. A solution that emphasises rapid deployment and modular design also allows for tailored configurations to meet specific energy needs.

What is the Most Efficient Energy Storage System?

The most efficient energy storage solution optimises energy use and reduces waste, incorporating advanced management systems for real-time control and optimisation. Efficiency also hinges on the system’s ability to integrate various energy sources, ensuring that stored power is utilised during peak demand or when other sources are unavailable. 

Solutions that support various power options and feature capabilities like remote monitoring also contribute to greater operational efficiency and cost savings.

Exploring Leading Energy Storage Systems in Africa

When selecting a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), discerning businesses should look for reliability, versatility, longevity and cutting-edge technology. The right BESS should streamline integration with existing energy infrastructures and offer the flexibility to grow with your evolving energy demands. 

What sets SustainStorage, a division of Sustainable Power Generation (Pty) Ltd, apart is its proprietary technology, which allows for the seamless integration of energy sources with battery storage. This means businesses can efficiently store and deploy excess energy, reducing reliance on traditional energy sources and cutting operational costs.

Polarium AEG

SustainStorage’s Polarium NMC and AEG Power Conversion System pairing is a tier 1, high-density, reliable energy storage solution designed to address power quality issues and facilitate a smooth transition to and from the grid, delivering exceptional performance, power quality management and streamlined integration. This turn-key, AC-coupled Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) offering is adept for all off-grid, grid-connected and islandable (to operate separately from the grid at will) configurations. 

Designed in Sweden and assembled in Cape Town, the Polarium battery module, in harmony with the AEG inverters, is not only engineered for ease of disassembly and robust durability but also set the standard for eco-efficiency in lithium-ion technology with the lowest carbon footprint of all lithium-ion batteries. Polarium batteries stand out for producing the least amount of CO2 per kWh, making them the most environmentally friendly option in the market. Specifically, the NMC Battery Pack offers 0.017 kgCO2-eq per kWh of energy throughput. However, integrating recycling practices reduces the carbon footprint to 65 kgCO2-eq./kWh (nameplate capacity), lowering the throughput impact to 0.014 kgCO2-eq./kWh of throughput.

Polarium’s commitment extends beyond product innovation to embracing Science-Based Targets, aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030. This pledge reinforces its dedication to sustainability, further supported by a robust end-of-life recycling program. Polarium also sets the industry benchmark for fire safety, providing the highest level of protection available with its unique propagation protection system (PPS), ensuring that it leads the way in environmental stewardship, safety, and reliability. 

ATESS-IES

The LFP IES and ATESS Power Conversion System from SustainStorage is a robust backup energy storage solution. It is especially effective during load-shedding situations, providing an exceptional market-leading 8000-cycle life and guarantee. 

This system, built with IES battery modules, is a cost-effective solution suitable for various energy applications beyond the immediate need for load shedding. It is specified for longevity, so multiple use cases can be leveraged long after load shedding has subsided. This also highlights the importance of working with SustainStorage, a dedicated, R&D-driven integrator, to ensure the battery modules operate in a perfect environment and appropriate oversite to support the module guarantee. 

How Energy Storage Systems Add Value to Your Business

SustainStorage’s energy storage systems aim to equip businesses for the future with their integrated modular designs, which offer the flexibility to scale effortlessly alongside your growing energy demands. Each battery room is a security fortress featuring air conditioning, dust proofing, fire detection and suppression, and monitoring to safeguard your power reserves. The insulated, custom-built containers are designed to optimise energy use and the longevity of such a critical asset.  

Moreover, our in-house engineering expertise ensures an efficient selection and integration of diverse battery technologies, equipping your business with a resilient and future-proof energy solution tailored to your specific need, risk and time horizon.

The advantages continue: 

  • Scalable Storage: High Voltage (HV) battery racks easily connect in parallel, supporting expansive energy storage needs.
  • Customised and Insulated Containers: A-grade ISO containers are transformed into sophisticated, turn-key systems. Enhanced with insulation, unistruts, and craftsman-level cabling, they’re equipped for harsh conditions and feature air conditioning to maintain optimal operating temperatures.
  • Efficient and Resilient: Our systems ensure operational efficiency and resilience with 24/7 monitoring and real-time energy management. Quick installation and seamless integration with renewables cut costs and dependency on fossil fuels.
  • Advanced Fire Safety: Each unit has a comprehensive fire detection and suppression system, using a salt-based agent to interrupt the chemical chain reaction, ensuring safety without damaging equipment or leaving residue.
  • Tailored to Extreme Climates: Designed to withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and equipped with air quality filters, our containers ensure the longevity and reliability of the internal equipment.
  • Smart Design: Containers are partitioned into battery and inverter rooms with controlled temperatures and air cycling. They feature fire-resistant insulation and are equipped with LED lighting, ensuring safety and ease of maintenance.
  • Guaranteed Quality: SustainStorage provides a 2-year Workmanship Warranty, extendable with a comprehensive Service Sales Agreement. This warranty demonstrates our commitment to reliability and customer satisfaction and offers total peace of mind by reducing risk and the lifetime cost of ownership.

At SustainStorage, we provide containerised battery energy storage systems applicable to both off-grid and grid-tied energy storage applications such as back-up, peak shaving, energy shifting, and frequency regulation. 

We help commercial and industrial businesses function seamlessly despite load-shedding, allowing you to layer revenue generation and further cost savings beyond revenue loss or diesel avoidance.

Stay tuned to find out about future exciting technology pairings from SustainStorage. 

Contact us to take the first step.