What is a battery? According to Wikipedia it is: A device that produces electricity by a chemical reaction between two substances. Nothing unusual about that, right? Well, let’s take a trip off the beaten path of what we would, normally, think about batteries and glean some information regarding what is considered one of the largest batteries in the world. Its home is in China and it is the size of a building larger than a football field and is capable of storing 36 megawatt-hours of electricity. To put that in perspective, that is enough energy to power a whopping 12,000 homes for 60 minutes during a complete power failure. It’s up and running at a solar power and wind farm in Zhangbei, China.
More Details, Please!
This energy storage system was constructed to the tune of $500 million and incorporates arrays of batteries that are reported to be able to increase the area’s renewable energy efficiency by upwards of 10%. Thousands of batteries are linked up in sequence to deliver the total power storage of 36MWh.
The batteries, themselves, are very similar to lithium-ion phosphate type batteries that are designed for electric cars that are more common in other parts of the industrialized world. Interestingly, West Virginia’s AES Corporation uses a 32MW system that uses car—type batteries, as well.
How Does It Work?
At this point we have ventured into a realm vastly beyond power inverts as seen on Don Rowe. The battery array is not a stand-alone battery but is connected to 140 megawatts of wind and solar power generation projects in addition to a smart-grid transmission system. A visionary concept, of this magnitude, reflects China’s push towards a smart-grid system that is capable of generating renewable energy during accommodating weather conditions and then storing the excess energy in the battery array to be used when energy-generation slumps occur.
Other Massive Batteries Exist:
Aside from West Virginia’s 32MW system, Alaska, boasts of a 40MW battery system, but the difference lies with the Alaskan battery being capable of delivering 40 Megawatts for a mere 7 minutes which equates to approximately 4.5 Megawatts for an entire hour. The monstrosity in China can deliver 36 Megawatts for one hour—quite impressive!
The battery in Alaska is stored in a warehouse in Fairbanks to provide electricity to that city in the event of a blackout. Temperatures can plummet to -51 degrees Centigrade and the 40 megawatts of power would keep more than 10,000 people warm for a maximum of only 7 minutes. The good news is, during that 7-minute lull, diesel generators could be started up to restore power which would be vital since water pipes can freeze in that part of the country in only two hours.
Regarding China’s battery, the Deputy Director of China’s National Energy Administration states: “The goal is to provide a stable solution for transferring vast amounts of renewable electricity safely to the grid on an unprecedented scale.” And unprecedented it is, though other nations will, most likely, be following in hot pursuit since China’s project remains an intriguing test-bed for the rest of the world to study and emulate.
It is a wonder that Karen is not a retired author in Nebraska, rather she is a former teacher. She clearly has a natural talent for writing, and could captivate any reader’s attention, even if she wrote about wagan inverters.