Real-time simulation and data analytics for grid-scale energy storage applications in the Southeast

B. Taube, R. Johnson, P. Leufkens, C. Thompson, A. McQuilling
Southern Research,
United States

Keywords: energy storage, data analytics, grid modeling, stacked benefits


Southern Research, with support from EPRI, the Department of Energy, the State of Alabama and Southeast (SE) regional electric utilities, is developing a new Energy Storage Research and Test Center (ESRC) focused on serving the Southeastern United States; one of the facility’s core competencies will be in the area of data analytics and grid modeling through a partnership with Acelerex. Modeling grid environments, integrating energy storage systems (ESS) using hardware-in-the-loop (HIL), emulating dynamic and steady-state grid and ESS behavior in real-time, applying advanced data analytics and supercomputing represent fundamental capabilities of the evolving ESRC. The energy storage application research proposed for this facility entails the testing of energy storage technologies at the Southern Research facilities, as well as demonstrating a broad range of use cases of the technologies. There are many labs globally that conduct energy storage cycle testing and safety testing. In contrast, the approach of Southern Research is to focus on and specialize in technical application testing, which is currently done by relatively few entities globally, representing a significant unmet need in the sector. There are three key parts where the Acelerex software infrastructure will support this specialization: grid analytics, software supported energy storage systems testing and providing a software architecture for this analysis. Grid analytics will be used to identify where energy storage can play a role more effectively than other technologies. The grid analytics would be facilitated with cloud computing to offset server hardware and cyber security costs of lab-run supercomputers. In addition and simultaneously to grid analytics, hardware testing of energy storage will be performed at the southern research facilities. This testing would include energy storage use cases and operation of the technologies to the energy storage use cases, as well as baseline system characterization. The additional value of the software architecture as proposed is the ability to test energy storage systems to duty cycles that are derived from stacked services of energy storage rather than traditional cycle testing of individual energy storage modules or conducting a single duty cycle test. The Southern Research strategy is to adopt a software architecture that will facilitate multi energy storage unit testing with parallel use case duty cycles demonstrations of the energy storage systems providing stacked services. The software architecture is designed to cost optimize the hardware investment costs in the lab and displace hardware investments with software emulations of the hardware. Hardware investment costs would be directed to need to have systems such as the individual storage technology types where software emulation can be used for systems that the energy storage optimize.