Grid Storage Battery Testing

Similar to electric vehicles (EVs), the massive energy storage systems required for grid-scale applications need to operate for an extended 10+ years of life and withstand many thousands of cycles. Arbin provides battery test equipment for cells, strings/modules, and packs of all sizes to meet the demands of stationary storage applications ranging up to 1MW in power.

View of an electric substation at night

Arbin Industry Highlights

  • Battery test equipment for energy storage applications
  • Discharge performance, endurance cycling, energy efficiency metrics, and more
  • State-of-the-art regenerative circuitry designed for high-voltage/high-power applications
  • Multiple testing solutions to provide thermal safety while testing

Energy Storage Systems and the Power Grid

Reliable energy storage systems benefit the power grid by supplementing peak capacity requirements and the use of micro-grids or distributed energy storage. Grid storage system operators must ensure that the grid has enough energy to meet demand during peak times. A battery energy storage system (BESS) that collects energy and releases it as needed can serve as a backup during peak usage. This eliminates the need to increase overall energy generation capacity to accommodate extreme demand.

Distributed energy storage allows smaller, more efficient power distribution networks at a local scale using microgrids. These microgrids can function autonomously or as part of a larger power grid system. They require sources of energy generation (typically renewables like solar and wind) and large battery packs to store the energy. Distributed energy storage systems:

  • Provide support for renewable energy generation
  • Allow frequency regulation and improve power quality
  • Load shifting so power can be stored when costs are low and discharged when costs are higher
  • Provide backup power during outages.

Read more from NREL.

GRID STORAGE BATTERY TESTING Benefits of Grid Energy Storage
Renewable Energy Mega Solar Panel

Battery Testing for Grid Storage Applications

Batteries are the critical component in energy storage systems that determine performance under specific operating conditions. It is important for batteries to provide enough energy for the load, temperature conditions, and duration they will experience during their useful life. Battery manufacturers provide general specifications for their cell or module performance, but these need to be evaluated in combination with application-specific parameters.

Typical performance indicators will include discharge performance under various conditions, peak discharge current, internal resistance, endurance cycling, energy efficiency metrics, and more. These metrics will serve as a baseline performance comparison for different types of batteries being evaluated for a grid storage system.

Regenerative (Back-to-Grid) Testing

Arbin users state-of-the-art regenerative circuitry for all high-voltage/high-power applications. Energy storage systems for grid-scale applications commonly need to be tested at 100s of kW. Arbin’s regenerative “RBT” test equipment provides a range of 2.5kW to 1MW of power. High-efficiency circuitry and power density minimize the cost of operation compared to similar equipment.

  • Power Factor > 0.99
  • Regenerative Efficiency > 92%

The fully integrated, turn-key system from Arbin provides better performance and safer operation compared to rack-mounted e-load + power supply solutions.

  • Control Accuracy < 0.05$ (industry-leading)
  • Multiple Current Ranges per channel
  • Current Rise Time < 10ms
  • Synchronized data logging at 10ms
  • Optional auxiliary inputs are fully customizable by the user and can be flexibly mapped with main I/V channels in any configuration. All data is integrated into a single Arbin database.

Thermal Safety and Arbin’s Battery Test Equipment

Thermal safety is a key factor that can affect battery stability and safety. Grid storage systems are often located outdoors and are thus exposed to the elements and changes in weather and ambient temperature. Arbin has created an innovative new temperature chamber for testing individual cells known as the “MZTC” Multi-Chamber.

This cell-isolating battery test chamber isolates each cell or pair of cells (depending on cell size and amperage) to create a safer test environment and maintain greater temperature stability. Each of the 8 mini-chambers offers a unique temperature setpoint and is thermally isolated from the others to prevent thermal run-away or cascading failure events. Arbin’s MZTC battery test chamber also makes connections and interfacing with cells easy.

Arbin also has the option to interface with a variety of third-party temperature chambers from other manufacturers. The software is compatible with most major chamber controller models around the world, so the Arbin tester can automatically turn the chamber on and off, and adjust the temperature during the test.

Grid energy storage systems will become more and more widely adopted when the safety of the system can be assured. Battery test equipment must help determine the parameters within which batteries can operate safely while also maintaining a safe test environment.

Arbin MZCT Multi-Chanmber

Arbin MZTC Battery Test Chamber

Grid Storage Testing Safety with Arbin Instruments

Arbin systems have multiple layers and redundant safety features to help ensure a failsafe test environment. With Arbin’s testing solutions, you have precise control over safety limits for an entire test, specific steps in the test, and several AI-controlled safety monitoring limits designed by Arbin’s expert engineers. Arbin also uses an exclusive high-power distributed control network that manages a greater number of high-efficiency modules so they last longer and are easier to maintain.

The Arbin Advantage for Electric Vehicle Battery Testing

At Arbin, we understand the vital role energy storage plays in our everyday life - and its importance to our future. This is why we work hard to provide the best service and testing equipment as a tool for both research and industry. Arbin’s state-of-the-art technology, powerful and flexible software, data capabilities, auxiliaries, and support are all part of the Arbin advantage. Learn more about the benefits of Arbin Instruments’ solutions.

Grid Storage Battery Testing with Arbin

Learn more about Arbin’s test equipment and features for energy grid storage battery testing and start creating your complete Arbin battery testing system today.

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