Mobile battery storage system helps to power country town


A new energy storage system developed by researchers from the University of Adelaide and industry partners is now successfully supporting the electricity network for the country town of Cape Jervis, South Australia.

University of Adelaide researchers, in collaboration with SA Power Networks and system supplier, PowerTec, have been working on the battery storage system over the past three years.

The new, world-class system is part of a $3.65 million trial led by the University.

The project is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on behalf of the Australian Government with $1.44 million in grant funding.

The battery and specialised control system reduces peak load of the local substation and stabilises the electricity network area.

The system can also support a small number of nearby customers in the event of an outage.

The trial is aimed to test how an energy storage system can integrate and perform with existing energy infrastructure.

“This technology is novel because the mobile battery energy storage system’s operations are now completely autonomous,” said Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

“If an outage occurs, our mobile battery system automatically runs a range of safety checks before providing back-up power to nearby houses until the main grid is restored.

“This feature means that residents can also share residential solar power with neighbours during an outage..

According to Associate Professor Ertugrul: “This autonomous battery system has many unique and advanced features. We can monitor the system and intervene if necessary, but the system can operate safely in all kinds of situations without the need for any operator instructions.

“It also allows us to understand the technology under real operating and weather conditions, and gives us the potential to create a knowledge base for industry and system developers.”

The commissioning of the energy storage system was welcomed by the South Australian minister for energy and mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, as an example of how energy storage can be help make our system more affordable and reliable.