ZBB unveils building energy storage for behind the meter

ZBB Energy has developed a building energy storage system with hybrid applications – from battery cover for a few seconds to several hours

US energy management systems company ZBB Energy has launched an energy storage system for behind-the-meter applications in commercial, industrial, multi-tenant and resort buildings.

The Agile Hybrid Series can provide buildings with 10 or more different applications for energy storage, ranging from very short UPS-type applications lasting seconds or minutes, to ‘rate or demand shift’ applications lasting several hours and backup applications for longer term outages.

ZBB said the frequency at which the battery is discharged can range from many short cycles per day for applications such as frequency regulation or renewables firming, to a single extended cycle during the day as required for ‘smart export’ or ‘peak shaving’.

The hybrid storage system combines ZBB’s C&I flow battery platform with storage technologies to meet building requirements.

Commenting on the behind-the-meter technology, Brad Hansen, president and COO of ZBB Energy, said: “ZBB begins the design of nearly all our energy storage systems for the C&I market with the Agile Flow battery because it is ideally suited to applications that require discharge times greater than 2 hours.

“These applications form the backbone of most C&I opportunities where high financial return is possible, taking large amounts of energy from distributed generation or from the grid and moving it within the building from one time period to another, or delivering out to the grid when the utility needs it.”

Residential hybrid energy storage

In January 2015, ZBB announced it would ship and commission the first large commercial hybrid energy storage system consisting of flow batteries and a Li-ion module to a multi-tenant residential building in Hawaii.

The system, configured with (2) ZBB’s EnerStore V3.3 flow batteries and Li-ion has since been commissioned and signed-off by the customer, providing “validation of ZBB’s system design and control capability”, said Mr Hansen.

Energy storage lifespan

In the 20-year life of storage equipment, C&I building owners will experience a number of utility tariffs, reliability and security changes that could render the storage equipment less economical and even obsolete, said Hansen.

To tackle this, ZBB’s has developed a proprietary Auto-Sync DC-Bus technology that can be re-optimized to maximize its cost effectiveness.

ZBB will begin shipping Agile Hybrid Li-ion in the fourth quarter of the year.