With the onset of a global shift towards renewable energy generation, usage, and distribution, the energy sector as a whole has to engineer and manage a workable and holistic approach that will not either disrupt the current supply of on demand energy in the market nor price energy so high that it puts many individuals and business out of reach of their energy requirements. Renewable energy and energy storage has the ability fulfill the entire worlds energy needs however there are a lot of changes, investments, and technology improvements that must be implemented before this can happen. Lets look at the current energy situation in regards to renewable energy vs other energy sources so we can begin to understand what, where, and how our energy is made. This will enable us to have a better understanding of how we can transition to new and cleaner sources of energy production, generation and distribution.
Energy Production Today
How Renewable Energy and Fossil Fuels Compare – the 2 largest consumer markets compared
US Energy Consumption by Source & Sector 2020
Safest and Cleanest Energy Sources Compared
How Stationary Energy Storage Can Reduce CO2 Emissions in EV’s?
Energy Storage Systems will provide the Best Reduction of CO2 Emissions if the Energy is Generated from Clean Energy Sources…
One of the largest energy usage & CO2 emissions culprits today is in transportation. We are consistently seeing more and more automotive companies (passenger vehicles) opting for electrifying their entire fleets by 2035. This transition puts an extremely large amount of pressure on energy generation & distribution industries to get these new vehicles charged. Currently the grids in most if not all countries are not adequately sized for the entire automotive industry to transition to electrical/battery operated vehicles via those lines. Again, its important here to remember that this energy transition can be done, but if rushed or engineered improperly the entire transportation, electrical generation, and transmission industries could suffer severe setbacks. It would also potentially lead to lower economic performances in those countries not able to keep up with the energy generation and distribution needed for the vehicles in question to be adequately charged.
Below are some of the upcoming energy demands that are going to be put on the grid. Based on the data below, even in 2040 only about 1/2 of all global passenger vehicles are expected to be non ICE (internal combustion engine). As the number of EV increases, along with that the number of EV charging stations should also increase, which constitute a considerable charging impact on the grid from which the supply is taken.
As time passes EV charging will most likely move towards level 2 and 3 or direct DC as this provides the fastest charging times. Technology will also begin to catch up in regards to both the battery lifecycle and the C-Rate with the ability for charging to be done in less than 3 minutes.
New EV’s Expected on the Market to 2040
Other Charging Level/Methods
Note, there is some information within the EV Charging level community that states the following EV charge sizing:
- AC Level 1 – up to 1.92kW
- AC Level 2 – up to 19.2kW
- DC Level 1 – up to 48kW
- DC Level 2 up to 400kW
As noted in the diagram above, Level 3 charging (or DC Level 2) can be upwards of 350kW or more for under 10 minute charges. If we begin to add up the number of vehicles needing this type of charging capability we realize the extreme pressure put on the existing power grid to achieve this. One way to help buffer the upcoming grid instability is to build Stationary Energy Storage infrastructure used to buffer some of the voltage and frequency spikes that the grid experiences with large intermittent loads. Energy storage at the same time will be used to capture unused solar and wind resources that are unused during their peak generation times. This has always been a barrier to renewable energies playing a wider role (such as wind and solar) entering the larger energy market. Today’s stationary energy storage devices can often discharge upwards of 95% of their overall energy value. They can also currently last 5000 cycles or more at 1C (charge rate). Lower C rates will allow longer life times. With the development of better battery materials including separator materials, LFP battery cells could last upwards of 100,000 cycles in years to come. When that day comes, the value of this technology in the energy market will become vividly apparent to those in the energy industry (probably 50,000 cycles would suffice).
PV Carports, Energy Storage and EV Charging
The combination of Carport installed PV, EV’s, and BESS will allow for many grid instability issues to be resolved. Having generation and usage put so close together is a much more effective and efficient way to use energy. Transportation of electricity via the grid often carries significant losses like in the above diagram (US Energy Consumption by Source & Sector 2020). Generation, Storage, and Charging can all be happening in one place. Example of common application locations are:
- Office Building Parking Areas
- Shopping Centers
- Park & Recreation Areas
- Commercial /Industrial Centers
- EV Dealerships
- Paid Parking Lots
- Schools & Higher Learning Facilities
The advantages to those that uptake this new combination of technologies will have the following benefits and more:
- Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
- Modular & Scalable EV Charging
- On-Grid & Off Grid EV Charging Potential
- Enables EV Charging at Almost Any Location
- Reduces Voltage and Frequency Spikes
The subject of energy storage both in Electric Vehicles and Stationary applications is a complex one at best. The lack of overall investment in the technologies for so long has put the industry farther behind than we hoped. The good news is that great progress has and is being made towards an industry that allows for a cleaner and less polluted transportation industry.
Some of the things the industry has to continue to improve are:
- The Grid for larger and more efficient transmission of renewable power
- Reduce the emissions of mining in the LFP battery industry
- Reduce the use of heavy metals in the battery technology (for example Cobalt)
- Create a battery recycling program for all the EV’s coming into the market, they can’t go the the landfill
- Increase the safety in the battery technology. Less fires
- Increase the energy density and cycle life of the battery tech
- Reduce the cost of the battery
- Improve the EV tech for extreme cold and hot weather climates
- There are many more
Other EV charging information can be found at: