ARENA, Victoria lead new work on household battery storage standards | RenewEconomy

ARENA, Victoria lead new work on household battery storage standards

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New program to design standards that will enable consumers to compare performance of household battery storage between different brands and manufacturers.

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Victoria government are leading a new program to establish standards for household and commercial battery storage to make it easier for residential and business customers to compare different storage options.

The Planned Australian Battery Performance Standard will be finance by ARENA and Victoria, but the consortium doing the work will be led by DNV GL – the world leader on certification – along with the Smart Energy Council, Deakin University and the CSIRO.

Australia is expected to lead the world on battery storage, as the more than 2 million homes and businesses that already have rooftop solar, and the millions more expect to install solar in the coming decade – look to battery storage to store excess output.

The take-up is going to be so significant that the Australian Energy Market Operator expects nearly half of all supply to come from “distribute energy” – including rooftop solar, battery storage and demand management – by 2040, if not earlier.

The problem with home and business customers is that while Standards Australia has introduced guidelines on safety and installation practices, there is still no way to compare different battery types.

“This work will be about performance,”ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht told RenewEconomy.

“So, if you are  trying to figure out what to buy you will be able to look at a 10kWh battery from one brand and compare it with another brand – in terms of cycles, depth of discharge, and kilowatt through-put rating.”

Frischknecht said the problem arose because there was a “bazillion” other features on a battery – but they were measured different by different manufacturers.

“What we are trying to get is to enable consumers and buyers to compare apples to apples,” Frischknecht said.

“It’s like buying a car – you might look at power, emissions, asnd torque, but you know it is measured same way between BMW, Mercedes and Holden. There is currently no equivalent for batteries.”

The role of battery storage is expected to grow rapidly in Australia as the costs of battery storage continue their dramatic fall, as grid prices remain high, and as feed in tariffs paid to excess output continues to be trimmed.

Around 17,000 systems were installed in 2017, but this number is expected to surge in 2018, and could reach more than one million in the early 2020s

The CSIRO will focus on developing testing protocols, Deakin University will explore battery capacity estimation approaches, and the Smart Energy Council will provide an interface with local industry stakeholders.

DNV GL will prepare a draft proposal for the standard, drawing on its extensive experience with equivalent standards elsewhere in the world and the insights from its battery test laboratories in the US and Europe, and will then put this to Standards Australia.

This process is expected to take about two years.

“The difficulty for consumers to make a well-informed choice presents a barrier to uptake of battery storage,” Frischknecht said in a statement.

“This project will give consumers a more informed choice and increased confidence in deciding to invest in home batteries and rooftop solar.

ARENA is contributing $1.4 million for the project, while the Victoria State Government has provided $500,000 via its New Energy Job Fund.

Lucy Craig, vice-president, Technology & Innovation for Energy, at DNV GL said storage is a vital component in the transition to a greener energy future.

,We look forward to building on these efforts to create a vibrant and lasting energy storage market for Australia,” she said.




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  1. Joe 2 years ago

    Comparing different batteries to be made easier is lovely to hear. Lets hope it works out better then trying to currently compare the different electricity offers from the electricity retailers. Standards Australia being involved doesn’t fill me with too much excitement …weren’t they the champion for ‘The Bunker’.

    • Barri Mundee 2 years ago

      Electricity comparison are as murky and designed to mislead as mobile phone plans used to be. How can they get away with that even; guess the answer is that the ACCC regards it as “legitimate business practice”.

      • Joe 2 years ago

        I see in my SMH newspaper today (10/7) that The ACCC is going after ‘Click Energy’ for…dodgy practice. Lets hope that this is now a message to all the energy retailer sharks to not make misleading and confusing offers.

        • David Klemitz 2 years ago

          Gaming retailers isn’t really the source of the problem but a symptom. The real gaming is taking place in the wholesale market.

          ‘Unacceptable’: Energy grid ‘gaming’ cost Australian consumers $3.4 billion.

          • john 2 years ago

            David look at Giles has been pointing out for over 5 years at least.
            It has got so bad that perhaps the dopey in parliament may actually follow the lead of the Qld Gov who told the generators to stop gaming the system and suddenly the retail price has gone down.
            No doubt the dopes who run the Fed will claim credit for this.

          • MaxG 2 years ago

            No word is invoked more frequently or more fervently by apostles of privatisation than efficiency. Yet this is a strange basis on which the neoliberals built their case, given the fact that public services are often more efficient than private ones.

            Taking your number, this means that every household got shafted by roughly $110 that year (assuming 30m households).

          • Joe 2 years ago

            Thanks for the link…The Energy Sharks are everywhere

  2. david H 2 years ago

    Is there a date when this is expected to be available??

  3. Ian 2 years ago

    Solar choice have been doing a sterling job of just what these agencies are proposing, trying to make sense of the different battery options, but hey, if the wheel is not perfectly round, then just throw money at it and reinvent it, right?

    • David Klemitz 2 years ago

      I think that is called Engineering.

      • Ian 2 years ago

        Reinventing the wheel is engineering? I think you are repurposing the saying to justify that profession! That’s a funny entandre, no doubt.

  4. Barry Alternative Fact Covfefe 2 years ago

    Battery capacity is measured in kWh, a very long standing standard. Cycles varies by chemistry but can be tested, discharge rate can also be tested or can be limited by the inverter/controller. Finally the percent remaining is already possible, its done in cell phone. If a particular battery does not have it as a built in feature that can be mandated by law. Also capacity loss over time is easily measured if designed into the battery/controller, another item that can be mandated if no one wants to provide it…

  5. IT67 2 years ago

    I’m going to look on the bright side with this proposal – you don’t even get a whiff of ‘standards’ authorities looking into things before they become effectively mainstream.

    This isn’t a comparison or tariff type scenario – this is a positive step forward for what many still regard as an ’emerging (or unproven, for the truly dumb) technology’ but will soon have comparable and verifiable standards applied to whatever rating system they come up with.

    First step to quantifying anything is measuring it 😛

  6. john 2 years ago

    As I see it.
    { the work will be led by DNV GL – the world leader on certification – along with the Smart Energy Council, Deakin University and the CSIRO.}
    So we have a world lead as well Deakin University and the CSIRO.
    My thoughts the last 2 mentioned will be totally across the assessment.

    Especially the CSIRO who have outstanding people who actually know the science they meets the gold standard of research.
    I am quiet happy with what every figures they publish especially with the CSIRO backing it.

  7. MaxG 2 years ago

    While this seems to be a good idea, I see an outcome similar of the star rating for appliances, where the manufacturers cheat on the numbers, like e.g. LG and others.
    One key factor for adoption is cost, and since we are still in the ‘innovator’ stage, maybe early adopters, it will take abit longer to become mainstream.

    I did the numbers on a Powerwall 2 for my daughter; avg 15kWh export/day, FiT 11 Cents, import 18 Cents; difference = 7 Cents multiply by 10kWh from the battery daily = 70 Cents benefit per day. 11k$ for the Powerwall, and we are looking at a ROI of 43 years!! Simply pointless, and I have neglected a range of additional costs also not accounting for dull days, making this back on the envelope calculation even worse.

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