Australian energy storage solutions company, Ecoult, is conducting ‘wind smoothing’ research at the Hampton Wind Farm in the Blue Mountains in hope of simplifying the integration and supporting higher proportions of renewable energies.
The research involves the application of Ecoult’s UtlraBattery energy storage technology, alongside trials of smart algorithms which utilise weather pattern history to prepare the storage system in advance for weather conditions. This maximises the potential of the storage system, and makes it more economical.
“Although wind energy is reasonably predictable, it is significantly variable. This presents a major hurdle to integrating it into the regular electrical grid to be accessed by the public,” Ecoult CEO, John Wood, said.
“The way to overcome the challenge of variability is to smooth fluctuations in the generation of energy, called ramp rates, ensuring a more useful supply of power is presented to the grid by moderating the inevitable peaks and troughs in wind output.’
The Hampton Project is essentially aimed at transforming the way in which renewable energy is used worldwide.
“The over-arching objective of this research is to achieve higher penetration of wind and renewable energy in grid systems so eventually we can transition to a renewable energy based economy,” Wood said.
Additionally, Ecoult is looking to make its technology cost-effective to increase its take-up among large-scale firms, which will thus make it a more mainstream option.
The Hampton project has received funding from the Australian government’s Department of Environment and Climate change in New South Wales, and has been given a grant from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.