Kokam Co., Ltd, the world’s premier provider of innovative battery solutions, today announced that it has successfully deployed two Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide Energy Storage Systems (ESSs)—a 24-megawatt (MW) system / 9-megawatt hour (MWh) and a 16 MW / 6 MWh system—for frequency regulation on the South Korean electricity grid. The 24 MW system is the largest capacity Lithium NMC ESS used for frequency regulation in the world.
Operational since January 2016, the two new systems, along with a Kokam 16MW / 5MWh Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) ESS system deployed in August 2015, provide South Korea’s largest utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) [NYSE: KEP], with 56 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation. These three systems are part of the world’s largest ESS frequency regulation project, which is scheduled to have deployed 500 MW of battery-based energy storage when it is completed in 2017.
In addition to improving grid reliability, the Kokam ESSs will enable KEPCO to improve its operation efficiency by reducing its need for spinning power generation reserves. This will allow KEPCO to shift energy generation to lower cost, more efficient power plants and decrease “wear and tear” on all its power plants. For example, the three Kokam ESSs will deliver an estimated annual savings of US$13 million in fuel costs, providing fuel cost savings three times larger than the ESSs’ purchase price over the systems’ lifetimes. In addition, by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burnt for frequency regulation, the Kokam ESSs will help reduce KEPCO’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“Kokam specializes in the development of advanced battery technologies for the world’s most demanding Energy Storage System applications, including frequency regulation, which needs systems that deliver high power, fast recharge rates and long cycle lives,” said Ike Hong, vice president of Kokam’s Power Solutions Division. “Our Energy Storage Systems provide KEPCO with the performance it needs to precisely and cost-effectively regulate frequency on the South Korean grid, helping it ensure the stability of this grid, improve its operational efficiency and lower its greenhouse gas emissions.”
“In the U.S. and Europe, Kokam has already garnered recognition for its exceptional Lithium Ion battery technology.
Against stiff competition during the KEPCO frequency regulation project procurement process, Kokam proved its competitiveness after a comprehensive economical and technical analysis,” said Hwang Woohyun, Ph.D, KEPCO’s senior vice president, head of Innovative Energy Business Division. “Kokam’s 56 MW of Energy Storage Systems are making a major contribution to the stabilization of our grid, and we hope to continue to cooperate with Kokam to develop energy storage projects that improve grid reliability, lower our operational costs and reduce our environmental impact.”
Ultra High Power NMC Battery Technology
The new 24 MW and 16 MW Lithium NMC ESSs utilize Kokam’s innovative Ultra High Power NMC battery technology. Designed for high-power energy storage applications, such as frequency regulation, wind or large solar power system ramp rate control, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and voltage support, Kokam’s Ultra High Power NMC battery technology delivers:
Higher energy density: This higher density enables 2.4 MWh of energy storage to be installed in a 40 foot container, compared to 1~1.5MWh of energy storage for standard NMC batteries.
High power cycle life: Ultra High Power NMC batteries can last up to 10,000 cycles, compared to 3,000 – 5,000 cycles for standard NMC technologies, increasing an energy storage system’s expected life.
Better charge, discharge and max power rates: Ultra High Power NMC battery technology has charge, discharge and max power rates of 4C, 8C and 15C, compared to 2C, 3C and 4C for competitors. This enables Ultra High Power NMC systems to receive and dispatch more power when needed.
Improved heat dissipation: With a heat dissipation rate that is 1.6 times better than standard NMC technologies, Ultra High Power NMC batteries can be used at a higher rate for longer periods of time with no degradation in battery life or performance.
The systems also use Kokam’s KCE 40-foot container, which features a direct cooling design, in which the container’s Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system only regulates temperatures inside the system’s racks rather than the entire container. This results in 70 percent less air conditioning auxiliary load than standard containers.
“With some of the most innovative battery and other energy storage technologies on the market, 26-years of lithium-ion battery system manufacturing experience and 95 MW of energy storage system capacity in operation around the world, Kokam has positioned itself as a leader in the rapidly growing energy storage system market,” said Hong. “For applications such as frequency regulation, renewable energy smoothing, transmission and distribution investment deferral, demand response and peak load shaving, Kokam provides customers with advanced battery and other energy storage systems technologies that deliver superior performance at a competitive price.”
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!