Batteries and Pressure’s Role in Solar & Wind Power

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Batteries and Pressure’s Role in Solar & Wind Power

In discussions about renewable energy, especially non-technical discussions, one of the key aspects is usually forgotten: the need for batteries – a lot of batteries.  In real world systems, batteries must store the surplus energy generated when the sun shines and the wind blows for use when they do not. While there is ongoing research into different battery chemistries, today’s most common battery for renewable energy systems, especially off-grid solar power systems, is a variation of the venerable lead-acid design commonly used in cars. These batteries provide backup power today for medical telecommunication, utility, security and other applications where a power disruption would cause major problems.

The most advanced types use a valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) design, for wet cell (flooded), gel and absorbed glass mat (AGM) technologies. Since they are sealed, the hydrogen generated from the negative plate and the oxygen generated from the positive plate must be regulated to avoid being lost to the atmosphere. This is accomplished through an internal self-sealing safety vent that is typically in the 3 to 10 psi range. While the regulation does not require pressure sensors in the application, pressure sensors are used in the research and development phase to verify that the design will work as promised in a variety of conditions for their design life of 20 years at 25°C.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Battery

The 1,096 ampere-hour (Ah) 48V AGM battery for an off-grid 4,590 kW solar system weighs 563*8 = 4,504 pounds (2.25 tons).

 

Grid-scale Energy Storage System unveiled by GE Power in 2018

Grid-scale Energy Storage System unveiled by GE Power in 2018
Source: GE Power on Inside Climate News.

 

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