Growth in the deployment of wind and solar renewable energy sources is promoting a need for energy storage to stabilise the output during rapid changes in wind speed or solar input. This applies more acutely in smaller networks, rural networks, and systems that are disconnected from the public network such as remote telecommunications sites. Many forms of energy storage can be employed. For large networks, pumped hydroelectric schemes are highly effective and compressed air has also been used. For smaller networks and isolated sites, battery energy storage is favoured. Lead‒acid and a number of other chemistries have been deployed in large demonstration batteries. There are also opportunities for battery energy-storage in smaller applications with photovoltaic systems, both for off-grid and for grid-connected systems where reducing feed-in tariffs render local storage an attractive proposition. The relative economics of different energy-storage systems will be discussed and it will be shown that lead‒acid batteries are well suited to this type of application. Various designs of lead‒acid battery for grid and telecommunications (particularly so-called ‘extreme telecommunications’) applications will be described together with ways by which the competitive position of lead‒acid batteries in this sector can be improved.

Geoffrey May
FOCUS Consulting

Biography: Geoffrey May gained his first and second degrees at from the University of Cambridge and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials and Mining and a Chartered Engineer. He has been a prominent member of the battery community for many years. Geoffrey was Group Director of Technology for Hawker Batteries (now EnerSys); then Chief Technology Officer for FIAMM. For the past ten years, he has provided consulting services to the industry as FOCUS Consulting.

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