China First High-Capacity Sodium-ion Battery Energy Storage Power Station

  • 2024-05-15 16:35
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Recently, China's first large-capacity sodium-ion battery energy storage power station, Volin Sodium-ion battery energy storage power station, was completed and put into operation in Nanning, Guangxi. This is a demonstration project of the national key research and development plan "100 megawatt-hour sodium-ion battery energy storage technology", and through independent innovation, sodium-ion battery technology is applied to large-capacity energy storage power stations for the first time. The operation of the project marks a key breakthrough in large-scale energy storage engineering technology for sodium-ion batteries.

The overall technology of self-developed large-capacity sodium-ion battery energy storage systems is internationally leading

Overlooking the Volin sodium ion battery energy storage power station from the air, the silver line of the tower pulls the power energy, which gathers into the white and green lattice square composed of neatly arranged battery pods and converter pods. After this energy storage device was put into operation, the large-capacity sodium-ion battery energy storage technology with independent intellectual property rights also realized the first application in power engineering.

In the main control building of the power station, technicians monitor the energy storage plant equipment in real-time through the electronic large screen. "Through the large screen, we can see the real-time parameters of the operating equipment of the energy storage power station. Through the connected line, the energy storage power station can intelligently participate in power peak balancing, achieve flexible storage and release of new energy electricity, and send clean electricity to thousands of households

The power station is invested by Guangxi Power Grid Company of China Southern Power Grid, and the current production scale is 10 MWH. Different from the conventional electrochemical energy storage power station, the power station uses a new self-developed large-capacity sodium-ion battery energy storage technology, which is the first time in China.

Gao Like, deputy general manager of the Innovation Management Department of Southern Power Grid Guangxi Power Grid Company, introduced that since November 2022, Guangxi Power Grid Company has undertaken the research task of the sub-project of the national key research and development Plan "Integration technology and application demonstration of 100 megawatt-hour sodium-ion battery energy storage system". Jointly with the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Southern Power Grid Energy Storage Co., LTD., Zhongke Sodium Technology Co., LTD., and other units to form a project team to tackle key problems.

After more than a year of research, the project team developed the country's first 210 amp long life, wide temperature area, and high safety sodium ion energy storage battery, developed the first set of 10 MWH sodium ion battery energy storage systems in China, and used these technologies to build the country's first sodium-ion battery energy storage power station for electric energy storage - Fulin energy storage power station. Formed a complete set of solutions from materials - battery monomer - energy storage system - engineering construction. "The project team carried out research on key technologies such as high-performance cell scale preparation, system integration, and safety prevention and control, and formed a sodium-ion battery preparation and system integration technology with independent intellectual property rights." Introduced by Golick.

Dr. Tang Bin, a leading technical expert of Guangxi Electric Power Research Institute of Southern Power Grid, introduced that the project uses large-capacity sodium-ion batteries and intelligent series technology, which improves the safety of the energy storage system and also greatly improves the energy conversion efficiency of the system.

Li Yongqi, a leading technical expert of Southern Power Grid Energy Storage Co., LTD., introduced that the project team used new energy storage variable current temperature control technology and safety prevention and control technology so that the sodium-ion battery energy storage system can achieve the overall energy conversion efficiency of more than 92% at the same time, the temperature difference of more than 22,000 batteries does not exceed 3 degrees Celsius. Conversion efficiency, safety, and other key indicators are better than similar lithium-ion battery energy storage systems.

On January 28, the appraisal committee of the China Machinery Industry Federation, composed of academician Jiang Jianchun of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Academician Cheng Shijie of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academician Zhang Yue, Academician Sun Jinhua of the European Academy of Sciences and other experts, reviewed and evaluated the project results: The overall technology of the "sodium-ion battery energy storage system for 10 megawatt-hour power storage power station" developed by the project team is in the international leading level.

New energy storage technology opens a new track for sodium-ion batteries

The application and development of sodium-ion battery energy storage technology is speeding up the breaking of the existing pattern of new energy storage technology in China.

At present, China's new energy storage technology route is absolutely dominated by lithium-ion batteries. As of the end of the first quarter of this year, the country has completed and put into operation more than 35 million kilowatts of new energy storage projects, of which lithium-ion battery energy storage installed capacity accounted for more than 95%. Under the rapid development of energy storage and electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries have problems such as high import dependence on key materials and shortage of resources, which makes it difficult to support the sustainable and rapid development of China's new energy storage industry, and there is an urgent need for new materials that complement and effectively replace lithium-ion battery energy storage.

It is understood that the new type of energy storage refers to the realization of energy storage through electrochemical energy storage, physical energy storage, and other technologies. Sodium-ion batteries and lithium-ion batteries are electrochemical energy storage, and their working principle is similar, they are charged and discharged through the mutual conversion of electrical energy and chemical energy. Compared with lithium-ion battery energy storage, sodium-ion battery energy storage has abundant raw materials, easy extraction, low cost, better performance at low temperatures, and obvious advantages in large-scale energy storage.

Hu Yongsheng, a researcher at the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the working principle of sodium-ion batteries is similar to lithium-ion batteries, the production process is similar, and the industrial line conversion cost is relatively low, which can promote the economic grid-connection of large-scale wind power and photovoltaic power generation. "The smooth operation of Guangxi Fulin energy storage power station provides empirical support for the wide application of sodium-ion battery energy storage technology, and will further promote the development of the industrial chain in the future." Hu Yongsheng said.

It has broad prospects for large-scale replication and promotion

The first phase of the national heavy project demonstration project is the first time that China has realized the scale application of sodium-ion battery energy storage technology. One of the advantages of the system is that it can be replicated and promoted on a large scale. "This energy storage system can be flexibly modular combination expansion, like building blocks, the more building blocks, the larger the scale." According to Golic, the system can be expanded through modular combination and can reach a scale of more than 100 megawatthours.

The large-scale application and development of sodium ion energy storage technology will also further promote the reduction of operating costs. "Sodium-ion battery energy storage has entered the stage of large-scale development, and the cost can be reduced by 20% to 30%. Under the premise of fully improving the battery structure and process, improving material utilization and cycle life, the KWH cost can be lowered to 0.2 yuan/KWH, which is an important technical direction to promote the economic application of new energy storage." Chen Man, deputy secretary-general of the National Power Storage Standardization Technical Committee and strategic technical expert of the Southern Power Grid, said.

With the breakthrough of key technologies, sodium-ion batteries are expected to become the lowest-cost electrochemical energy storage technology, which will accelerate the development of China's new energy storage power stations to centralized and large-scale development, promote the large-scale and high proportion of new energy consumption, further create new quality productivity, and lay a solid foundation for the construction of a new power system and a new energy system to support the realization of the "double carbon" goal.

"Sodium-ion battery energy storage technology has broad application prospects." Dr. Li Shujun, general manager of Zhongke Sodium Technology Co., LTD., believes that sodium-ion battery energy storage technology is expected to complement and effectively replace lithium-ion batteries in major application fields such as large-scale electrochemical energy storage, electric vehicles, and construction machinery. The technological breakthroughs and application exploration of new energy storage innovation and development, including sodium-ion battery energy storage technology, will also strongly promote the cultivation and growth of the new energy storage industry system.

Chen Liquan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said: "At present, the important devices in the new energy storage devices are lithium-ion batteries and sodium-ion batteries, and the current development trend of sodium batteries is to industrialize it, and sodium-ion batteries will certainly have great economic benefits in the future."

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