Two Imergy ESP4 series vanadium-based flow batteries have been installed at a restaurant called Trojane, which is located in the Slovenian Alps. The batteries will store electricity generated by the restaurant’s solar power system.
Trojane already had a 49 kW solar photovoltaic system, a 30 kW heat and power system, and an electric vehicle charger. An effective battery system is a viable solution because excess electricity generated by solar power during daylight hours can be stored for use at night. Energy independence can free a business from having to pay high electricity rates established by a utility company.
Metronik Energija installed the two flow batteries, and the project was actually sponsored by the local utility with support from
a local business center.
Imergy’s flow batteries can work with multiple applications, such as an EV charger, peak demand reduction, and renewable energy integration. Return-on-investment is greater when an energy storage system has a variety of applications it can be in harmony with at the same time. Peak demand reduction means the stored electricity can be used instead of electricity from a grid during the periods of time when most people are using electricity. Rates can be much higher during those times, so using one’s own electricity instead of what is available from the grid can save a significant amount of money.
Renewable energy is considered to be intermittent, because of changing weather conditions, and in the case of solar, the number of hours of sunlight each day is limited. Using flow batteries to store electricity, which can be used later, is an effective solution to this intermittency. Flow batteries are well suited to backing up solar power systems, because they can charge and discharge many times without degrading the technology. Many consumers might have the expectation that all batteries have rather limited life spans, but flow batteries have relatively long ones.
The Trojane project is part of the European AlpStore program, which works with seven countries in the Alpine region to develop long-term energy storage solutions.
“Trojane is well-known for its advanced energy infrastructure for Renewables. The new Imergy flow batteries will further strengthen our reputation,” explained Dr Jurij Curk, of Metronik Energija.
The flow battery installation at the restaurant will be evaluated for two years and then more installations may follow in the same region. Installing energy storage at individual sites is also smart in the event of a natural disaster which disrupts power transmission from a grid. Such sites can continue to provide electricity even when there is such a large outage.
Trojane makes doughnuts, cakes, and the like — and is quite well-known for its baked goods.
A quick look on TripAdvisor reveals well over 30 four-star reviews.
Image Credit: Romanm, Wiki Commons
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