Energy-storage technology — the rapidly-evolving scenario in India
India is on a rapid path in embracing different energy-storage technologies as an integral part of the electricity system in the country. Notwithstanding the fact that, given the unreliability of grid power in large parts of the country, the common Indian household has a history of using a storage system, it is the push towards renewable energy that has seen the advent of the utility-scale energy storage. Under government guidelines, energy tenders that pertain to renewable energy are increasingly including clauses on the deployment of energy-storage systems. This has facilitated pilot projects with different energy-storage technologies to gauge their respective robustness and challenges. In India, Whereas leadacid and lithium-ion batteries continue to be the most common used in India, other battery chemistries are also vying to become the preferred choice. Among the recent advancements in leadacid batteries, the UltraBattery® (invented in Australia by CSIRO) has been demonstrated to broaden the capability of the traditional design. Fast cycling, high performance under partial state of-charge duty with a long life expectancy are attributes that have allowed the leadacid battery to remain competitive in energy-storage applications such as power smoothing and energy shifting for solar and wind energy installations. UltraBattery® installations in Telecom towers have demonstrated significant reduction in diesel operation, especially in off-grid situations. The gel tubular design of leadacid battery, which marries the tubular robustness with the user friendliness of the valve-regulated technology, is also attracting attention. High reliability in deep-discharge cycling with capability for accommodating extended periods of high temperature remain the cornerstones of this technology. More than 20 MWh of capacity have been commissioned at different micro-grid sites in the past couple of years. Field performance data show that these facilities are performing satisfactorily under demanding conditions. Case studies conducted by Exide Industries Limited, together with field data from energy-storage installations in India, will be presented to highlight the market segments in which the above-mentioned benefits are important.
Manager - Product Development (VRLA), Exide Industries Limited
Sagar Sen Gupta has a Masters Degree from Jadavpur University and a PhD from Bengal Engineering & Science University. His interests include electrochemistry, nanomaterials and electrochemical power sources. Sagar has been with Exide Industries Ltd., India for the past 12 years and currently holds the position of Manager – Product Development, focusing on AGM-VRLA batteries.