June 21, 2019: For the record, lead batteries have been used in a solar plus storage project in Brazil for the first time according to Alsol, a distributed generation firm. The work, which will cost around $10 million, has already begun and should be commissioned by December 2019.
The aim of the trial is to deploy the batteries to utilities so they can improve the quality of power supply with services such as peak shaving and time shifting, as well as cutting pollution by replacing diesel back-up.
Alsol, which was recently taken over by electric services firm Energisa, is building two solar distributed generation systems in Minas Gerais, the first with a total of 175kW/1,046kWh of lead batteries made byBrazilian firm Moura Battery.
The second installation will use 1.2MVA/1.36MWh lithium batteries by the Chinese battery giant BYD.
“The aim of this project is to research the advantages and disadvantages of each technology, like cost of the acquisition, round-trip efficiency, load density, and the like,” said Jose Vieira Neto, head of strategy and innovation for Alsol.
“We are part of the economic group Algar, which has data centres using lead acid batteries, which are discarded prematurely due to contractual issues with its customers. One of our intentions is to reuse these batteries and identify the potential of second life. We already have some results that second life batteries last about one more year.”
Neto said the full results of the project would be available in the middle of 2020.
Officially Alsol is not yet introducing itself as Energisa, although it is already 87% owned by the firm, with 10% still owned by the Algar Group.
“The solar + storage project is an important step for the distributed generation industry and the vision that Energisa has,” said Neto.