The largest smart battery storage brAIn is now up and running in Banská Bystrica

We have another milestone to our credit. With the new functionalities of the brAIn smart battery storage, we have officially expanded our scope to include the provision of certified ancillary services.

  • Published: 29. 02. 2024
  • Written by: Fuergy

In the Banská Bystrica industrial park, we have successfully launched the largest smart battery storage brAIn by FUERGY in Slovakia. With an output of 2.7 megawatts and a capacity of 2.916 megawatt hours, its role is to provide certified ancillary services for the transmission system operator at the primary regulation level, working in combination with non-certified ancillary services in a form of energy flexibility.

It is the first installation of its kind that is technologically even more complex, and at the same time both emission-free and financially attractive. This makes our smart battery energy storage system (BESS) commercially viable, even without public funding. Such battery systems will also find applications in local distribution systems (LDS) and with large electricity consumers.

Watch the video of this unique installation:

Results in numbers

From the design phase to its official launch, we managed to complete this battery storage project in a record 6 months. From the moment it came online, the storage substitutes traditional fossil fuel burning sources typically providing ancillary services. In this way, the new project effectively eliminates the annual production of approximately 361 tonnes of CO2e emissions. This reduction takes place right at the heart of the emissions chain - at the level of electricity generation and distribution. For this reason, the technology can pay off its carbon debt in about a year.

According to our conservative estimates, the investment in the storage facility in Banská Bystrica should be repaid in approximately 3.5 years. This is because it is a brAIn storage with new functionalities, which we must carefully fine-tune first. Though according to our previous experience, the payback period could be considerably shorter. However, this will also be largely influenced by the prices of ancillary services and the price of system deviation.

Smart battery storage brAIn by FUERGY

Another feature that shortens the payback period is the multifunctional use of battery storage to provide both types of ancillary services. With our battery degradation at only 1.5 to 2 percent per year, the lifetime of the technology alone is easily capable of reaching 15 years. This means that the upfront investment in brAIn smart storage will pay for itself several times over during its lifetime.

The future of energy in smart storage

We are currently witnessing a transition to a new energy economy. Trends in geopolitical changes and related adjustments in the supply of raw materials, the decarbonisation of the energy sector, the increasing share of RES (also thanks to technologies such as solar panels) that goes hand in hand with the expansion of flexibility and the overall increase in electricity consumption, are changing the energy market. These shifts also force us to look for new ways to ensure a more reliable and greener operation of the transmission system.

Battery storage devices, and especially their smart versions such as our brAIn storage device, are a reasonable choice in this respect. Installation is quick and easy, they can be installed almost anywhere, and their economic and ecological dimensions are indisputable.

However at FUERGY, we don't just want to stand by and watch. We prefer to be a part of the new energy industry and set it in the right direction.

Unique all-in-one solution

Within the scope of the project, we covered the complete design, supply and installation of the technology, including our own Energy Management System (EMS). In addition, we also included our own FUERGY Control units, which are fully compatible with our software. It is thanks to these units, we can manage batteries as efficiently and sparingly as possible.

Interactive dashboard with online brAIn battery storage data

For this installation, we also used non-flammable LiFePO4 batteries suitable for indoor installation from Pylontech. We monitor the battery room as well as the battery cells themselves 24/7. To eliminate any risks associated with fire, we have also equipped the room with a professional aerosol extinguisher system. Regular service and maintenance of the system are a matter of course.

Where is the largest brAIn repository located?

The new battery storage in Banská Bystrica was installed in a part of the electrical substation of the Energetika building managed by the company EnergyTech, s.r.o. It is located in an industrial area, where you can already find a variety of operations such as recycling lines, construction sites or other industrial enterprises, and where further industrial construction is also planned. The electricity supply for the whole industrial area is managed by a local distribution system, which is also owned and operated by EnergyTech.

EnergyTech building

Installation options within Slovakia

Battery storage systems providing certified ancillary services can be installed in locations with the necessary energy infrastructure, such as sufficient substation capacity to connect the storage. Those interested in this type of storage must also obtain connection approval from the regional distribution system.

Sufficiently large power consumption is required in order for the storage to provide both types of ancillary services. For a 2.7 megawatt storage, this means an electricity consumption of minimum of 35 gigawatt-hours per year and a minimum of 2.7 megawatts per hour, ideally even 24/7. However, the diagram of electricity consumption of the installation site is also important and must provide sufficient potential for load control.

Suitable installation sites include existing or former industrial sites or energy-intensive enterprises that have slowed down production but have sufficient energy infrastructure remaining, for example.

Certification, testing and successful launch

The actual launch of the storage facility was preceded by obtaining certification for +/- 2 MW of power for the provision of primary regulation, the so-called FCR (Frequency Containment Reserve) and successful completion of test operation under the supervision of TSO representatives. Communication with the TSO and activation of the storage is provided by our own TSO-BSP Interface.

FUERGY applications for EMS and the TSO-BSP Interface

However, this type of battery storage must run like clockwork, otherwise there are large fines. Our team has once again done a great job, so there was nothing stopping us from launching the storage from the first second of 2024.

Efficient use of resources

Our newest smart battery storage brAIn in Banská Bystrica is not only unique in its size. As part of its installation, we also took advantage of other features and innovations in the field of energy storage systems. For example, we made use of cold air from the cooling of the cable collectors that cool the batteries.

EnergyTech underground cable collector cooling system

We also applied dynamic switching of individual power elements, such as inverters, to minimise downtime and technical checks of the storage. This means that the storage does not behave as a single unit, but is composed of a number of independent parts that can be flexibly combined. This gives us room to quickly repair malfunctioning parts or use batteries for other types of ancillary services. Furthermore, we significantly eliminate the risk of penalties paid by the battery operator in the event that the battery storage is unable to provide the contracted ancillary services. These penalty terms are identical for both fossil and non-fossil ancillary sources, so reducing the risk of downtime is also one of the key parameters for the battery storage owner.

Special cabling for the dynamic wiring of power elements

Versatile use of brAIn smart battery storage

As mentioned in the introduction, the brAIn battery in Banská Bystrica is primarily used to provide certified ancillary services FCR with a response time of up to 30 seconds.

However, the system can also provide non-certified ancillary services, offering regulatory flexibility to the electricity supplier across the LDS, up to a full inverters power of 2.7 megawatts. When storage is not currently being used to provide primary FCR regulation for example.

As a part of the non-certified ancillary services, brAIn storage can also streamline the overall use of the 600 kilowatt peak (kWp) solar panels located on the site. For example, it can predict when the panels will generate green electricity and release capacity of the storage in advance to charge batteries with solar surplus.

Photovoltaic power plant in an industrial area

In the future, we expect the battery storage to also provide other types of ancillary services, such as aFRR+/- secondary regulation or mFRR+/- tertiary regulation.

Thanks to its multifunctionality and variability, our brAIn storage can respond flexibly to not only the needs of the entire system, but also to the requirements of the customer site itself. It is commercially viable and its financing is not dependent on subsidies or other financial contributions. Available funds from the investor or co-funding from the banking sector, which already has experience in financing battery storage, are sufficient.

New experiences drive us forward

Battery storage is slowly becoming a key technology for green energy transformation. This installation has also given us a lot – it kick-started us to develop our own TSO-BSP Interface,get the TSO authorization necessary for certification of ancillary services, or to implement grid frequency dependent battery management, which we did not need before.

This enables us to offer our customers even more comprehensive all-in-one battery solutions with the most innovative energy and technology options.

Each new experience also helps us to get better at installing battery storage, so that we can also reach our goal of greener and cheaper electricity for everyone faster.

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Do you want to be part of the energy revolution with our multifunctional smart battery storage brAIn? Let’s get in touch! Our experts are here to help you find a solution tailored to your needs.

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