China’s largest BESS Multi-Mixed Energy Power Station connected to grid


China-based manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) has delivered China’s largest battery energy storage system (BESS) multi-mixed energy power station.

As part of the Luneng Haixi Multi-mixed Energy Demonstration Project is the first of its kind in China to integrate wind (400MW), photovoltaic (200MW), concentrated solar power (50MW), and an energy storage system (ESS) (100MWh) into one unified system on the grid.

The station coordinates three different renewable, with fluctuating and particularly unstable, sources of energy and is required to respond consistently to fluctuating demand, making its batteries and battery management system crucial to the reliability of the system.

Related article: Eggshells could crack renewables puzzle

Vice chairman and chief strategy officer of CATL Huang Shilin said the station is the first of its kind – a multi-functional, centralised power plant integrated with an electrochemical energy storage system.

“Its technical reliability and affordability will promote further global deployment of different renewable energy applications,” he said.

One of the key challenges of safety and performances that CATL faced is thermal management. The station is at Golmud, where temperature varies from -33.6 to 35.5 degrees Celsius. To ensure 15 years of battery performance, CATL deployed a cooling system that uses air passages and air flow designs to maintain a consistent cabinet temperature.

Related article: Battery boom to draw $1.2 trillion investment

A battery management unit will kick-in the battery cooling system as soon as it detects thermo concerns, while pre-stored electricity protects the battery from capacity loss or lithium plating caused by charging in cold temperatures.

In addition, the project has tough structural requirements, as Golmud lies in an active seismic zone, which calls for vibration and shock absorption. CATL’s state of the art Test & Validation Center carried out rigorous testing and simulation to prove its batteries are able to withstand a potential earthquake of magnitude 8.