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Advanced electricity storage (ADELS)


Specific Objectives

Specific Objectives in 2002:

- 1. Battery Performance, Testing and Standards:

Definition of the test performance and test procedures, which best describe the real operating conditions of energy storage systems in a given category of Renewable Energy Systems. Together with network partners to examine and propose a development strategy and funding priorities for future RTD actions in intermittent renewable storage;
- 2. Solar Home Systems: Methods and Standards:

Continue to contribute to the improvements of the quality of SHS by developing (together with network partners) test procedures and confirming the reliability of those tests as a tool for SHS quality assurance. Together with partners to do preparatory work on the extension of the energy rating approach for SHS to grid-connected PV systems in view of FP-6;
- 3. Hydrogen as Electricity Storage:

To complete the work being carried out in the topic area of nano-structured carbon (SWNT and MWNT) by confirming the extent of the hydrogen storage capacity of these materials. Preparatory works for an activity on Photoelectrochemical system for water splitting as hydrogen production system within FP-6 as combination of short-term storage (electrochemical batteries) with long-term/seasonal storage as it can be foreseen with an electrolyser to produce hydrogen combined with a fuel cell;
- 4. Analytical monitoring of PV-installations:

Continuation of our support role in the market penetration of PV systems by performing the analytical monitoring of DG TREN PV demonstration projects.
Extension of this activity by proposing new/alternative means of monitoring;
- 5. DG RELEX and DG DEV:

Through objectives 1 and 2, ADELS will build closer links with Europe Aid Co-operation Office to support their role as responsible for all phases of the policy cycle assuring the achievement of the objectives of the programmes established by DG RELEX and DG DEV.
Planned Deliverables

Deliverables 2002:

- 1. Battery Performance, Testing and Standards:

Draft of test performance and test procedures for lead-acid batteries used in stand alone PV systems (solar home systems). Interaction with the Global Approval Program for PV (PV-GAP) to establish a PV-GAP Recommended Specification (PVRS) as a first step for a widely accepted standard and IEC
(new work-item proposal);
- 2. Solar Home Systems: Methods and Standards:

Report confirming the reliability of the System Balance Point as a parameter to measure the energy rating of SHSs;
- 3. Hydrogen as Electricity Storage:

Final analysis and report on the hydrogen storage capacity of nano-structured carbon material together with production and characterisation methods;
- 4. Analytical monitoring of PV-installations:

Monthly monitoring reports of DG TREN PV demonstration projects.

Specific deliverables to DGs:

- 1. Analytical monitoring of PV-installations:

Monthly monitoring reports of DG TREN PV demonstration projects;
- 2. Battery Performance, Testing and Standards:
Report (together with other partners in the INVESTIRE network) on strategy and future RTD actions in intermittent renewable storage.

As a result of the research:

- 1. Technical publications (reports, reviewed papers and conference papers);
- 2. Testing Techniques and Testing Facilities for hydrogen storage, Integrating storage systems for local grid management, Laboratory for electrical storage measurements;
- 3. Dissemination in own Internet site, making available all project information, reports, certification, draft standards and recommendations, product data banks, conference and exhibition organisation.

Summary of Deliverables 2001: 31/12/2001

- Battery Performance, Testing and Standards:

The battery test facility that is used for performing and developing test procedures to predict the long-term performance of batteries has been pivotal for the acceptance of ADELS as a partner in the INVESTIRE network. ADELS acts as a member of the steering committee of the network and additionally contribute to different technical undertakings. This network is perceived by the DG-RTD as an example of the type of Network of Excellence that should be the basic building block of the European Research Area in FP-6. Moreover, as a service for Solar Home System's tests, it has decisively contributed to the formulation of the IEC standard 62124.
ADELS has provided, on request to DG JRC Headquarters, information and analysis on the issue of a new Directive on Batteries. In particular on the proposal of substituting Ni-Cd batteries by other types (Ni -MH) as indicated in the new directive;
- Solar Home Systems: Methods and Standards:

Indoor and outdoor tests have been performed on SHSs as a part of an international effort to increase the quality of SHSs by validating a draft international SHSs performance standard. The validation of the proposed IEC standard 62124 (Photovoltaic (PV) stand-alone systems - Design qualification and type approval) by ADELS has demonstrated that the indoor procedure is very reproducible (error < 10%). This will give confidence in the standard that will be voted upon in the near future. The tests are continuing to further validate the proposed standard;
- H2 as Electricity Storage:

Using the modified CVD technique specimens of carbon nanotubes are routinely obtained in 10 minutes with diameters in the range 2 to 4 nanometers and typical length of one micron. As catalyst magnesium oxides with iron salts and special zeolite material were used. The use of magnesium oxide is due to the ease with which these catalyst are removed and therefore making the purification of the material simpler.
We have confirmed, in collaboration with the university of Salford, the absorption of hydrogen on the surface of the carbon nanotubes by identifying the neutron diffraction peak that corresponds to the hydrogen rotational level in the nanostructure. A second peak that indicates the movement of the hydrogen on the surface is still to be confirmed but everything points to the fact that hydrogen is stored between the tubes in a bundle. A high-pressure apparatus (maximum charging pressure of 100 bar) has been set-up and commissioned that complements the measurements made up to now in a thermo balance (with a maximum charging pressure of 10 bar). This allows us to test if, as some authors have indicated, there is an adsorption step at room temperature and a pressure of approximately 40bar. The preliminary results at room temperature have been very disappointing with no indication of any hydrogen uptake;
- PV-installations monitoring:

This technical support to DG TREN has been strengthened during 2001 and the analytical monitoring of PV-installations, supporting the demonstration of European photovoltaic systems, has continued. Enhancement of PERL scripts (executable on any Windows Platform) has been performed so as to permit automatic data-transfer to the NUFF-format from previously irregular data formats. Furthermore, the report generating EXCEL-MACROs has been enhanced to perform automatic crosschecks for data consistency of PV-Monitoring data blocks.

Output Indicators and Impact

Number of reports and publication in conferences and refereed journals. Involvement in networks dealing with storage of energy for Renewable Energy Sources (the project is involved already for the next 30 month in the INVESTIRE network). Customer/partner satisfaction survey report.
Summary of the project

ADELS addresses the development of innovative concepts for storage and control of electrical energy for various applications. The project structure consists of Assessment of Storage Options, Guidelines and Standards and Use of Advanced Materials and Processes.

The project targets in particular the following areas:
- 1) Battery Performance, Testing and Standards: Because of the decrease of prices of PV generators on the one hand, and the quite constant price of batteries on the other, the cost share of the storage element in the life-cycle cost analysis of a small PV system becomes proportionally higher. It is therefore crucial to optimise the battery storage system and to investigate means to mitigate its capacity losses and service interruptions;
- 2) Solar Home Systems: Methods and Standards: The storage of electricity is the core of small (~100 Watt) stand-alone systems, the so-called Solar Home Systems. SHS represents the world's most widespread current PV application. ADELS provides testing and contributes to the development and validation of methods and standards to raise the overall quality for these products to match those already existing for PV modules;
- 3) Hydrogen as Electricity Storage: The high efficient conversion to electricity of fuel cells with no pollution makes the use of hydrogen an attractive medium for electricity storage. Therefore, besides the traditional storage methods (e.g. lead-acid batteries), the project also investigates the potential of hydrogen by examining its production from renewable energy sources and its storage using advanced materials (e.g. carbon nanotubes and graphitic nanofibres);
- 4) ADELS also performs the analytical monitoring of PV-installations, supporting the demonstration of European Photovoltaic Systems as technical assistance to DG TREN.


The Commission action plan on energy for the future calls for a 100-fold increase by 2010 in renewable energies produced by Photovoltaic (PV). Meeting the goal of this ambitious plan requires compensating for the fluctuating nature of this energy source through storage for both stand-alone and grid-connected systems where some utility load levelling need to be provided. Apart from lead-acid and NiCd batteries especially in cars and PV systems, other ways of storage with better environmental and economic characteristics are far away from the market (energy storage will become a bigger proportion of the cost of PV system as the modules get cheaper). Low cost and increased capacity for storage of electricity produced from renewable energy is crucial for integration in buildings, utility grids, and remote electricity supplies, within the EU as well as for sustainable infrastructures in the new independent states and in the Mediterranean basin.
This serious bottleneck for the use of renewable energies can be overcome by transforming innovative materials and processes for storage applications into industrial products. The technologies studied are very different in terms of costs, efficiency, applications and size. Sound, dependable measurements, qualification and certification standards will be required to enable a common base of assessment, technology transfer and implementation support.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Environment and Sustainability