Intelligent Data Centres Issue 42 | Page 21


Assessing the current developments in the field of energy storage

Data centre leaders are discovering innovative ways to enable greater efficiencies when it comes to energy , and the battery storage sector plays a big part . Jason Koffler , MD and Founder , Critical Power Solutions , explores the latest developments in battery storage technology and how hydrogen cells contribute to this , as well as why Sodium-ion could be the way forward .

In modern society , the ubiquitous battery is more important than ever due to the push for sustainable forms of transportation and the desire for immediate power at the point of use . As more emphasis is placed on renewable energy sources , where output may often depend on weather conditions , there is a substantial need to store the electricity generated just moments before . This industry is nothing if not innovative , as the sheer scale of the challenge continually leads to major innovation . So , what are the latest developments in battery storage technology and how do hydrogen cells contribute to this ?

The scale of the challenge
The International Energy Agency ( IEA ) estimates that energy storage requirements could increase by 50 times by 2040 . There is a push to develop new storage options that can deal with this first but at a cost that would make them affordable on both the supply and demand side .
Innovation in response
It may come as little surprise to learn about the scale of innovation in this area . According to the IEA , more than 7,000 international patents were granted in 2018 in the realm of electricity storage , a sizeable increase over the 1,000 or so at the turn of the century . These patents indicate the push towards clean energy technologies in electric mobility and personal devices .
Areas of focus in the field of energy storage
Thermal management
In the search for efficient energy storage systems , thermal management is key . This allows batteries to provide power effectively and safely through effective management of heat . Battery manufacturers must ensure that these units are as effective at shedding heat to the environment as they are at reducing the generation of heat in the first place while improving performance .
With this in mind , expect an additional emphasis on liquid-cooled battery energy storage ( versus air-cooled ). This approach can help to manage internal temperatures while minimising degradation . Liquid cooling options use less energy , enabling high levels of performance and markedly increasing the battery ’ s longevity .
Power conversion systems
Expect developments in the field of power conversion systems – a primary piece of www . intelligentdatacentres . com