Electrical Contracting News (ECN): Energy Management Feature

We predict a shift in energy management and electricity generation thanks to the rising popularity of UPS battery storage.

As we head into an increasingly interconnected and data-driven world, we face a tricky balance. How do we balance the demand between increased demand for electricity with a limited supply?

Electrical Contracting News (ECN)electrical contracting news magazine logo highlights the issue with a special ‘Energy Management’ supplement in its November edition. Naturally, we took the opportunity to highlight the advantages of using uninterruptible power supplies and their batteries for energy storage.

The price of lithium-ion (Li-ion) UPS batteries has fallen considerably in recent years. Even though they’re still more expensive initially than a sealed lead-acid (SLA) cell, the total cost of ownership can be anywhere between 10-40% less over the course of a decade.

All-in-all, when you consider the other well-known advantages such as faster recharge times, a significantly reduced footprint and weight, and the ability to operate in much higher temperatures, it’s clear why Li-ion is a growing force in the power protection sector.

Leo Craig Riello UPS quote about the role of DSR in the UK's energy mix
POWER SHIFT: DSR & battery storage will play an increasing role in years to come

What Does This Mean For The Way We Manage Our Energy?

Our article outlines several ways to harness a UPS and its batteries, starting with demand side response. DSR is a mechanism the National Grid uses to balance electricity use between peak and non-peak periods.

In practice, sites can store cheaper, off-peak electricity to use instead of mains supply during more expensive times. Surplus energy is sold back to the network.

Another option available to businesses includes going ‘off grid’ and relying solely on on-site power generation and storage.

Although only an option at present for substantial electricity users due to the scale of the system required, going ‘behind the meter’ in this way safeguards businesses from unpredictable wholesale price rises. And as you aren’t reliant on the mains supply, the risk of power disruptions or outages is less.

A sizeable section of our piece is devoted to an in-depth Q&A about the pros and cons of lithium-ion batteries with Peter Stevenson of the manufacturer Yuasa. We’ve worked alongside the firm on several projects, including helping DSR aggregator KiWi Power to create a ‘virtual power plant’.

Read the article on pages 58-59 in ECN’s ‘Energy Management’ November special