What is Hybrid Energy Storage Systems (HEES)

The complementary features of a Hybrid Energy Storage System (HESS) make it outperform any single component energy storage device, such as batteries, flywheels, supercapacitors, and fuel cells. In recent years, HESSs have gained widespread applications in smart grids, electric vehicles, and electric ships. When multiple dynamic energy storage technologies are integrated harmonically, their overall performances are enhanced in terms of efficiency, reliability, financial profitability, and lifespan.

What hybrid energy storage can do for corporate sustainability

As a result of several market developments in the past several years, the commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage market has grown rapidly. As battery and other system components have become more affordable, energy storage systems have become more affordable for building owners and managers across the entire energy storage industry. Both host customers and grid operators can benefit from these systems.

Benefits of the traditional system

Among the reasons supporting the C&I energy storage market is the fact that storage integrates seamlessly into building energy management and energy efficiency/service contracts that many companies are already utilizing. In contrast to traditional demand response, which requires shutting down a load in the building in order to participate in demand response programs, this technology provides a non-disruptive way to reduce electricity expenses by enabling participation in demand response programs by simply switching on the storage device. In addition to providing backup power for customers’ critical loads for a few hours or more, storage can also serve as a microgrid if it is connected to distributed generation systems.

What happens when a single storage system isn’t enough? As the building needs of C&I organizations evolve, and operations become increasingly specialized, having the right technology to support a range of applications will be critical in order to achieve the full benefits of a total system. 

In recent years, battery technology innovations have focused on software management to maximize round-trip efficiency. In spite of the fact that this will continue to be a major contributor, hybrid energy storage systems may be of greater benefit to C&I customers behind the meter. In addition to what conventional battery technologies can offer, these systems can also offer C&I customers additional advantages.

The case for hybrid solutions

A hybrid energy storage system is a stationary system that integrates two or more energy storage technologies with complementary operating characteristics, according to Navigant Research. Typically, a single storage device covers high power loads, transients, fast transients, and fast load fluctuations. As a result, it has a rapid response time, high efficiency, and long cycle lifetime. Another benefit of hybrid systems is that they offer low self-discharge rates, low energy specific installation costs, and high energy storage. Hybrid systems offer numerous other benefits as well, including: 

  1. As a result of decoupling energy and power, total costs of ownership are reduced.
  • Adaptability to dynamic conditions and multiple use cases without compromising system health.
  • Increasing the lifespan of storage systems by reducing the dynamic stress they endure each cycle.
  • Operating at algorithmically optimized points results in fewer thermodynamic losses, thereby increasing system efficiency.

Combined with distributed generation technologies, hybrid systems can also contribute to sustainability goals for a company.

In addition to improving the efficiency of existing energy resources, these systems also improve sustainability efforts for commercial customers in two key ways. As a result of reducing cycling and changing output, hybrid systems improve the overall efficiency of existing power systems, thus reducing emissions and resulting in a smaller footprint as a result. The efficiency of a system can be improved when a technology that is suited for high power operations is used for applications that require storage to cover short-term power fluctuations, such as the ramping up and smoothing of renewable energy sources. As a result, using the same hybrid system as backup power will not compromise its overall health if it is used for low power, long-duration applications.