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Energy storage project to extend utility of solar power

International Battery, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer and developer of large lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, announced that it is partnering with HNU Energy to assess the effectiveness of storing solar energy using Li-ion battery technology.

Like other advanced battery makers, International Battery notes that storing energy from renewable sources is critical for managing variations in electricity production, improving power quality and stabilizing the power grid.

In trials currently underway in Maui, Hawaii, HNU Energy (headquartered in Wailuku) is providing a solar-power system that consists of sixty 224-watt photovoltaic panels, a bidirectional 3-phase inverter system and charge controller network. International Battery is supplying a 48 volt, 16.4 kWh Li-ion storage system with battery management and controls. Maui makes sense as a location for these trials, not only because of its abundant sun, but also because Maui County has set for itself a goal of being a leader in energy self-sufficiency.

The system includes four battery modules totaling 32 160-Ah Li-ion phosphate cells. The two companies say the overall system performance will be measured by the charge state of the individual battery cells as well as the units’ temperature, depth of discharge and charging status.