German micro battery specialist VARTA Storage has installed five VARTA pulse neo systems for the Greek island of Kythnos in the Aegean Sea to stabilise the island’s energy grid.
Kythnos’ energy grid’s frequency and voltage fluctuate at a higher rate than the Greek mainland with a range from 42.5 to 57.5 hertz, which VARTA will work to reduce.
The systems have been installed at Kythnos’ main public buildings including the town hall, medical centre and yacht harbours and incorporate communication software which allows them to communicate with a central control system called StaaS-VPP.
VARTA noted that it faced the challenge of convincing its partners on Kythnos over the safety of lithium-ion batteries, as they are not used as much as they are in Germany.
VARTA Storage general manager Bengt Stahlschmidt said: “The name VARTA and the trusting relationship within the project were ultimately able to persuade those responsible that our systems do not pose a danger.
“Together we have found a configuration with which the storage systems function stably. You could call it an ‘island grid configuration with extended frequency tolerance’.
“Above all, the software poses one of the biggest challenges in bringing together local generators and storage systems in a virtual power plant. Optimal operation of the local distribution energy storage systems must be guaranteed by intelligent forecast and control algorithms.”
The VARTA pulse neo system forms part of a European project called WiseGRID. Funded by the European Union “Horizon 2020” research programme and founded to 2016, WiseGRID looks to develop new services for intelligent grids in Europe and to increase the share of renewable energy across the continent.
WiseGRID works in tandem with GRUPOETRA and has been developed in 21 European countries including Spain, Germany and Greece.