Unique Battery Storage Introduced


Aachen. 25,000 Battery cells, costs of 11,2 Million Euros and a capacity of 5 megawatts: The Battery-mass-storage “M5BAT” of the E.ON Energy Research Center of the RWTH is unique worldwide. Yesterday, the promising system was introduced.

The Energy revolution starts here

After one year of construction the battery-mass-storage, which is unique worldwide, was put into operation. The five megawatts facility is going to be used for research projects and will be connected to the power supply system soon.

If you enter the area at Aachen’s Hüttenstraße 5 for the first time, you stand in front of an old, huge, inconspicuous office building. But on the inside it’s more than that. It’s already hidden in the name “M5BAT”, which stands for “Modular multi-mega-watt-technology medium voltage battery storage”. You could describe this battery storage as the biggest, the most powerful or most important at the same time. It’s for sure, that this mass storage is the only one worldwide, at least in this dimension.

Yesterday, the M5BAT was finally put to operation. The E.ON Energy Research Center, the Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics (IAEW), the energy supplier Uniper SE, the battery manufacturer Excide Technologies GmbH and the inverter manufacturer SMA Solar Technology AG were looking forward to that day. Only one year of construction was needed to build this great project. It costed 11,2 Million Euros and was financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with 6,7 Million Euros. The technology is high- performing: 25,000 battery cells produce 5 megawatts power (5 million watts) on an area of 900qm. For comparison: an average kitchen stove uses 4,000 watts. These number are impressive.

But what is this high-power storage system for? Prof. Uwe Sauer from the Institute for Power Generation and Storage Systems from the RWTH (PGS) and general project manager of the “M5BAT” has a simple answer: “With this project, Aachen is going to have a great contribution in the energy revolution”. In any case, the “M5BAT” will be part of the energy research, especially the research of renewable energies. Smart grids and techniques to store energy take a great part in the aimed energy revolution. The “M5BAT” consist of five different battery types. Scientists try to examine which battery type is the most sufficient and economic for energy storage. A central problem of the energy revolution is the fluctuating availability of renewable energies. Prof. Rik De Doncker, director of the cluster sustainable energy of the RWTH Aachen and also project manager of the mass-storage -system said: “If the sun shines a lot - like the past few days - photovoltaic systems get lucky. But it results in an oversupply.” At this point the “M5BAT” comes in handy. It can adjust to these circumstances in milliseconds and store huge amounts of energy. You could even say: the “M5BAT” makes sure that the solar and wind power doesn’t disappear.

The goal is to connect the “M5BAT” to the power supply and was built close to a transformer station. Uniper, the energy supplier, takes responsibility for the marketing strategy of the facility. And as soon as this happens the energy revolution in Aachen can begin.