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Advanced Battery Controls for Grid and Customer Value

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0023733
Agency Tracking Number: 0000273597
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C56-09b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002903
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-07-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-04-09
Small Business Information
2843 NW Lolo Drive
Bend, OR 97703-6914
United States
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Powers
 (510) 326-1761
 john@elexity.io
Business Contact
 John Powers
Phone: (510) 326-1761
Email: john@elexity.io
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Aggressive decarbonization and electrification scenarios require a 3000-fold increase in grid-tied storage assets. Grid-tied batteries can only contribute to this challenge if control methods and technology improve dramatically. While grid-scale and residential battery markets are growing rapidly, deployment in small commercial buildings lags significantly. Current projects in this market segment are based on two value propositions: reliability (using batteries as short-term backup for customer load), and demand-charge management. These limited use cases ignore many important grid needs (load shifting, ramping, spinning and non-spinning reserves, etc.). We propose an advanced software solution to provide supervisory control of behind-the-meter batteries that can double the effective capacity from each installation available to the grid. The primary innovations in this software are: - Dynamic capacity rating will use weather and grid data to forecast the probability of outage, so that a higher proportion of battery capacity can be allocated to grid and customer economic benefits during the 99% of the time when outages are unlikely, while reserving a greater proportion of capacity for backup when that need is highest. - Integration with building controls will enable joint management of battery charging and discharging with control of flexible customer loads. - Integration with grid signals (both price signals and control notification such as demand response signals) will enable distributed energy resources (both batteries and flexible loads) to participate together in utility programs and emerging load flexibility markets. Benefits: These innovations can dramatically improve the economics of battery deployment for commercial customers, opening this market for rapid expansion. Not one of these improvements requires a breakthrough in battery chemistry or inverter hardware – although all software benefits will increase in value as other technology improvements continue. Phase I activities will include: - Feasibility analysis including scoping of a Phase 2 project with one or more commercial customers who already own and operate grid-tied battery storage systems; - Detailed technical and economic modeling of the operation of the proposed controller, using whole-building load data from dozens of real-world sites; - Development and testing of the core components for the proposed control software; and - Market impact analysis that quantifies how the proposed controller will accelerate storage deployments in the small commercial segment, including the economic and societal benefits delivered in this target market of more than 600,000 commercial buildings representing more than 120 GWH of flexible capacity. Key words: battery, commercial customer,

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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