Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Department of Energy have released a new tool to help utilities, developers and regulators identify the energy-storage options that best meet their needs.
Partnering with DNV KEMA, a global testing and consulting firm, Sandia is releasing Energy Storage Select (ES-Select), software designed to make it easier to conduct a quick, high-level analysis of energy-storage options and determine the value of energy-storage technologies for a specified application, including renewable energy projects.
Developers and utilities that want to use energy storage have many technologies to consider, including flywheels, compressed air, pumped hydro, thermal storage and six types of electric batteries.
According to Sandia, the tool helps companies make decisions about what storage technologies would work best in a given situation. For example, if a business pays more for electricity during the day than at night, the owner could use the tool to quickly evaluate several energy-storage options to determine the costs and benefits of buying lower-cost electricity at night and storing it for use during the day.
Users can input the application they are interested in, as well as specify such parameters as energy costs and discount rates, and the program produces a list of storage technologies and their predicted benefits and associated costs, Sandia explains.
ES-Select aggregates all of the inputs and assumptions – monetary value for an application, technology costs, performance characteristics and operation and maintenance costs – and quickly provides recommendations.
The application is available for free download here.