In the EnergyLab Nordhavn project, the entire urban district serves as a living laboratory, where it is possible to study how a conversion of the entire energy system can be carried out. A conversion which is necessary as an increasing share of our energy comes from renewable energy sources—sunlight and wind—which produce fluctuating energy volumes. The challenge here is, among other things, to balance energy consumption and production.
To meet this challenge, a giant battery has been developed which is to be integrated into the existing electricity grid in Denmark for the first time. The battery can be charged at times when electricity is inexpensive, i.e. mainly at night, and can then be sent back electricity to the grid during peak load periods. When fully charged, the battery has the capacity to supply around 60 households with electricity for 24 hours.
The battery, which takes up the same amount of space as five large refrigerators, has been installed in P-hus Lüders, which is a common multi-storey car park for local residents. Furthermore, charging stations for electric cars are available here, which will also form part of the EnergyLab Nordhavn demonstration project.
DTU is a EnergyLab Nordhavn project participant. At DTU Electrical Engineering’s Center for Electric Power and Energy, research is being conducted into, among other things, how the electricity grid can be made more robust in order to handle the fluctuating power generation, which does not necessarily follow consumption trends, and into how battery solutions can be integrated into the electricity grid. It is expected that the battery could be used to test the conditions in practice, for example by researchers validating their simulations and calculations in connection with the electricity system.
“In the old electricity system, we use all the power we want, and the power stations adapt their production to consumption,” says Chresten Træholt, Associate Professor at DTU Electrical Engineering. “In the new electricity system, consumption must be adapted to production. The battery will also play a key role in relation to storage to ensure we have sufficient power on days when the wind is not blowing.”
Chresten Træholt also expects that the battery will have a fast-charging station, so that an electric car—which can be charged within a couple of hours or overnight when charged via the ordinary electricity grid—can be charged in approx. 15 minutes.