By Solar Today Magazine May 7, 2015
The U.S. Department of Energy Department’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has used the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) (1.usa.gov/1ET4IFs) to confirm that energy storage for demand-charge management can deliver attractive economic benefits. The analysis (1.usa.gov/1CXmtgS) paired recent utility rate structures with historic data on solar photovoltaic electricity generation and commercial facility loads to evaluate 6,860 unique scenarios. The results revealed that, in the absence of incentives, small battery systems reducing peak demand by 2.5% offer the most attractive return on investment.
Demand charges can account for more than 50% of a commercial customer’s monthly electric bill. Analysis conducted using the Behind-the-Meter (BTM-Lite) version of BLAST (1.usa.gov/1yASIHl) computed peak load reduction and electricity cost savings while also identifying energy storage system configurations that deliver the most favorable return on investment in the shortest time possible.
The full suite of BLAST tools makes it possible to predict long-term performance of batteries and identify possible improvements in a wide range of applications, including electric vehicles (BLAST-V) and stationary energy storage (BLAST-S). BLAST BTM-Lite is a free download. It can also be paired with NREL’s Battery Ownership Model to assess lifetime battery costs in conjunction with performance, longevity, and new value propositions.
For more information, visit nrel.gov/transportation/energystorage.