Are smart UPS combined with storage systems the best approach in financial terms as we approach the transfer to alternative energy sources?

Hybrid UPS storage systems offer cost-effectiveness and a prompt return on investment, combined with security for critical loads.

For many years now, UPS systems with battery backup have been used successfully in various market sectors – but particularly including industry, telecommunications and IT – for the protection of critical supplies. In parallel, we have experienced the emergence of the widest range of network-controlled energy storage systems, whose development has been prompted by the use of regenerative energy sources such as solar power.

In this article, POWER News (PN) examines the increasing relevance of combining these systems as we approach the change to renewable energy sources.
Then we will go on to examine two projects exhibiting the financial and technological benefits available for a range of companies and of business areas.

In December 2020, the EU member states agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from within the EU by no less than 55 % – by contrast with the previously planned figure of 40 % – relative to the 1990 figure.*1 For this purpose, the EU Commission plans to present a range of legislative proposals, in 2021 for the adaptation of the EU climate and energy regulations currently in place.
In this context, the European Green Deal (abbreviation: EGD) stands as a core project with a comprehensive growth strategy for a climate-neutral economy, thrifty with resources, by 2050. This would make the EU the World’s leading industrial region in terms of climate neutrality. The achievement of this ambitious climate protection goal will be dependent firstly on the continuous transition from fossil fuel driven power generation towards regenerative energy sources and, secondly, on a significant optimisation of power draw and consumption on the part of Trade and Industry.

The construction of an energy storage system in conjunction with the ENERTRONIC modular Storage UPS system achieves the maximum of flexibility and profitability
The construction of an energy storage system in conjunction with the ENERTRONIC modular Storage UPS system achieves the maximum of flexibility and profitability

Making use of the potential offered by storage technology

The required progress in the establishment and expansion of regenerative energy production will give rise to fluctuations, whose magnitude cannot be predicted, in terms of energy feed. Energy stores provide a greatly needed degree of flexibility in terms of the smoothing out of loads, in combination with efficient load management, and these stores have a significant contribution to make to the definable smoothing-out of the load curve within the grid. They mean that the extremes are rounded off, and that goes for load peaks and surplus energy spikes.

Functions of energy storage systems in the fields of grid services, renewable energy sources and applications in industry

Network services

  • Primary power control
  • Reactive power control
  • Voltage stability

Renewable energy sources

  • Storage during low-load conditions
  • Bridging of troughs
  • Avoiding mains usage costs
  • Micro grids

Industrial applications

  • Peak shaving
  • Load levelling
  • Micro grids
  • UPS operation

Sustainably reducing the cost of operation

Hybrid UPS storage systems are now available. They are essential hardware in financial terms, as companies approach the transfer to alternative energy sources.

These are multifunctional systems which can be incorporated, with appropriate communications interfaces, into EMS’s (Energy Management Systems) that are already available.

This is a field where self-managed UPS storage systems with “island operation capability” offer significant advantages. At all times – irre­spective of ongoing load management functions, such as peak shaving, load levelling or the optimisation of power draw – they assure continued operation for the connected critical supplies in the event of any disruption to the grid. Smart load management for these hybrid systems offers the simultaneous combination of enhanced reliability and efficiency of power supply with a sustained reduction in operating costs. This technology is ideal for use in all applications where the supply of power from storage systems can be partially or fully deferred in chronological terms.

The UPS protects the critical loads from mains disruptions. At the same time, in conjunction with the “on-board” EMS, the system takes on load management tasks and thus contributes significantly to faster return of the investment compared to systems without a storage function.

Rapid break-even on investment costs – thanks to a combined approach

In BENNING’s new ENERTRONIC modular Storage range, it offers individually customised energy storage systems with true UPS function and “on-board” EMS. This smart system is designed for:

  • Industrial applications
  • Storage of regeneratively produced power
  • Micro grids

UPS functionality protects critical supplies from any disruptions on the grid. At the same time, the system – in conjunction with “on-board” EMS – covers load management functions, thus making a significant contribution to a quicker break-even time on investment (by comparison with systems lacking any storage functionality).

ENERTRONIC modular Storage system with 5 modules front view
Example of a flexible scalable ENERTRONIC modular Storage system with 5 modules
ENERTRONIC modular Storage covers load management functions such as peak shaving and load levelling

ENERTRONIC modular Storage covers load management functions such as load levelling and peak shaving

BENNING supplies modular architecture – based on tried & tested industry grade UPS systems – for construction of cost-effective energy storage systems

Single-source turnkey products

On the basis of tried & tested industrial UPS systems, BENNING offers a modular architecture for the construction of cost-effective energy storage systems both for network-controlled and for self-managed plant.

They cover an output range of up to one megawatt per supply point. Moreover, it is possible to install larger systems, with further supply points, within the same common grid.
This decentralised scaling enables optimised, cost-effective integration into an existing infrastructure. And it is also possible to upgrade or to retrofit existing energy storage systems with modular UPS tech to produce smart power supply systems with island operation capability.

Where BENNING supplies a turnkey solution, it regards its role not merely as the manufacturer of hardware but as a system integrator characterised by partnership. Consequently, the projects described below illustrate not only the technical & financial aspects but also the consultation, planning & development services that will be entailed in successfully meeting the range of customers’ specific needs.

With all of this in mind, PN was able to meet up with Mr Ronald Metzig (Head of Office East, BENNING) and Mr Claus Kirmaier (Head of Office South, BENNING).

”Active peak load management in conjunction with UPS functionality ensures technical and financial stability.”

Ronald Metzig,
Head of Office East, Germany
BENNING

Mr Metzig has completed the planning & implementation of a li-on battery storage system (320 kVA / 300 kWh) with UPS capability for an industry customer, specifically: a global automotive supplier with several sites in Germany.

To the interview

”Optimising the cost-effectiveness of a biogas power station by means of smart use of ecologically produced power combined with smart networking of all systems involved.”

Claus Kirmaier,
Head of Office South, Germany
BENNING

For Biogas Gröber Ruf GmbH & Co. KG, a producer of regenerative power in Fuchstal, southern Germany, Mr Kirmaier was responsible for completing a turnkey UPS storage solution (160 kVA / 462 kWh).

To the interview

*1: https://www.bmu.de/en/topics/climate-adaptation/climate-protection/eu-climate-policy

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