Siemens and Malta team up to develop scalable energy storage technology


Malta, a long-duration energy storage system producer, and Siemens Energy have teamed up to build new thermal turbomachinery for energy storage. 

The pumped heat energy storage (PHES) system uses thermo-mechanic components for what Malta said is a novel energy storage application. The technology is charged with electricity from any source and is stored as thermal energy, which then can be dispatched as heat and electricity on demand. 

The partnership will develop heat pump and heat engine components to support a utility-scale 100 MW storage system for 10-200 hours of storage. The technology can further scale to gigawatt power range, said Malta. 

The company said components in development will support a range of services that the PHES will be able to provide to grid operators, including synchronous inertia, reactive power, and fast ramping. 

Synchronous inertia devices serve to increase power quality and decrease the occurrence of blackouts. Distributed generation sources like solar are not directly coupled with a rotating mass, which means they can cause frequency deviations and power swings in the grid. Grid-inertia devices are an important component in a healthy grid as renewable energy penetration expands.  

Reactive power devices aid in ensuring proper voltage on the grid, above or below nominal voltage levels. Reactive power service providers either absorb or generate power to ensure the grid is not overloaded or operating inefficiently. 

Fast-ramping tech works to dispatch power in times of high demand, serving to quickly address demand/generation mismatch events.  

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