MOLTEN SALT ENERGY STORAGE
MOLTEN SALT ENERGY STORAGE

Partner Showcase – Gold Partner | NERM

The need for reliable energy sources is becoming a critical challenge calling for stable solutions. Across the world, governments, electricity departments, utilities, municipalities, companies, and individuals are thus embarking on initiatives to ensure continuity of supply.

As the world embarks on the journey for energy sources that reduce and ultimately eliminate emissions of dangerous gasses into the atmosphere, the introduction of renewable energy is on the rise. In support of these efforts NERM Applications and Testing (Pty) Ltd has introduced an energy storage system that will supplement the renewable energy sources and generation at large.

NERM has brought about, as an enhanced innovation of proven technology, the use of a storage system as applied in Concentrated Solar Plants (CSPs) to be heated using excess and cheaper power at night to store thermal energy. This innovative system is a South African initiative registered with a provisional patent application number 2018/06283 at CIPC.

NERM has been supported by and collaborated with Denmarkbased CSP energy storage experts AALBORG CSP to introduce and implement this technology in South Africa. The technology has been well received by Eskom System Operator and SANEDI. NERM is now in the detailed engineering and design phase with AALBORG CSP.

THE MOTIVATING FACTORS

The need for the technology was triggered by the current South African energy status with expected decommissioning of coal-fired power stations clearly identified and captured in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). However, the IRP currently has no specific way of storing energy that might be curtailed due to the planned increase in renewable energy capacity on the national grid.

THE O-P-TESPSS STORAGE SYSTEMS

In the same principle of hydro pumped storage schemes, the O-P-TESPSS in thermal plants is aimed at effectively using the generators that are idling during the night to heat the electric elements and release the power stored in the molten salt during the evening peak on a daily basis, or dispatch at the system operator’s instruction.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE SYSTEM

• To eliminate in CSP applications:
-need for large hectares of land
-high cleaning maintenance of mirrors
-expensive collector technology
-negative environmental impact on fauna and flora
-need for specific harvesting areas
• To create a new vision towards renewable energy
• Reduction of wasted and curtailed renewable energy
• Increasing availability and the guarantee of capacity irrespective of weather conditions
• Dry cooling technology that adheres to the country’s need to use less water and can be installed anywhere in the grid
• To provide frequency support while in operation

FUTURE OF THE TECHNOLOGY

NERM considers this storage technology as one of the tools that can be fully deployed in electrical power utilities as:

• A planning tool for future grids to be evaluated alongside shunt reactors
• Support for renewable energy and specifically storage of excess generation
• Support of base load power stations (deferring costs of future base load stations)
• Support and relief of congested networks during specific times of day (deferring transmission infrastructure)
• An operational tool to dispatch as and when required

NERM Applications and Testing (Pty) Ltd is a black owned electrical engineering company involved in commissioning and testing of electrical protection schemes, and metering in substations. NERM is a product of an incubation organisation, Shanduka Black Umbrellas. www.nerma.co.za | info@nerma.co.za