What batteries should you be installing? DNV GL launches Battery Performance Scorecard

There is a lot of noise when it comes to battery specs and performance claims as it relates to solar + energy storage and microgrid projects. To cut through the clutter, DNV GL, one of the largest independent energy expert and certification body, released its first annual Battery Performance Scorecard, to help equip energy storage product buyers with objective data to guide their purchase strategies. The Battery Performance Scorecard provides independent ranking and evaluation of battery vendors based on testing performed in DNV GL’s laboratories.

The release comes as increased electrification is beginning to disrupt everyday markets, including energy and transportation. As the influx of renewable energy continues fostering the flourishment of the energy storage market, storage technology is becoming crucial to enable the global energy transition. In its latest Energy Transition Outlook report, DNV GL forecasts a growth of around 50 TWh in installed battery capacity by 2050, specifically to cope with variable renewables. The report also predicts that by 2050, solar PV, onshore wind, hydropower and offshore wind will account for 80 percent of global electricity production, creating a growing need for flexible storage solutions.

DNV GL’s 2018 Battery Performance Scorecard further accelerates the energy storage market by providing transparent data that’s easily verifiable with independent reviews. The scorecard eliminates current obstacles slowing down transactions and streamlines independent engineering reviews by making key data readily available for reference.

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Scorecard metrics

For the scorecard, DNV GL evaluated the battery types according to the following abuse factors:

  • Average state of charge (SOC): Indication of how much charge remains in a battery, assessing whether the average SOC condition is harmful or optimal for the battery performance.
  • State of Charge (SOC) swing: Testing at different SOC windows determines where the battery performs best.
  • C-rate: The power at which a system charges or discharges is directly proportional to the cell charge rate, or “C-rate”.
  • Temperature: A critical criteria for the battery’s lifetime.

DNV GL’s Battery Performance Scorecard provides a stable roadmap to assist battery buyers in managing and operating specific battery technologies, while validating warranties and replacement cost estimates. By measuring performance against the previously listed abuse factors, the Battery Performance Scorecard allows buyers to match their use with the most appropriate technology.

Key findings from the scorecard review

The Li-ion Nickel Cobalt Manganese chemistry is the most commonly used battery, addressing 88% of all tested batteries.

33% of tested batteries showed decreased throughput beyond the group average when cycled near the middle of the SOC band, 44% at the top, and 22% at the bottom. Throughput quantifies the total energy discharged, which diminishes as a battery ages.

22% of participants showed better throughput at elevated temperature, and 22% of participants showed their lowest throughput at elevated temperature. 33% of participants showed their lowest throughput at low temperatures

The Scorecard aims to fill a gap since the current level of battery lifetime data available to purchasers is highly varied and not always consistent. Additionally, not all batteries should be treated the same. Buyers need reliable and rigorous battery testing to determine what constitutes high battery performance, while still meeting the time pressures of project finance.

In the process of choosing a battery type for a storage project, developers or investors currently have to request information on each battery type from the manufacturers, which would be reviewed in an independent engineering report to verify the information. This process can take several months. This time is significantly reduced with the scorecard, as the data is available for reference DNV GL’s participant queue. Thus, it can significantly accelerate the Independent Engineering review.

“Having access to this data will reduce independent engineering review time from months to weeks, which is a major advantage that benefits all parties involved. When battery manufacturers participate with DNV GL in the Scorecard, we can connect buyers with suppliers while providing objective data for their project,” noted Rich Barnes, Executive Vice President DNV GL – Energy North America.

“DNV GL aims to accelerate the energy storage market with novel, data-driven services that push the completeness and accuracy of technical due diligence to the next level,” said Davion Hill, co-author of the Scorecard and DNV GL’s energy storage leader in the Americas. “We understand that the energy storage market will have unprecedented growth each year from now going forward, and our customers demand repeatable and reliable services to support their transactions. We have delivered on that demand with a service that not only gives them more certainty and comfort, but also helps the supply chain benchmark quality.”

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