Hybrid solutions deliver the flexibility we need

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Hybridization in the form of energy storage is one of the leading recent technologies and is rapidly becoming a megatrend.

Energy storage offers us flexible ways to make supply and demand meet by bridging the lag between energy generation and consumption, dampening peak loads and bridging outages. Using grid edge technologies and services, customers in the future energy system will produce, consume, store and sell electricity.

Produce, consume, store and sell

For customers in the future energy system, energy storage meets the challenges of unpredictability, such as the weather (in relation to renewable sources of power) and the needs of industrial customers (with inherent changes in peak demands). This is where hybridization comes into play.

Hybridization at a glance

A simple and broad definition of hybridization is any system with two or more sources of energy acting together to accomplish a task. In the world according to Danfoss Drives, the definition of hybridization can be summed up by introducing a means of energy storage into a system. Perhaps the most commonly recognized form of hybridization today is a hybrid vehicle where a conventional internal combustion engine propulsion system is combined with an electric propulsion system to create a ‘hybrid’ power train. The benefits of hybridization, in this instance, are fuel savings, performance improvements and reduced emissions.

Hybrid solutions are implemented primarily for at least one of these reasons. To:

  • Reduce or defer capital expenses (CAPEX)
  • Avoid over-dimensioning a system
  • Defer investment in infrastructure
  • Aid localized energy production
  • Prevent energy instability
  • Assist the inclusion of renewables into grid infrastructure

In over-supply situations, the hybrid system can direct energy toward storage. When demand levels are high, the storage medium can be accessed to provide an additional source of energy;

  • Reduce operating expenses (OPEX)
  • Improve system efficiency
  • Increase system availability
  • Hybrid systems can increase system efficiency and avoid power outages caused by grid quality problems
  • Decrease downtime of the system by increasing robustness in the case of power-quality issues

Key benefits of energy storage

Hybridization of systems is expected to continue to increase significantly across a wide cross section of land- and sea-based industry and commercial sectors, especially due to the reduction of battery costs and increases in energy density.

To implement hybridization in your operations, you can get help from Danfoss Drives to introduce a means of energy storage into a system. We provide personal support and other resources to help you gain more insight into hybridization where it’s relevant in your own applications.

For example, you’re welcome to read more about hybridization or watch this on-demand webinar about hybridization and electrification.

Author: Hannu Sarén, Director, Application products, Danfoss Drives