A new type of battery might be the key, and the vital electronics are now being developed at TRUMPF Hüttinger.
Batteries are well suited to catch and level out peaks in energy generation from wind and sun, and store the energy for later use. Currently, even e-cars are considered a possible storage solution. Battery systems directly attached to wind and solar power plants provide much more efficient solutions that are just as suitable for local use as for grid feed.
A new type of storage, known as redox flow batteries, is just being introduced to the market. These batteries use liquid electrolytes as storage media, are absolutely harmless to the environment, can be built for large scale storage capacities, and have a virtually infinite life-cycle. The downside: they take up a considerable amount of space.
Power inverters act as an interface between power generation, storage and withdrawal of electrical energy. Every photovoltaic system is equipped with a power inverter; however, readily available types are not entirely suitable for redox flow batteries. Being one of the pioneers in the field, TRUMPF Hüttinger has teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE to develop specially designed power inverters that are now at the prototype stage.
Stephan Mayer, managing director at TRUMPF Hüttinger, is optimistic about the prospects of his new business division: "We already see considerable interest, although the market is in its infancy." The projected market launch is early 2017.