It's not just about batteries: Assessing alternative storage opportunities

  • Session Topic
    Energy Storage/Battery Storage

It's not just about batteries: Assessing alternative storage opportunities

4 Oct 2018, 2:50 PM - 4:10 PM

Room 220
English (Australia)

Chair: Abbie McQueen, Principal Consultant, AECOM


Chilled Water Energy Storage

John Palmer, Project Manager and Energy Engineer, Mechanical System Installations

Angela Cooney, Sustainable Solutions Manager, Veolia Energy - Regional QLD

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and Veolia will install over 2.1MW of rooftop solar with energy storage at USC’s Sippy Downs campus. The campus will reduce grid electricity use by 36%.

The development will include a 4.5 megalitre thermal energy storage (TES) tank, which will effectively act as a 7.5MW electrical battery, a new central chiller plant and approximately 5800 365 watt PV Panels. The chilled water is stored at 5 degrees celcius and will supply the cooling for air-conditioning purposes. The thermal battery will be charged during solar production hours and discharged during the evening and has the capacity to supply the campus during extended overcast periods.

The analysis that was carried out showed the thermal battery to be superior for the application over electrical storage on many fronts.


Evaluation of a PV System utilizing a Hot Water Tank for Energy Storage

Harry Suehrcke, Director, SolarSim Pty Ltd

Photovoltaic (PV) systems with battery storage are experiencing rapid growth in spite of the relatively long payback periods for battery storage. In most if not all domestic applications the water heating load represents a significant fraction of the total energy use (order of 25%). In this presentation the concept of using a PV system coupled to a hot water storage tank as an alternative method for heating and storing the hot water load is explored. 

We calculate the excess energy available from a PV system without energy storage that can be used for water heating. For the application of a hot water storage tank as a thermal battery, it is essential that the PV water heating is controlled so that only excess power and not expensive imported grid peak power is used. Optimum storage capacities and control strategies are investigated and the effect of the load and the AS/NZS 4234 hot water draw-off profiles are evaluated. Detailed minute by minute calculations of the energy flows are used to find the cost savings. 

It is shown that a well-insulated hot water storage tank not only provides a cost effective method for reducing PV system energy storage costs but also enables the decoupling of the load and radiation profiles. For households with significant hot water use, hot water energy storage is an attractive alternative to battery energy storage. The thermal energy storage can also be used to extend the battery capacity of a PV system and results for this hybrid energy storage are also reported.


Saltwater Storage with Lithuim: How to run your Avocado farm on 100% Solar using Lithium and Salt Water Energy Storage. Case studies from WA 

George Zsolt, Zombor, CEO, Unlimited energy Australia / Tesvolt

Unlimited Energy completed a cutting edge off grid renewable energy solution with Tesvolt Germany in Western Australia by combining 2 different battery technologies together with SMA multicluster solution. 

The 100% renewable system (210 kWh) has been working now for 660 days without any diesel backup on site, providing a first hand data for the industry. 

We worked closely with the Avocado Farm owner to implement a solution which was environmentally friendly, economical and safe. We decided to proceed with the application of 160 kWh Aquion Hybrid Ion battery storage system (salt water batteries), the world’s only certified cradle to cradle battery. Salt water batteries have never been used in a deployment of this scale and configuration. In order to meet high surge demand 48kWh TESVOLT Lithium TS was used as a 3rd cluster to provide fast discharge option. The ground mounted 53 kW stand-alone pv system is capable to run the Farm 100% on renewable sources. 

Similar Western Australian projects will be shown in the presentation to demonstrate that Energy Storage with Solar PV can provide a real alternative option in any remote locations already.


A national atlas and cost model of pumped hydro energy storage in Australia

Bin Lu, Sr., Electrical Engineer / PhD Candidate, Australian National University

In this study we conducted a comprehensive Geographic Information System-based site search for pumped hydro energy storage across each state/territory of Australia, which demonstrated that Australia has a large storage potential in the form of 22,000 pumped hydro sites - equivalent to 67,000 gigawatt-hours and far beyond the storage requirements to support 100% renewable electricity in the Australian energy market. Significantly, a large number of possible sites are located within close proximity to roads, water and the existing 275-500 kilovolts transmission infrastructure, which allows low connection costs.

Prospective pumped hydro sites in Far North Queensland, the north of South Australia and North West Australia such as the Kimberley and Lake Argyle regions are co-located with excellent solar resources, which can potentially enable large-scale electricity exports to the National Electricity Market and Southeast Asia via long-distance high-voltage direct/alternating current transmission lines or submarine cables. In addition, by stabilising weather-dependent solar and wind resources with pumped hydro facilities, photovoltaics, wind and pumped hydro hybrid systems can ensure long-term reliable energy supply to the mining activities located in remote areas far from electricity main grids, such as the Mount Isa Mines (copper and zinc) in Queensland. In light of rapidly declining cost of photovoltaics and wind and increasingly high fuel prices, these hybrid systems may become competitive in the near future with long-distance high-voltage transmission or building local diesel or natural gas-fired electricity facilities. Photovoltaics, wind and pumped hydro hybrid systems also create opportunities for low-carbon energy transition in the refining industry such as the iron refining in Pilbara, exporting high value-added commodities including iron and renewable electrofuels such as methanol, dimethyl ether and methane.

Cost models for pumped hydro energy storage are under development: the Alpha model includes the budget estimate of a typical site located in Araluen Valley, New South Wales, which has already been made publicly available. By contrast, the Beta model (expected in mid-2018) will be a generic costing tool, containing cost functions of the major components of a pumped hydro project at a pre-feasibility study level. In future, a Gamma model is also proposed, which will optimise the site selections on an economic basis i.e. by dollars per kilowatt and dollars per kilowatt-hour.


  • Abbie McQueen


    Principal Consultant


    Abbie is a strategy specialist leading AECOM’s Energy Advisory team. She has 10 years of experience in the infrastructure industry, with a specific...

  • John Palmer


    Project Manager and Energy Engineer

    Mechanical System Installations

    John Palmer has over 30 years’ experience in Project Engineering & Management of Mechanical System Installations and is a valued team member as the...

  • Angela Cooney


    Sustainable Solutions Manager


    Angela has worked for Veolia for the past 11 years and holds a Diploma of Environmental Science. She is currently focused on growing the Energy...

  • Harry Suehrcke



    SolarSim Pty Ltd

    Dr. Harry Suehrcke is an engineer with more than 25 years of experience in the field of renewable energy.  Following his work as an academic he was...

  • George Zsolt Zombori



    Unlimited Energy Australia / Tesvolt

    With an extensive career focusing on innovative and sustainable energy solutions, facilitating the custom designs of solar based energy efficient...

  • Bin Lu


    Sr. Electrical Engineer / PhD Candidate

    Australian National University

    Bin Lu is a senior electrical engineer with a twelve years’ experience of engineering design and consulting services in power supply and electrical...

Opening Times
Wed 3 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm
Wed 3 Oct Networking Event 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Thur 4 Oct Exhibition 9.00am – 5.00pm

Registration opens 8.00am

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