Nuvation Battery Management System Selected by Stalwart Power

Nov 10, 2016

Sunnyvale, California. November 10, 2016. Stalwart Power has selected Nuvation Energy's battery management system to manage their 51.2-Volt Battery Energy Storage Solution (BESS) for grid-attached and behind-the-meter energy management.

Stalwart_installation.png“Stalwart Power had sourced battery modules that met our utility client’s needs in terms of both cost per kilowatt-hour and cycling capacity, but the OEM battery management system was simply not designed to support our deployment at the utility,” said Woody Gibson, CEO of Stalwart Power. A key requirement was for the BMS to enable remote monitoring of the BESS and to flag any potential issues that would merit a service call, before it impacted system safety or performance.

In terms of selecting a replacement BMS, the high configurability of Nuvation Energy's battery management system made it very easy to integrate into Stalwart’s BESS.” The Stalwart BESS that was fitted with a Nuvation battery management system is a 17.5kWh lithium-iron phosphate energy storage system that utilizes a Schneider inverter. It was deployed in September by a leading U.S. utility to apply PV smoothing and load balancing to solar power generation. Nuvation's BMS was selected due to its design for utility-scale applications and Nuvation’s ability to provide system integration support and engineering design services. Decisive factors that influenced Stalwart Power’s selection of Nuvation's BMS included the availability of Ethernet communications, the high configurability of the BMS, and remotely accessible system controls. Nuvation performed all system integration, which included replacing the OEM BMS that came bundled with the battery modules. Their software team also developed PV smoothing and load balancing algorithms and installed a custom site controller into the BESS.

“After about 20 years of doing power engineering projects, we are excited to see the rapid advancements in battery energy storage within the last five years or so,” said Michael Worry, Nuvation CEO.  “We were very pleased to have been selected by Stalwart Power for both our BMS and our engineering services. They have a well-designed BESS and are a company that innovates at a pace that easily keeps up with battery and energy management technology. It was a very rewarding experience to be part of this project, including the installation and bring-up of the BESS at the utility site.”

As variable energy sources such as wind and solar become more widely adopted, it becomes increasingly problematic for utilities to integrate them into distributed electricity grids due to the disruptive impact of these variable power sources on grid stability. As the cost of batteries fall and their performance improves with new chemistries, battery energy storage systems are becoming adopted as a viable solution to this and other energy management challenges being faced by utilities.

“PV smoothing” refers to the combining of solar generated power with energy storage to mitigate the impacts of power fluctuations derived from clouds passing overhead. These fluctuations are “smoothed” by the batteries before being sent to the grid. “Load balancing” refers to the storage of excess energy during periods of low demand, and the releasing of that stored energy as demand increases. Energy storage systems in the 48-volt range are emerging as a dominant BESS configuration for residential and commercial energy storage applications. They can be paired with residential solar, for example to store excess energy until needed, aid in grid stability, and power many other applications that directly impact grid energy costs and reliability.