The Future of Energy Storage Will Be Shaped by How Battery Cells Are Managed. Here’s Why.

As the shift to a carbon-free world becomes more pressing than ever, we’re seeing increasingly how renewable energy combined with energy storage is changing the nature of our grid. In fact, energy storage plays a vital role in stabilizing the electrical grid, promoting decarbonization, and providing backup power during outages. Which is why there’s nothing surprising about the explosive growth of the energy storage market.

IHS Markit forecasts that the global market for energy storage systems will expand by 250% between 2021 and 2030. And in terms of power capacity, the market is expected to increase from 12GW in 2021 and 30GW by 2030. It’s impressive, almost mind-boggling growth. But for all this to happen, we must rethink our rechargeable battery systems, or Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS).

At the core of every BESS is a battery cell. And battery performance and system safety are highly dependent on key cell parameters such as voltage, current, and temperature. This is why advanced cell controls and monitoring are essential for increasing the overall performance and optimization of the BESS. And that’s where a battery management system (BMS) comes in.

From cell to system: A new approach to managing batteries

What we really need is greater visibility into system performance at the cell level. And this cannot be achieved without a BMS designed specifically for stationary energy storage applications that is paired directly with the system level energy management system (EMS). That’s what sets Powin apart. Our unique system fully integrates our site level controls with our patented BMS.

A battery management system (BMS) monitors and allows control of the individual cells within a battery to protect them from damage, extend their lifespan and keep the battery operating within safe limits. These functions are key to the efficiency, reliability, and safety of the system.

We design and deliver our own BESS modules, fully integrated with our proprietary all-encompassing Battery, Thermal, and Energy Management Systems. And it’s this vertical integration that gives you the most detailed insight into your energy storage projects. This offering provides tailored cell-level optimization for a wide range of storage applications depending on your needs.

Unparalleled Visibility: Meet Powin’s Patented Battery Management System

System Level Safety

  • Coordination between cell level monitoring and system wide dispatch instructions
  • Dynamic limiting functions that adhere closely to cell vendors’ recommendations
  • Cell-level warranty tracking and protection

Cell Level Control

  • Active and passive State of charge (SoC) and State of Health (SoH) management
  • Allows for tighter grouping of cell voltages, leading to more usable energy

Advanced Diagnostics

  • Cell level monitoring provides early detection of system maintenance issues
  • Tracks cell temperature, voltage, and current on a second-by-second basis

Core Technology Enabler

  • Unleashes the full potential of LFP via maximum flexibility and cell agnosticism
  • Empowers fully optimized strategies to address degradation
  • Provides wider SOC operating range without degradation and performance loss
  • Exposes the greatest data fidelity in the market for deeper operational insights

Our proprietary BMS affords us a greater degree of adaptability in our choice of battery technology. Historically, we’ve favored lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) for its superior safety profile and extended lifespan. However, should a more advanced chemistry emerge, our BMS enables us to rapidly incorporate it into our existing system while still providing our customers with the granularity they need to support a high-reliability system.

The Powin difference: A BMS you can trust

We’re pioneers in system integration from the cell level. And from the very beginning of providing energy storage solutions, we’ve always developed and integrated our own BMS into BESS.

This means we’re able to provide:

  • Advanced cell-level controls and monitoring
  • More precise real-time battery SoC and SoH measurements
  • Increased power availability
  • Optimized battery and system performance
  • Enhanced system optimization
  • Increased system safety
  • Deeper cycling and longer life of the system

One of the most important parts of cell-level monitoring and control is safety. Our BMS protects your battery from a range of hazards, including thermal runaway, under and overvoltage, overcurrent, and under and overtemperature. Now you can enjoy long and trouble-free operation of your battery storage system thanks to the Powin BMS.

Key Takeaways: It’s time to do better

While BMS have been around for a while, demand for more advanced, fully integrated, solutions has spiked over the last few years as energy storage systems are integrated into more environments with wider use cases. And yet, there are still many stumbling blocks for this technology to overcome from complexity and scalability to integration (and many other things in between).

Powin offers a unique approach to BMS which pares purpose-built BESS modules with our proprietary BMS and EMS. This not only adds to system safety and reliability but gives unparalleled visibility into your cells’ performance.

Energy storage is an essential part of the transition to renewables. And for many utilities, IPPs, and developers, the BMS is an integral part of making this transition possible.

Logan Weber, Senior Product Manager at Powin