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The challenge

Integrating energy storage into the commercial mix

SEIF is a platform to test stored energy technology and hardware, so that we can integrate stored energy on a commercial scale. This is essential to reduce cost and emissions for Australia's energy future. 

SEIF monitors energy use to maximise efficiency and cost savings

Our response

Efficient energy use in a real-life setting

SEIF, a state-of-the-art facility at CSIRO's Energy Centre, tests energy and storage hardware in a controlled environment, so clients know how energy is being used to maximise savings of both cost and energy.

Our platform captures onsite generation and provides tariff-driven energy management to minimise the load on the grid during peak times. This means we can monitor how to use energy in the most efficient way, which means significant savings in our running costs.

Technical specifications

  • 900 kWh of energy (in standard and advanced lead acid systems and lithium) can provide 280 kW of power to supply site loads, manage variable power or export to the grid.
  • Simultaneous multimode scenarios provide bulk energy charge and discharge, including peak shaving and peak/off-peak time shifting.
  • Fast response to transients for ramp rate control.
  • Modular design to enable changes in configuration and variable inputs for continued intelligent algorithm development.
  • Applications to forecast renewable intermittency mitigation and storage efficiency maximisation.
  • Lithium ion battery bank energy storage technology that:
    • generates/exports 132 kW of electrical power
    • stores 150 kWh of electrical energy
    • uses lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) battery chemistry.

The results

Real changes. Real impacts. Real savings.

At SEIF, we can carry out extensive testing to hardware-in-the-loop (complex real-time systems) including shifting, smoothing and demand management of electrical bus loads connected to the grid. We can evaluate your own technologies and hardware in a controlled environment and create accurate data to meet your site-servicing requirements.

Through consultancy, collaboration and strategic investment, SEIF can:

  • configure and simulate energy use for your commercial site
  • test hardware
  • estimate cost and energy savings
  • make changes for your business for cost and energy efficiency.

Take a 360 degree virtual tour of SEIF and see how our energy storage and battery systems are driving energy efficiency.

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo appears]

[Image changes to show a blue screen and CSIRO logo and text appears: Stored Energy Integration Facility]

[Image changes to show a back view of a male working in the distance inside the Stored Energy Integration Facility]

Narrator: Our Stored Energy Integration Facility also known as the SEIF is a real-world example of commercial energy storage.

[Camera gradually zooms in on the SEIF Facility and a sign appears in the centre of the screen: Total SEIF Battery Storage]

Just one way we’re researching better ways to use and store energy.  We have nearly one megawatt hour of storage which is about 100 times the capacity of a residential storage system.

[Camera zooms in on a back view of a male working at a desk near a bank of ultra-batteries and a sign appears on the right of the bank of batteries: Ultra Battery]

We have different batteries on site like the ultra-battery, one of our own inventions, as well as lithium ion and lead acid batteries.

[Music plays and the image changes to show a male working at a desk to the right of a yellow inverter and a sign appears on the right of the inverter displaying energy usage with a heading: Inverters]

We use stored energy during peak times to manage our electricity demand or shift energy from one period to another.  This helps reduce our demand on the grid and reduces our costs.  We typically discharge the batteries in the afternoon as this is when energy demand on site and the price of electricity is highest.  We also use the batteries to increase the reliability of our solar energy, such as when cloud cover affects our energy output.

[Image changes to show the data screen in the SEIF Facility and a sign appears next to the screen with a heading: Monitoring our energy use]

The data screen tells us a lot

[Image shows a male getting up from his desk on the left rear of the screen and walking around to the front of the data screen and taking notes]

such as how much electricity we are using and how much we are generating from renewable sources like the solar PV panels on the roof.  It also tells us how much energy has been stored or supplied from the battery.

[Image changes to show an interior view of batteries in the SEIF Facility and a sign appears in the centre of the screen with a heading: Battery expertise]

The SEIF is available to Government and industry to answer key questions like “Which battery technology is best to use for which application?”, “What’s the best way to control this energy storage?” and “How long will these batteries last?”.

[Image changes to show a male walking out of a door inside the SEIF Facility and moving towards the left and sitting at his desk]

And by testing new technologies on our own site we know first-hand how they work.

[Image changes to show a shipping container outside of the SEIF Facility and a sign appears on the right-hand side of the shipping container with a heading: Lithium-ion batteries]

The SEIF includes testing of a lithium ion battery system housed in a six-metre shipping container.  Lithium batteries are a popular and well-known energy storage technology

[Image changes to show a bank of lithium-ion batteries and a sign appears to the left of the batteries with a heading: Lithium-ion testing]

and can be used for an exciting range of applications like electric vehicles and solar energy storage in your home.  You’ll also find them in many small devices such as laptops and mobile phones.

[Music plays and the image changes to show the Power Conversion System outside at the SEIF Facility and a sign appears on the left of the system with a sign headed: Power Conversion System]

The lithium ion technology expands the range of batteries we have on site as part of our SEIF research.

[Music plays and the image changes to show a blue screen and text appears:]

[CSIRO logo and text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]

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