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Journal of Energy Storage 18 (2018) 250–255

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Journal of Energy Storage

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Demands on energy storage for renewable power sources T

Zdeněk Dostál, Libor Ladányi
University of Zilina, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Institute of Aurel Stodola, ul. kpt. J. Nálepku 1390, 031 01 Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovak Republic


Keywords: The article deals with the issue of energy storage facilities for renewable energy sources. Due to the ratio be-
Renewable energy sources tween power delivery and take-off, the energy storage system is a key element in these systems. It is useful to
Energy storage divide the energy storages into short, long and backup energy storage. Based on an analysis of the energy
Energy consumption consumption of an apartment or habitable unit, it is possible to define the properties of each type of storage.
Power sources

1. Introduction Accessibility has a different time profile. Collection of energy from di-
rect or diffused solar radiation is limited by the daily cycle and me-
Like other systems, renewable energy systems must also include teorological situation in a particular location on the Earth's surface,
energy storage. These storages are crucial to ensure the continuous entering the ground level. Wind energy collection is limited by the
operation of a home or residential unit. Short-term or long-term energy regular or irregular occurrence of the wind with the necessary force.
storage can compensate the differences between income and outcome Geothermal energy collection is relatively stable, but it can also be
energy. variable in time. The energy gain from the tidal wave is regular, but it
The Renewable Energy Sources (RES) use the direct transformation has phases when the energy is available, or there is a change between
of solar radiation through solar cells, concentrators, solar collectors, as tides and waves. The energy of the sea waves depend on the stormy
well as the indirect use of solar radiation through biomass, water situation over the sea. The energy from the water depending on the
sources, heat pumps, wind power plants, the use of marine energy and actual water flow or the water reservoir over that source.
so on, … [4–6]. The geothermal resources have a specific position in The most energy form conversion is from the solar energy into
RES. electrical or thermal energy. It may also be changed to positional,
The RES systems may contain various types of energy storage such pressure and other type of energy. Energy conversion is also associated
as: electrochemical accumulators, superconductors, superconducting with its storage in buffer dispensers to reduce disproportion between
units, rotary, air-pressurized and others. These types of storages are collection and energy consumption.
referred to as short-term. Except this option, long-term storages can be The consumer needs to have the available electrical and thermal
used, but they work on different principles. Long-term storage tanks energy constantly, but the time profile of consumption may vary. For
have to keep their energy supply for a period of years. These are, for example, heating will be approximately constant, we need a stable
example, biofuel containers. room temperature. However, the hot service water is discharged irre-
Electrochemical accumulators [1–3,7,8] are currently the best gularly. Usually in the morning and evening, as a regular the with-
available to the user. It is also necessary to design the size of the battery drawal. Over the day, according to the current activity, resumption is
assembly for the short-term energy storage of the required amount of irregular.
electricity. Long-term energy storage bases are principally functional, A key element for the continued operation of such a RES system is
but not yet technologically finalized for the stage of general use. the energy storage.

2. Definition of RES 3. Reservoirs of energy in RES

Renewable energy sources (RES) on the Earth's surface can be de- The form of available and consumed energy can be the same or
fined as the technical means that collect the available energy within different. Getting heat and heating energy is a good combination, but it
range, modify it and deliver it to the user for consumption. needs a stack to offset timeless processes.
Energy collection is subject to availability of energy in the area. In the case of different forms of available and consumed energy, a

Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: (Z. Dostál), (L. Ladányi).
Received 25 September 2017; Received in revised form 30 April 2018; Accepted 3 May 2018
2352-152X/ © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Z. Dostál, L. Ladányi Journal of Energy Storage 18 (2018) 250–255

reservoir is also needed, also to offset the time-lagging processes of Short-term energy storages must be recharged at every opportunity.
energy generation and consumption. For example, acquiring electricity They enable power delivery at the point of time when the power cannot
from direct sunlight and its consumption on mechanical motion may be recharged. The amount of energy stored overlays only a short period,
also be uncoordinated. The combination of the form of collected and the order day. For overclocking for several days, the stack increases
consumed energy can be a great deal. considerably, or it may need to be folded from several standardly
It should be noted that in the RES we need to have an energy re- stocked energy storages. This is a disadvantage of short-term storage.
servoir included due to the continuous operation of RES.
However, by energy manipulation, the fact is that to increase the 3.2. Long-term storage
efficiency of energy use, it is necessary to use the devices as simply as
possible or without reservoirs. For example, to pump water into the The principle of long-term storage of energy is in a form that is
reservoir, we can use an electric pump that is powered by photovoltaic stable over a long period of years.
panels through an electric accumulator. Here the electric accumulator Often it is about hydrogen. This is one of the perspective ways of
acts as a compensating element for the optimal operation of the electric long-term energy storage. The water is decomposed by means of electric
drive of the pump. However, it is also possible to use a mechanical energy by the electrolysis method, for example, in the fuel cell.
method where the blade is driven by the wind and the mechanical Hydrogen and oxygen should be stored in a way that eliminates leakage
motion of the pump drives the water to the tank. Obviously, the second, and mixing. A great advantage is its non-toxicity in the event of leakage
easier way of direct use of mechanical energy is more efficient and into the atmosphere. At the same time, the hydrogen reaction with
reliable. oxygen generates water which is also capable of repeated decomposi-
If it is not possible to use a more straightforward method of direct tion. The disadvantage is, however, in its considerable explosiveness.
use of the form of energy, it is necessary to use the RES system with a Solving this problem is a technological issue. This problem is expected
defined form of energy to carry out all the necessary activities. to be solved in the future.
For island RES systems, oriented to use for residential units of ci- Long-term storage of energy is principally in fact, that we acquire
tizens, two forms of energy need to be delivered: thermal and electric. and store energy at a time when it is surplus and is not consumed. It is
Therefore, the reservoirs should store either directly or indirectly the then stored for a long time. In a period of shortage of energy, these
form of thermal and electrical energy, or the form of stored energy must stocks are again used to re-release the stored energy. An essential
be readily reversible to the two forms. condition is the requirement to save energy for a long time. The re-
Keystones for residential units of citizens are storage tanks for heat release of the stored energy can be started with a delay and hours
and electricity. The user needs to store energy at three-time levels: without disturbing the continuous operation of the RES system.

• for immediate use (short-term storage), 3.3. Backup resources

• for use in periods of lack of energy (long-term storage),
• for use in emergency situations (backup power sources). Back-up power sources are in the RES system exclusively for
emergency purposes. Then there will be a failure or failure of the RES
3.1. Short-term storage systems, or in particularly adverse meteorological situations, the energy
has been exhausted in both short and long-term stores.
The principle of short-term storage of heat and electricity is similar. Back-up resources can be ecological. These are, for example, the
The energy obtained is stored in this form and, if necessary, withdrawn production and drying of wood pellets for use in winter and in emer-
from the container. gency situations. However, the possibility of combustion of fossil fuels
Heat energy is obtained from the surrounding environment via a (natural gas, diesel) to produce heat or the use of a diesel power plant is
solar collector, heat pump, electric spiral from the electrical system, this also always available.
heat energy is stored in the reservoir so as to heat the heat medium. The preparation of backup energy sources is appropriate at a time
Heat transfer is usually via the primary circuit from the source to the when all the necessary steps can be taken regardless of the meteor-
stack and back. The medium is often liquid, sometimes fixed or com- ological situation. The purchase of diesel is totally independent of the
bined. Sometimes heat is stored in the form of a change in the heat availability of energy in the RES system.
carrier medium. Heat collection is only carried out using a secondary
circuit with heat transfer fluid from the tank to the appliance. The 4. Approach to dimensioning short-term energy storage
appliance may be a heater, like a central heating system.
Electricity is obtained from the surrounding environment in pho- The short-term energy storage is designed for daily energy con-
tovoltaic panels, fuel cells, wind generators, water generators, DC sumption with a certain reserve. However, meteorological conditions
electricity is fed into the storage tank, which is the most common will sometimes get worse enough, that we must save energy for several
chemical accumulator. The battery is recharging, energizing and storing days. No energy can be added during this time. After that the size of the
in a chemical reaction. In addition, the accumulator may consist of an short-term storage increases algebraically. This process can also in-
energized flywheel, superconductor, or other device. Electric energy is crease the cost of purchasing components.
taken immediately by connecting an electrical appliance. Then the The heuristic method is based on the results of individual insolation
battery is discharged, the chemical energy is released in a chemical observation during each day. The assessment of the degree of insolation
reaction. From the flywheel, we get the electric power so that the en- shall consider:
gine running will change to the generator.
These storages have the advantage that we can take the electricity • The length of the day is variable after the year, in summer it is about
instantly as needed. If the charging is at the same time, the battery only 18 h, in winter about 7 h,
covers the difference between take-off and charging. If the subscription • In the case of a clear day, insolation in the summer is approximately
is small, only the battery charge is reduced by this value. three times, which is given by the length of the day and the angle of
But they also have drawbacks. Although the thermal container is sunshine during the day,
heat-isolated to reduce heat loss, losses cannot be reduced to zero. After • Also, the degree of insolation is determined by considering whether
a few days, the media temperature drops considerably in the energy the air is clean or the amount of water vapor and smog present,
storage. Similarly, the electric accumulator is gradually self-biasing. • The numerical representation of the insolation rate for a given day is
Over time, the amount of stored electricity will be reduced. subjective and expressed in 5% increments.

Z. Dostál, L. Ladányi Journal of Energy Storage 18 (2018) 250–255

Fig. 1. Measurement of insolation using the heuristic method in September 2016.

Fig. 2. Measurement of insolation using the heuristic method in September 2016.

Estimating the energy storage size is a challenging task. From the Mikuláš. Only on September 5–6, September 21, the insolation was
measurement of the meteorological situation using the pyranometer close to zero. At that time, it was cloudy, perhaps even a rainy. For the
and the heuristic method gives us basic information about the real si- next days, insolation was around 80% as Fig. 1. shows.
tuation, Figs. 1 and 2. The results of the pyranometer measurements were in line with the
The heuristic method is very inaccurate in quantitative terms. It is results of the heuristic method. This shows that, even in a weaker
not rational to compare it with the measurement method. However, this sunshine, insolation can be relatively high. At that time, diffuse radia-
method gives relatively informative information on days with very low tion may increase, which does not affect the eye, but the pyranometer
insolation, ordinarily below 20%. From the monthly report, it is pos- records it as Fig. 2. shows.
sible to evaluate periods with direct insolation approaching zero. Such a Based on the measured and calculated values, the average hor-
period is crucial for the process of designing short- and long-term en- izontal plane insolation value is based on September 3.313 kWh/m2 per
ergy storage. day [9].
The pyranometer was located at the level of the 2nd floor of the The design of the short-term energy storage is limited, in particular,
building to allow for insolation of the required part of the day. The by the required amount of stored energy. At the same time, it must be
measurement of the pyranometer was determined how many days the short-term storage tank must be sized.
continuous. Measured values were obtained: This means the algebraic increase in the size of the short-term stack.
In October 2016, the insolation of Liptovský Mikuláš was quite
• The measurement period was set for 60 s, small. Up to 12 days, insolation was close to zero. Then it was rainy,
• Light noise was minimized based on the evaluation of its level in the perhaps foggy. The remaining days were insolated to a relatively low,
time interval 2 h after midnight each day, about 20% or 50%. Only two days were sunny, insolation was about
• Light noise was minimized for the current day, 90%, as Fig. 3. shows. The measured values of the pyranometer are
• The resulting insolation value for the current day is the sum of the confirmed by the dynamics of the results of the heuristic method. A
insolation rate in all measurement periods. significant difference in measured values is due to the human eye's
ability to adapt to changing light conditions. Then the degree of in-
September 2016 was favorable in case of insolation in Liptovský solation is difficult to determine in Fig. 4. Based on the measured and

Z. Dostál, L. Ladányi Journal of Energy Storage 18 (2018) 250–255

Fig. 3. Measurement of insolation using the heuristic method in October 2016.

calculated values, the average insolation of the horizontal plane is energy consumption will be on a work day, on weekend or holiday.
based on October 1.716 kWh/m2 per day [9]. Consumption of electric energy for heating (E-night) will depend on
the season. Apparently, during the summer this demand will drop to
zero. Unfortunately, on very cold summer it may be partially activated.
5. Access to dimensioning the long-term storage
In the rest of the period, from autumn to spring, the power take-off is
limited by the current weather. It is important to mention the principle
The problem of dimensioning long-term storage must be based on
of energy saving, that most preferable method is to maintain an ap-
an analysis of energy consumption in each residential or other facility.
proximately constant temperature of the building. A shutdown for a
It is necessary to define how much energy is needed for the operation of
period of absence will cause an increase of power consumption at the
this object and from what sources this energy is obtained so far. Fig. 5.
initial heating of the building. Savings will only be partially reflected in
shows an example of the energy consumption profile of a family house
long-term absence in the building. However, it is necessary to ensure
in year 2004. The profile is dependent on the meteorological situation
the keeping constant temperature of the object, that means heating to a
in the given year. In another year it may be similar, but some conditions
reduced temperature.
can be different. If autumn is hot or cold, it will affect the amount of
The consumption of gas for heating and hot water (DHW) shows an
consumed energy. The same goes for the spring. Summer has the spe-
approximately constant process (Gas). This can be partly influenced
cificity of reducing the energy consumption for heating to zero for a
only by changing the number of inhabitants in the building. In the
certain period. Remaining energy consumptions will depend on the
summer, only hot water was heated, from autumn to spring, gas heating
possible change in the number of members of the household or the
was also used.
performed activity. Otherwise, this consumption will be relatively
Another expression of the energy consumptions to cover the needs
stable or constant. In this household, electric heating (E-night), electric
of the household or object is shown in Fig. 6.
household appliances (E-day) was realized. The usage of gas was on the
An example of the household energy consumption structure is
one hand yearly for heating hot water, and for heating in the transition
shown in Fig. 6, the ratio of energy required to run the house or object.
and winter period.
When we express the ratio financially, the graph will be similar.
By analyzing the above-mentioned patterns, it is possible to state:
The graph in Fig. 6 shows similar behavior to all family houses or
The flow of electricity to the function of electrical appliances (E-
residential units. Other types of objects may have these ratios partially
day) is continuously balanced and independent of the season.
changed. However, all objects will require most of the energy for
Dependency will be reflected in the change in the number of members
of the household and in the performed activity. Another immediate

Fig. 4. Measurement of insolation using the heuristic method in October 2016.

Z. Dostál, L. Ladányi Journal of Energy Storage 18 (2018) 250–255

Fig. 5. Example of the energy consumption of family house in 2004.

on which the furnace is constructed can cause poor burning and

• Electricity consumption to drive electrical elements of these thermal
devices is always lower than heating by electric heaters.
• This may increase the electricity consumption. However, electricity
from the grid can be reduced to a large extent using the RES system.
• With the appropriate setting of the electrical system of RES, excess
electricity can be used to store energy in long-term storage. We can
easily produce electrical energy using photovoltaic panels (FVP),
using a wind generator or a water generator. The storage of elec-
tricity in long-term storage facilities is still unresolved, however a
number of ways already exist. For example, the most promising way
is the hydrogen economy. Also there are some possibilities to use
rotary flywheels, superconductors, or cryogenic magnetic reservoirs.
The main problem is the unresolved technology of using these de-
vices for small, individual use.

The design of a long-term energy storage is limited primarily by the

estimated amount of energy that is missing throughout the year and is
Fig. 6. Example of energy consumption for family house in 2004. not covered by the short-term storage. It is further defined by the speed
of switching from the energy storage mode and the power take-off mode
• By the design of RES, the main effort is to provide energy for heating from the long-term storage.
and for DHW The limit switch between long-term storage and non-use of the
• Reducing the amount of energy needed for heating is possible by short-term stack should be evaluated from the insolation measurement
reducing the loss of a house or living unit. This can be achieved by in the current location. The decision can also be evaluated from the
thermal insulation in case of new building. Thermal insulation in results of a rather inaccurate heuristic method. This will tell us quite
older homes may be questionable. Furthermore, it is necessary to reliably how many days without insolation follow. And also how many
replace old windows with new ones that may reduce the heat times a month this case occurred. Such a situation does not allow re-
transfer between surroundings and building. They can be wooden or charging the short-term stack.
plastic, multilayered or double. Older windows need to be sealed. According to a rough estimate, the switching threshold can be ex-
Doors can also be replaced or re-sealed, or additionally added with pected at 2 to 3 days without insolating one after the other.
heat insulation to reduce heat leakage out. If there are other struc- For example, energy sources, such as those obtained from photo-
tural elements in the house, they must be sealed and heat-insulated voltaic panels, must be able to cover the long-term storage tank in a
to reduce heat leakage and thermal bridges. period of surplus energy so as to be able to cover an all-year shortage of
• Consider heat production with electric heating or gas heating. Gas energy.
heating is evidently cheaper.
• Consider heat production using RES systems, heat pump, solar col-
6. Conclusion
lectors, or otherwise. Enhance environmental protection by not
burning fossil fuels.
• Weigh or supplement the heat production methods by biomass,
Energy storage facilities are a key element for the continuous supply
of RES energy. The dividing to short, long and backup stocks is ad-
pelleting, wood chips or fuel wood. At present, this way of heating is
vantageous due to disproportion between supply and take-off.
a matter of attention and modern furnaces are very efficient. But you
The design of long-term storage facilities must be based on an
need to choose the right furnace. Combustion of fuel other than that
analysis of the house or residential unit. The entire RES system will

Z. Dostál, L. Ladányi Journal of Energy Storage 18 (2018) 250–255

probably be hybrid, composed of several systems that can work to- References
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