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Grid Energy Storage Valuation

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Advanced Energy Storage Modeling, Performance Evaluation and Testing
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$3,306,200
Location: 
La Jolla, CA
Project Term: 
02/09/2015 to 02/08/2020
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
Methods for storing electricity for the electric power system (i.e. the grid) are developing rapidly, but widespread adoption of these technologies requires real-world data about their performance, economic benefit, and long-term reliability. The CHARGES program, short for "Cycling Hardware to Analyze and Ready Grid-Scale Electricity Storage," establishes two sites where ARPA-E-funded battery technologies will be tested under conditions designed to represent not just today's applications, but also the demands of tomorrow's electric power system. The program will establish realistic duty cycles for storage devices on a microgrid, and test them in both a controlled environment and under realistic microgrid operating conditions. The objective of the CHARGES program is to accelerate the commercialization of electrochemical energy storage systems developed in current and past ARPA-E-funded research efforts. The program aims to help ARPA-E-funded battery development teams improve their storage technologies to deliver substantial economic benefit under real-world conditions, both now and in the future.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) will conduct testing of existing ARPA-E energy storage technologies in both laboratory and grid-connected conditions. Home to one of the country's largest microgrids, UCSD will apply its advanced understanding of microgrid operation in the California market to select and value applications for storage, in grid-connected and islanded conditions, and to develop duty cycles for energy storage in order to serve individual and stacked applications. UCSD plans to test cells and modules from ARPA-E-funded battery developers in its battery laboratories, and UCSD experts will assist ARPA-E battery developers in resolving issues and enhancing performance. Those batteries that perform well in laboratory testing using the selected duty cycles will then be deployed for extended testing on UCSD's microgrid. This approach will allow UCSD to achieve test results that represent a wide spectrum of applications, determine system performance under a variety of conditions, and eventually generate initial performance data that can be shared with electric utilities and other potential grid storage buyers to inform them of the promise of early-stage storage technologies.
Potential Impact: 
If successful, UCSD's energy storage modeling, assessment, and testing systems could provide data on the economic value of ARPA-E-funded energy storage systems and encourage expanded adoption of energy storage systems.
Security: 
Greater utilization of grid storage systems could boost the resiliency of the grid by providing backup power and grid stabilization during emergencies.
Environment: 
Greater utilization of grid storage systems could boost the resiliency of the grid by providing backup power and grid stabilization during emergencies.
Economy: 
Greater utilization of grid storage systems could boost the resiliency of the grid by providing backup power and grid stabilization during emergencies.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Paul Albertus
Project Contact: 
Dr. Antonio Tong
Release Date: 
12/8/2014