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NEC Works with EPRI to Test Lithium-ion Storage Systems for Grid Applications

October 03, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

NEC Corp. announced that it is working with the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) to conduct joint field trials of an electricity storage system using NEC’s lithium-ion battery.

In the first phase of the testing, a 25kW system provided to EPRI by NEC will be tested as an initial step toward future smart grid applications. Follow-up electric utility demonstrations of larger 1MW systems could be possible as part of an EPRI - U.S. electric utility industry research collaborative.

Initial testing will be carried out at EPRI’s Knoxville, Tennessee, laboratory using NEC’s integrated lithium-ion battery system to examine operational performance and functionality for U.S. grid compliance. NEC will provide a fully integrated lithium-ion storage system which EPRI will evaluate. It will include power electronics and NEC’s IT network technology, necessary for power control and energy management.

EPRI is engaged in the testing and evaluation of a variety of electric utility scale energy storage systems in support of the electric industry’s transition towards smarter electric grids. In the United States, energy storage systems are expected to be key assets for a wide range of applications, including integration support for wind and solar power generators, distribution grid asset and operational management as well as energy management for commercial buildings and residences.

NEC aims to cultivate its smart grid business as a building block for global energy business expansion. "We are seeking to make important advances in the cost reduction and optimization of energy management through our highly reliable, high capacity and long operating life technologies for large-scale energy storage systems that capitalize on our manganese lithium-ion batteries," said Mr. Takemitsu Kunio, Senior Vice President and Member of the Board, NEC. "We also leveraged these same technologies to start our automobile battery business."