Laboratories and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have released a new tool to help
utilities, developers, and regulators identify the energy storage options that
best meet their needs.
Partnering with DNV
KEMA, a global testing and consulting firm, Sandia is releasing Energy Storage
Select, or ES-Select, software under a public license to the company. The tool
makes it easier to conduct a quick, high-level analysis of energy storage
options and determine the value of energy storage technologies for a specified
application, which developers say will increase the adoption of energy storage
“ES-Select is the
first of a suite of easily accessible Web tools to help potential users and
regulators to make decisions on energy storage options in specific
applications,” said Imre Gyuk, program manager of DOE’s Energy Storage program.
The application is
available for free download on Sandia’s Energy Storage Website. “This tool
is designed to help users to understand at a basic level what storage can do.
If it looks beneficial from a cost standpoint, they can explore the options
further,” said Sandia project manager Dhruv Bhatnagar.
developers who want to use energy storage have many technologies to consider,
including flywheels, compressed air, pumped hydro and thermal storage, and six
types of electric batteries. All have different costs, and estimating revenue
from using various applications is difficult. Researching all relevant cost
factors independently could take days or weeks in the past, but ES-Select
aggregates all relevant factors into a single decision-support tool that runs
in a few minutes. If the results are favorable for a particular technology,
users can determine whether to run detailed, site-specific analysis using other
“ES-Select is an
educational and decision-support tool for deployment of energy storage on the
power grid,” said Ali Nourai, executive consultant for DNV KEMA, and
co-developer of ES-Select. “It has been created for public use to promote the
understanding of storage technologies and the benefits they offer when applied
on the electric grid.”
The tool aids
decisions about what storage technologies would work best in a given situation.
For example, if a business pays more for electricity during the day than at
night, the owner could use the tool to quickly evaluate several energy storage
options to determine the cost-benefit of buying lower-cost electricity at night
and storing it for use during the day.
Users can input the
application they are interested in, as well as such parameters as energy costs
and discount rates. The program produces a list of storage technologies and
their predicted benefits and associated costs. ES-Select aggregates all of the
inputs and assumptions—monetary value for an application, technology costs,
performance characteristics, and operation and maintenance costs—and quickly
spits out recommended options.
Rather than basing
decisions on a single factor such as capital cost, ES-Select assesses how an
energy storage technology performs while addressing uncertainties in
application value, storage cost, cycle life, efficiency, discharge duration,
and other parameters.
“With funding from
DOE’s Energy Storage Program, Sandia has worked with KEMA to develop a user
friendly, freely accessible tool to evaluate potential applications of energy
storage,” said Gyuk. “We hope that this tool will contribute to the widespread
adoption of storage on the grid.”
benefit utilities, independent power producers, industrial and commercial
enterprises, regulators, lawmakers, and the public, including those doing
research on energy storage. “We’ve already had a lot of people asking about
this program, and we know many are anxious to use it,” said Bhatnagar. “I think
this will encourage those who might not have considered energy storage before
to think more seriously about it and evaluate its potential as a viable