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State-of-the-art Battery and Energy Storage Testing Center Opens
Volume 5, Issue 19


by Richard Fioravanti and Davion Hill, DNV GL


On April 30th, The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and DNV GL (formerly DNV KEMA) announced the opening of the new state-of-the-art Battery and Energy Storage Testing and Commercialization Center in Rochester, New York.

The lab comes on line at a time when storage deployments are beginning to ramp up across North America. Evidence of this trend is being seen in California, where utilities are adopting storage and the State has set procurement targets of 1.325 GW over the next 10 years, as well as Canada where Ontario has released an RFP (Request for Proposal) for 50 MW, and, of course, the State of New York. In New York and California, initiatives are not only examining storage as an integral technology to Utility of the Future build-outs, but also as a strategy to mitigate impacts of changes in energy supplies in the States. For example, in New York, storage may also serves as a demand response tool as a solution to make up for the loss of supply due to the pending closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant.

The timing of the opening of the lab couldn’t be better. At such a time when there is expected to be a significant and wide ranging number of storage deployments and demonstrations of new technologies, the lab is a well-positioned to assist in advancing the promising storage technologies forward. The lab will focus on performance verification, product development, certification testing, limited abuse testing, and cycle lifetime testing. The center is equipped with temperature test chambers as well as modular, walk-in temperature test chambers to cover a host of potential testing requests.

Though storage center is looking to assist companies across the U.S. and North America, it is being located in New York because of the concentration of market drivers and forces that are located in the State. The area has the ability to tap into leading investors for advanced technologies, a strong University researching network, and a host of both start-up technology firms as well as the State’s strong base of global manufacturing companies. It is this mix of academia, industry, and investors that allows the State to provide a unique set of opportunities for the lab and the market to prosper. When combined with the State’s commitment to advance the technology, it is easy to see how this public-private partnership between New York and DVN GL was conceptualized and why supporters of ‘storage’ are excited by the announcement.

The process the NY-BEST went through to select their partner was rigorous and highlights the strengths of the DNV organization. One of the reasons that DNV GL was selected as the partner of choice was because DNV is not just a leading testing organization, but a global services provider to the energy sector as well. Through this partnership, the center not only benefits from DNV’s expertise in managing testing labs, but participants in the lab are now also able to tap into our subject matter experts from DNV KEMA, GL Garrad Hassan, GL Renewables Certification, and our Research and Innovation team. In fact, our R&I group has been focusing on advancing storage as well through initiatives with the DOE ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) Program and others. DNV GL is managing a project in the ARPA-E Advanced Monitoring and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) program related to Li-ion battery off gassing. The project is qualifying cutting edge sensor technology that enables lower cost energy storage via advanced monitoring and control. The project is also generating valuable insights for battery safety.

Other activities from which the lab in Rochester will benefit from include DNV GL’s Battery XT model, a Li-ion life prediction tool that was developed with research funds and can be used to simulate battery duty cycles, verify system life, and perform sizing of battery systems according to their expected service environment.

DNV GL began this work in its strategic research division (Research & Innovation, or R&I) in 2008 and built a program related to battery life prediction and testing. These initiatives are part of the company’s heritage of investing 5 percent of annual revenue into research. A heritage that NY-BEST can leverage and benefit from as the lab begins operations and matures.

More broadly, energy storage is often discussed in the context of the utility grid but the technologies touch many more areas. Utility scale, advanced storage is already being adopted in the auto industry (EVs), maritime industry, and the aircraft industry to name just a few. DNV GL is translating this knowledge across the sectors and leveraging its experience in each of these areas to benefit the companies looking to utilize the facility and tap into the expertise. The ARPA-E work and DNV GL’s involvement in large, global sectors exhibits a greater breadth of experience and knowledge than any other testing organization can provide. The NY-BEST laboratory will be an indispensable tool to these services and help advance storage across the State and North America.

The State of New York and DNV GL are extremely excited by the opening of the lab. New York BEST was awarded $6.9 million in combined funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD). Under the partnership agreement, DNV GL is providing investments of up to $16 million, including re-location of its existing storage testing center from its current location of Chalfont, PA to the new facility in Rochester, NY.

The timing of the lab maps well into many of the initiatives that are now taking place to advance storage deployments. Companies interested in learning more about the Center’s capabilities are invested to visit the Center’s web site at www.dnvgl.com/Best



Richard Fioravanti and Davion Hill, DNV GL
Richard Fioravanti
Head of Services—Distributed Energy Resources
 


Richard Fioravanti has over 19 years of experience working with emerging technologies in commercial and consulting roles. In his current post at DNV GL Energy, his efforts are directed on distributed energy resources such as advanced storage technologies, microgrids, device testing, application modeling, and electric vehicles. He also serves on the board for the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium.


Richard Fioravanti and Davion Hill, DNV GL
Davion Hill, PhD
Principal Engineer/Group Leader—Energy & Materials
 


Dr. Davion Hill is an R&D professional with over 10 years of experience in technical program development and contract research in the energy sector. He has won and managed multiple federal projects related to materials integrity and battery safety, including ARPA-E and PHMSA. Dr. Hill has chaired or participated in multiple panel discussions on the topics of battery safety and has led technical efforts to qualify and test battery systems for maritime hybrid vessels and offshore battery applications. Dr. Hill will serve as President for the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt) for the 2015 calendar year.

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