The NEC Energy Solutions Blog

3 essential considerations when deploying batteries outdoors

Large, grid-scale energy storage systems are often housed in custom-built facilities, allowing them to operate at peak efficiency. This is great if you are a utility operator needing a complex battery system, but what about organizations looking for a smaller, commercial-scale battery? These energy storage solutions are often used in situations where they need to be housed outdoors, creating significant complexity that needs to be countered with a well-designed battery system that is resilient enough to withstand exposure to the elements.

Battery capacity and lifetime are affected by extreme temperatures and excess humidity. The integration system that houses the battery can provide a vital layer of protection. There are a few key issues you should keep in mind when you are considering an outdoor battery system deployment.

1. What are your options for housing the battery?
There are many situations in which you need to place a battery in a spot where it is difficult to deploy. For example, telecoms often need to place batteries on the top of telephone poles, allowing them to serve as backup to power supplies for communication lines. A research team may need to have battery backup available with them in the field, allowing access to power in even the most remote areas.
Different organizations will have significantly varied needs when it comes to deploying batteries, and you need to carefully evaluate how to house the solution. Understanding battery placement will help the vendor you choose optimize the installation and make sure you end up with a battery that will deliver a significant return on investment.

2. The size and weight of batteries relational to where they are housed
Once you have figured out how you are housing the battery, you need to consider the ways in which that location will impact the battery. Looking back at our top-of-telephone-pole example, you have to plan for that battery to be exposed to consistently high winds and extreme gusts during storms. In this situation, you want to avoid a heavy battery that will require a more robust anchor to the telephone pole. A lighter, smaller battery that can handle your energy needs, on the other hand, will be easier to secure to the pole and safeguard against winds.

A variety of deployment environments are a challenge on the battery housing, and having a solution that fits your form factor requirements without forcing you to sacrifice storage capacity can prove a huge asset.

"Battery capacity and lifetime can be impacted by extreme weather conditions."

3. The specifications of the battery integration system
A battery cell is usually deployed within a shell that simultaneously protects against the elements and includes a variety of features to improve safety and efficiency while integrating the battery with your power system. You need a clear understanding of the specifications of this solution to make sure it will be able to withstand exposure to the levels of humidity, temperature and the other climate conditions  in your region. A variety of environmental conditions can either damage the battery or impact its capacity over time. Finding a solution that meets your specifications can help avoid these issues and maximize the value of your investment.

Batteries can have a positive impact on an organization's ability to deliver energy under a variety of environmental and operational needs. Making sure those batteries are capable of operating in your specific use environment is vital, especially if you are deploying energy storage technologies outdoors.

1 Comment

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