Power Storage & Balancing2024-03-04T09:48:52+01:00

Power Storage & Balancing

Renaud Guillaume, Department Director – Power Storage & Balancing

“Managing the wide-scale introduction of intermittent renewable energy sources into electricity transmission networks is essential for ensuring the stability and flexibility of the grid, especially in an HVDC context. Innovative, hybrid storage solutions will enable us to do this.

Renaud Guillaume, Department Director – Power Storage & Balancing

To support the integration of renewable energies within the European electricity network, the Power Storage and Balancing department adapts and develops hydraulic storage solutions based on the use of pumped storage plant (PSP) technology.

Because wind and solar energy are highly variable, using them on a wide scale requires massive and reactive means of storage. Although hydraulic storage is a mature technology – today it represents 97% of electrical energy storage worldwide – it must be significantly adapted to meet the challenges of the energy transition.

We focus on adapting conventional or variable speed pump turbines and improving their hydraulic characteristics. We also study the hybridisation of PSPs with other means of storage, exploring the economics of ancillary services.

The Power Storage & Balancing research programme aims to develop solutions that increase grid flexibility and offer storage that is adapted to the needs of new ancillary services.
Our research programme began with Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) which is the most mature concept in terms of existing production capacity and storage volume.

SuperGrid Institute’s hydraulic platform makes it possible for us to test every kind of reversible pump turbine in all four quadrants, gathering data on efficiency, cavitation and dynamic behaviour according to IEC 60193 standard requirements.

Another platform, HydroPHIL, simulates the performance of hydroelectric dams. It focuses on hydraulic transitions within the power grid and, more generally, on unsteady regimes associated with the operation of hydraulic turbines: power build-up, start-ups, shutdowns, etc.

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