20.07.2020 / News
Green hydrogen can play an important role in decarbonising industry, mobility, heating, gas and electricity system by substituting energy from fossil fuels. EASE has been investigating hydrogen’s opportunities and challenges thanks to the work of its Task Force on Power-to Gas and Biofuels.
23.09.2020 / News
Welcome On Board UNDA Engineering!
The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) is glad to extend a warm welcome to its newest member UNDA Engineering - who joined EASE in September 2020. Mr Selahattin, Managing Director at UNDA Engineering, accepted to discuss with us UNDA Engineering’s expertise in energy storage and expectations from this collaboration with EASE.
EASE: Mr Selahattin thank you very much for accepting this interview. We are very really happy to have UNDA Engineering among our members and we would like to know more about your activities in the sector. Could you summarise the most interesting insights from UNDA Engineering’s work for energy storage?
Mr Selahattin: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Unda Enginering Inc. is a start-up company based in Depark Technology Development Zone in Turkey. For the last 4 years we have been working to contribute to the development of energy storage systems using two different approaches: hydrogen generation from carbonaceous sources and high temperature heat storage. Due to a lack of local infrastructure for the scale-up of hydrogen generation system, we decided to focus on heat storage where we have partnerships with several power generation companies in Turkey. Especially with the change on power generation directives in Turkey, now companies can develop hybrid solutions which can incorporate both conventional and renewable systems. Thus, we are working on the development of a high temperature energy storage system to support thermal power generation in order to support this adaptation in the industry. We started with the aim of supporting the ongoing power generation in routine operations. But as we work on the problems, we noticed that there is a larger need for balancing and secondary systems in Turkey. This need is even bigger than European markets where energy storage is mainly non-existing for technologies other than fossil fuels and hydroelectricity which is not applicable in most of the regions. Also, most of the infrastructure is large in scale, and this create problems regarding economic feasibility as well as issues for primary and secondary frequency control services. These problems are growing with the increasing share of wind and solar in the energy mix. Thus, in short term we target curtailment minimisation and in medium term, support to conventional generation markets. Grid and energy infrastructure are highly complicated even today. We believe we can learn from other partners thanks to EASE in order to help finding solutions to global problems through energy storage. We already learned a lot in our first weeks as member and got insights from the expectations of the European Commission regarding energy storage.
There are also other groups and companies that are working on heat storage, but we aim to focus on modular heat batteries with fast response and high storage temperatures over 1000°C. In fact, in the future we want to reach even higher temperatures, in order to achieve higher energy storage density. A large number of applications use phase-change materials with a very good capacity and stable operational temperature. High temperatures systems have a lot of problems for controlled heat transfer, but they also possess a large potential. Currently, we are working on a high temperature prototype in our test laboratory. We are also working on the development of a digital twin to work on fast response control scenarios which can help us to help grid balance services.
EASE: We look forward for a very fruitful collaboration with you and to receive UNDA Engineering’s inputs for our Working Groups and Task Forces. What created the interest from your company to join EASE?
Mr Selahattin: There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the need for a larger stakeholder network and for regulatory change. EASE has a large number of members which deal with many aspects of energy storage market, and we can learn from their experiences. We want to cooperate in order to develop and deploy effective energy storage technologies through partnerships. The second one is the need for regulatory changes to meet energy market needs for storage operations. Energy storage is barely mentioned, and regulations are very limited in the Turkish market, where we are learning and adapting ourselves from European countries. Yet we know that more is needed to stimulate both policy makers and market players to recognise storage as an indispensable element of the energy system.
EASE: What is your vision for how storage can contribute to the energy transition?
Mr Selahattin: It is inevitable for renewable energy sources to take a more significant part in the energy system to meet the increasing demand. This creates a number of problems for energy supply security considering a more and more unpredictable climate. Thus, energy storage is crucial to achieve a more flexible and responsive power production. Presently, we focus on curtailment minimisation and in storage applications for electricity generation markets which is more essential in the current situation. Yet I think energy storage applications can also help to decrease a large portion of net urban energy demand in the coming years and reduce increasing loads on connected grids.
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