Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

For many years, renewable energy from sources like wind turbines and solar panels has been stored using molten sodium batteries. However, sodium-sulfur batteries, which are molten sodium batteries that are sold commercially, normally run at temperatures between 270 and 350 degrees Celsius, or 520 to 660 degrees Fahrenheit. This has been a problem for some time.

According to Microsoft, backup power for electric grids switching to renewable energy sources could soon be provided by its data centers. In order to continue operating in the case of a power loss, the data centers already contain lithium-ion batteries on-site. Now, that backup solution might support systems that require additional batteries to store energy supplied by expanding numbers of wind or even solar farms.

Any city or region aiming to transition its system to renewable energy must have that form of energy storage. The company’s first significant effort to offer that service will be the opening of Microsoft’s newest data facility in Dublin, Ireland, early in the following year.

Solar and wind energy fluctuate with the weather, unlike coal or gas. As a result, even if they are now more environmentally friendly and affordable substitutes for fossil fuels, they still need to have grid-ready batteries which can store and access energy as needed. Microsoft believes that its data centers can help in this situation.

The lithium-ion batteries are a component of the data center’s “uninterruptible power supply” (UPS), which is typically only activated in an emergency. In the case of a power outage, the batteries normally function for a brief period—possibly just a few minutes—until backup generators are operational.

In Dublin, it is hoped that Microsoft’s large batteries are going to be able to offer a comparable backup on days when the grid begins to experience more energy consumption than it can meet with conventional energy sources. However, it might be able to avoid them as well as only respond to outages.

The existing “spinning reserve” mechanism might be replaced with such one in the future. Currently, some gas, as well as coal-fired power plants, may produce extra electricity than is generally required (known as the spinning reserve), just in case energy demand increases or the availability of other power sources decreases. The requirement for coal and gas-fired power stations to maintain spinning reserves, as well as the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, may be minimized if batteries were accessible.

Microsoft won’t publicly say how much power its Dublin batteries are going to be able to supply. However, as per Christian Belady, who is the vice president of Microsoft’s Datacenter Advanced Development department, its data centers often utilize “tens of megawatts of power.” Therefore, the batteries should be able to give around that much power. For comparison, a megawatt produced by a power plant may be able to power several hundred households.

For many years, renewable energy from sources like wind turbines and solar panels has been stored using molten sodium batteries. However, sodium-sulfur batteries, which are molten sodium batteries that are sold commercially, normally run at temperatures between 270 and 350 degrees Celsius, or 520 to 660 degrees Fahrenheit. This has been a problem for some time.

According to Microsoft, backup power for electric grids switching to renewable energy sources could soon be provided by its data centers. In order to continue operating in the case of a power loss, the data centers already contain lithium-ion batteries on-site. Now, that backup solution might support systems that require additional batteries to store energy supplied by expanding numbers of wind or even solar farms.

Any city or region aiming to transition its system to renewable energy must have that form of energy storage. The company’s first significant effort to offer that service will be the opening of Microsoft’s newest data facility in Dublin, Ireland, early in the following year.

Solar and wind energy fluctuate with the weather, unlike coal or gas. As a result, even if they are now more environmentally friendly and affordable substitutes for fossil fuels, they still need to have grid-ready batteries which can store and access energy as needed. Microsoft believes that its data centers can help in this situation.

The lithium-ion batteries are a component of the data center’s “uninterruptible power supply” (UPS), which is typically only activated in an emergency. In the case of a power outage, the batteries normally function for a brief period—possibly just a few minutes—until backup generators are operational.

In Dublin, it is hoped that Microsoft’s large batteries are going to be able to offer a comparable backup on days when the grid begins to experience more energy consumption than it can meet with conventional energy sources. However, it might be able to avoid them as well as only respond to outages.

The existing “spinning reserve” mechanism might be replaced with such one in the future. Currently, some gas, as well as coal-fired power plants, may produce extra electricity than is generally required (known as the spinning reserve), just in case energy demand increases or the availability of other power sources decreases. The requirement for coal and gas-fired power stations to maintain spinning reserves, as well as the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, may be minimized if batteries were accessible.

Microsoft won’t publicly say how much power its Dublin batteries are going to be able to supply. However, as per Christian Belady, who is the vice president of Microsoft’s Datacenter Advanced Development department, its data centers often utilize “tens of megawatts of power.” Therefore, the batteries should be able to give around that much power. For comparison, a megawatt produced by a power plant may be able to power several hundred households.

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