CMI offers Green Energy Storage Solutions


November 21st 2017

Since its creation in 1817, the CMI Group has been developing a perfect command of the design, supply and maintenance of equipment. From the development of the very first steam machines to the latest thermal solar receivers, CMI has accumulated the experience so as to become a leader in the domain of energy transition. Today CMI Energy’s specialists go a step further in becoming an EPC and integrator of technologies: they offer integrated production, storage and management units dedicated to green electricity. This product with a promising future may change the world of energy…
A CMI research team set up 30 months ago has highlighted the opportunity to develop tailored solutions in order to store the electricity produced by photovoltaic panels or wind turbines. A major disadvantage of these two sectors is their intermittent production of electricity, since this depends on their exposure to the sun or wind. But coupling them with storage technologies brings an undisputed advantage: complete control over the use of the stored electricity.
Storage technologies have evolved considerably over the last few years. Alongside proven Lithium-ion battery solutions, alternatives have been developed with flow batteries. These are based on a chemical procedure enabling a liquid (electrolyte) stored in two containers to be positively or negatively charged. The energy is restored by putting the two electrolytes into contact. The installation’s storage capacity and power depend on the nature and quantity of the stored electrolyte and on the volume of the zone where the two electrolytes are put into contact.
CMI is currently building the largest European industrial pilot, called MiRiS. Based in Belgium, next to its headquarters, this pilot will be based on a photovoltaic installation of 1.75MW peak output and a storage capacity of over 3 MWh. It includes several storage solutions (flow batteries and Lithium-ion batteries), which may or may not be connected to a medium voltage network. The aim is to fully understand the respective advantages of the different storage options to provide proven solutions to users according to their profile and their needs. What capacity, what instant power do they need? Are they connected to a network or are they 100% autonomous? If they are connected to a network, when is it in their interest to consume the electricity themselves or to sell it to their electricity provider?
To answer these questions, all the installation’s parts need to converse: the batteries (gauges), the inverter-rectifier, and the brain of the installation: the Energy Management System (EMS). This system, based on the user profile, the potential opportunities for resale of the electricity in peak hours, will automatically manage and optimize the entire installation.
Jean-Michel Gheeraerdts, President of CMI Energy: “We now have the solutions to use green energies eradicating their major flaw: intermittent production. Energy storage and management can be applied in a number of fields: as an alternative to diesel generators for unconnected regions, as deferral of consolidation investment for a part of the network, as an optimization of existing photovoltaic or wind systems, as a participation in the primary or secondary reserve for electrical power transmission. CMI has the advantage of combining unrivalled experience in energy management, turnkey project management, international exports and financing channels. “