OCI has set out to secure a core technology to target the solar power energy storage systems (ESS) integrated market, which combines microgrid-based distributed solar power and ESS.
The company announced on June 25 that it will work on an industrial cooperative project to develop the decentralized Energy Management System (dEMS) for small decentralized solar power generation by Oct. 2017 in cooperation with the University of Oxford of the U.K. and Hanyang University. A microgrid is a self-sufficient small-scale smart grid system that brings electricity to small areas and can operate independently. It is considered to be a next-generation power system that combines renewable energy sources, including solar power and the ESS.
The leading institution OCI will direct the national research project. The company is to provide its self-developed 20kWh Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFB) ESS and a solar power generation system.
For the participating institutions, the University of Oxford will develop the microgrid power control system, while Hanyang University will improve the efficiency of the power control system by analyzing the electrochemical properties of a redox flow battery.
OCI Vice President Kim Taek-joong said, “Through the research project, we expect to develop a microgrid power control system by using Oxford’s technologies to predict solar power production and optimize the system. Then, the company will secure its competitive edge, since we are able to establish solar power plants using a controller to efficiently control electric supply.”
Meanwhile, the global new renewable energy market research institution Navigant Research forecast that the size of the global ESS market for microgrids will rapidly grow from 1100MW worth US$765 million (850.14 billion won) in 2015 to 9760MW worth US$3.13 billion (3.48 trillion won) in 2022.