OGV Renewables Article – Why store energy on the seabed in offshore wind?
By Richard Knox, CEO, Verlume
Battery systems are scaling significantly and set to play a major role in the energy transition globally as an enabling technology for renewables. The market is already growing rapidly – according to BloombergNEF, the global energy storage market is set to grow by a further 15-fold by 2030.
Cross-sector knowledge transfer from sectors such as electric vehicles have allowed us at Verlume to develop innovative offshore intelligent energy management and battery systems to support the shift away from traditional fuel sources in the offshore environment.
Intelligent energy management and energy storage
Verlume has developed a deep-water intelligent energy management and storage system named Halo, which is being marketed in the energy transition sector, helping to decarbonise subsea production and facilitating carbon capture and storage by balancing renewable power inputs to provide a constant output of power.
In the offshore wind sector, Verlume provides 35 kWh battery packs (or multiples thereof) to enable long duration seabed monitoring for stationary systems as well as fully integrated Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) charging stations for extensive surveys without the need for a vessel. In addition, we are currently executing a contract for a Multi-MWh Orah underwater battery system, coupled directly to an offshore wind turbine. This will allow multiple services from the same physical system. Addressing grid curtailment, stabilising Power-to-X and frequency stabilisation all the way to the charging of hybrid or fully electric service vessels.
Placing battery storage systems on the seabed
Underwater may not seem like the obvious place to put a battery energy storage system. However, there are a number of benefits that I will set out below as to why this can be the ideal location.
On the seabed, there is a stable temperature with a ‘natural cooling system’ created by the ambient sea water. In this naturally cool environment, resources are not required for cooling systems therefore reducing environmental impact. There are also benefits around maximising the life cycle of the system.
Eliminating the need for climate control systems due to this natural cooling removes all of the maintenance normally required for these. This contributes to the overall safety benefits of placing the battery energy storage system on the seabed by removing the need for human intervention.
At the bottom of the sea, the battery system is protected from harsh surface weather conditions. The seabed also presents an opportunity for the placement of infrastructure, where space on land or at the water’s surface may be more limited.
Gravity principles are applied for Verlume’s Orah system to sit on the seabed without any moorings and zero maintenance is required. Orah also minimises loading on the renewable device mooring system.
Costly support structures would be required for surface-based storage, making seabed storage more cost effective as it removes the need for expensive metals and floating structures.
Verlume’s capabilities in underwater battery energy storage will be particularly relevant within the growing offshore wind market globally to offer renewables resiliency, as well as our infield charging station system to reduce emissions and personnel associated with offshore wind operations.
Get in touch with our team on email@example.com to find out more or ask any questions.