The CBI team visited Castanheira do Ribatejo, in Portugal, to meet with Exide Technologies and to find out more about its facilities.
Exide operates two state-of-the-art solar installations at its battery production (in Castanheira do Ribatejo) and battery recycling facilities (in Azambuja), using lead batteries (see our case study here).
José Barreiros (Director Product Development Industrial EMEA at Exide) explained how it works in detail:
« We have a combined capacity of 4.5 MWp, with overall 11.250 solar panels installed. This is enough energy to supply more than 1.500 households. With these solar parks, we have reduced the carbon emission by more than 20% across both sites.
In our production plant, the PV installation is combined with our own battery energy storage system (BESS). It contains 70 inverters and 290 Sonnenschein Solar battery cells, with an available stored energy of around 500kWh. The battery storage system is part of a ‘Green Social Building’. It operates as an island for the factory workers, where the solar panels provide energy during the day and the batteries provide power at night ».
The type of lead batteries used in this Battey Energy Storage System (BESS) are Exide’s very own Sonnenschein Solar gel batteries. This battery range « has been used in complex, large-scale network power applications across the world for many decades », José continued:
« With their proven reliability, maintenance-free and first-class safety features, gel batteries offer a long service life and protection against deep discharge. Also, since lead batteries are fully recyclable at the end-of-life, our Sonnenschein Solar range provides added sustainability for renewable energy storage applications ».
For CBI, energy storage applications utilising battery technology is an increasingly important market-key to help governments around the world meet future electrification and decarbonisation targets and Exide’s Product Development Director agrees:
« As a global player of battery and energy systems, Exide Technologies is in prime position to inspire today’s and tomorrow’s generations with smart energy storage solutions, as we recognize the need to both preserve and energize the world. Exide Technologies offers smart energy storage solutions to support the transition from fossil energy to renewable energy sources. We focus on storage systems and solutions for greenhouse gas reduction and the optimization of TCO in energy-intensive industries.
Our energy storage solutions will enable businesses to become ‘greener’, more productive and in control of their energy usage and costs ».
Another benefit of this project is its unique and innovative Battery Management System (BMS) for lead batteries:
«Our installation is utilizing the battery management system to control the voltage of each cell and the temperature on each string, via four probes, assuring a tight control of the depth of discharge and charge on each string.
Taking into consideration that the battery operates on one cycle per day, this will allow deeper control of the state of health of the cells and act as soon as needed. It also predicts the available energy of the system depending on the power», concluded José.
This installation is one of many worldwide energy storage systems using lead batteries. If you’re interested in more projects like this one, please explore our Interactive Map.