AI Energy Storage: How Battery Storage is Forging Ahead with Artificial Intelligence
The artificial intelligence (AI) energy storage market is growing fast and is predicted to reach US$11 billion in 2026.
Greater investments in green energy solutions, including AI energy storage systems, are also anticipated in the aftermath of the global energy crisis. At the same time, competition in this sector continues to remain average, if not weak.
If you're planning a clean energy startup, now is a great time to launch.
In this article, we’re sharing our expertise on building AI software for energy storage, discussing the use cases and benefits of AI in the energy sector, and identifying the foundation you need to build robust AI-powered software.
But first, let's start with a quick overview of energy storage technologies.
AI-powered energy storage technologies
AI energy storage offers benefits such as smart energy use and cost and resource savings. These solutions are eco-friendly and suitable for use in a wide range of areas, including households, facilities, and industrial applications.
After AI was paired with battery systems there was a sharp increase in the number of systems implementing the technology. U.S. energy storage installations grew by 196% to 2.6GW in 2021, while in Australia energy storage installations exceeded 1GWh for the first time, including 756MWh from non-residential, mostly large-scale projects.
A battery energy storage system (BESS) collects energy from various sources and stores it in rechargeable batteries for later use. BESSs come in different sizes ranging from small household gadgets to large industrial systems. A BESS can be employed to reduce household power bills, increase a home's resilience, improve energy efficiency, save money, and help protect the environment through smart energy consumption.
A battery energy storage system. Source: Siemens
The most known BESSs are lithium-ion batteries as they're largely used in mobile phones and electric cars. Currently, it's the dominant storage technology for large-scale plants to help electricity grids ensure a reliable supply of renewable energy.
However, the scientific and engineering world is already working on alternative technologies — lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, sodium-sulphur, and flow batteries — to overcome lithium-ion battery drawbacks such as inflammability, the high price, and extreme temperature intolerance.
Regardless of the battery type, a BESS is a large system that can contain 100 or more individual components. It typically consists of:
- A battery system made up of myriad battery cells that transform chemical energy into electricity.
- A battery management system (BMS) for monitoring and measuring battery cells, and protecting batteries from all sorts of hazards.
- Inverters or power conversion systems (PCS) that convert the direct current (DC) generated by batteries into alternating current (AC) used in facilities.
- Other elements that are necessary to maintain the BESS's performance (fire alarm systems, temperature and fire controllers).
The BMS (the monitoring and managing system) relies on software solutions and electronics. Every year, these software solutions improve and become more intelligent, enabling more convenient energy management for consumers. For example, the latest systems actively use AI algorithms to optimise energy management. Let's see how exactly AI improves battery storage systems.
AI makes storage systems intelligent
In the green energy sector, operations and maintenance were traditionally regarded as basic tasks: maintenance and cleaning, monitoring panel output and inverter conditions, and so forth. As BESSs have been added, numerous use cases have emerged — including the ability to optimise storage for cost reductions, improve system resilience and sustainability, and gather data to conduct predictive analysis. As it has become impossible for human operators to process the huge amounts of data coming in constantly, AI is essential. Let’s take a closer look at how AI can make BESSs smarter:
Energy demand management
Using AI, a BESS system balances load during peak and off-peak times based on the day, time, season, or weather. As an example, the Evergen app uses AI to monitor weather forecasts and then calculate how much energy should be stored. Later, the system distributes stored electricity during rainy days when the installed solar systems cannot produce enough energy.
AI enables energy arbitrage (also known as time-shifting) in response to fluctuating electricity prices. During off-peak times, energy is purchased at a lower price, then sold or consumed when the price rises. Therefore, AI energy storages are able to equalise energy prices and minimise risks regardless of the season or electricity demand.
It's not always easy to estimate the amount of renewable energy that will be produced today or tomorrow. To help resolve this problem, AI systems use a combination of weather and satellite data, numerical weather prediction models, and statistical analysis to make energy production and consumption predictions.
AI energy storage allows operators to act immediately for preventative maintenance. By gathering data from different sensors and then comparing it with historical data, AI learns how to detect typical errors and anomalies across a range of subsystems (electrical, chemical, thermodynamic) and notify operators before a failure occurs. This helps cut downtimes, improve the lifespan of storage systems, and, consequently, increase the profit.
A good example of software for AI energy storage is the Evergen app, a project MadAppGang worked on. For Evergen, our team developed an AI-powered platform for the optimal use of solar and battery energy resources via power trading and distribution, peak demand avoidance, demand response services, and grid stabilisation management.
The app helps Evergen customers reap maximum benefit from their solar panels with minimal effort. Also, this system can function as a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) operator, as it provides trading functions, asset dispatching, and financial transactions.
An example of AI-powered software for BESSs. Source: Evergen
How to build smart software for energy storage
Today, more than ever, there is a need for AI in energy storage. AI promotes the use of renewable energy and simplifies the struggle for cleaner air, lower energy costs, and so on. Smart BESS software makes it easy to use green power, simplifies maintenance, and increases battery life. And the market is still very friendly to newcomers so, now is the right time to start your project in this sector.
Keep in mind, though, that the modern energy sector needs advanced software solutions, and it's not only about AI. All in all, it's possible to introduce AI to some monolithic applications. But in case you choose to build a monolithic structure, be prepared for problems with the platform management and scaling from the very beginning. A cloud-native approach is what you need for robust and scalable software that can deliver advanced technologies like AI to the market.
A schematic representation of a cloud-native app. Source: Microsoft
A cloud-native approach is the fastest and most efficient way to create a scalable solution. And in the long run, it also pays off. With a high degree of automation and managed services from cloud providers, you can manage your software with a smaller team. You can respond to traffic growth instantaneously and without trouble.
A new feature, upgrade or service patch does not affect the entire application, so there is no downtime. You can also scale your app down if necessary. This means you use fewer services at peak hours and pay less for hosting.
Cloud-native development may seem like a complicated process, but the outcome is worthwhile. Moreover, if you trust your AI energy storage project to an experienced development team like MadAppGang, you can be sure that everything goes smoothly. With our team of experts, you'll get a flexible, scalable and smart solution in record time. Call us today and let's discuss how the cloud-native approach and MadAppGang can help your business thrive.